USEPA Adopts Long-Ignored Groundwater Rule

Oct. 16, 2007

In October, EPA finalized the Groundwater Rule (GWR). This regulation defines the testing and treatment requirements for all systems using groundwater. The basic components of the rule are:

Sanitary Surveys: States must conduct sanitary surveys for all systems that use groundwater on the following schedule:

Community systems - every three years unless they already have 4-log disinfection or it is determined that they have had outstanding performance, in which case they may be extended to every five years.

Non-Community systems - every five years.

Source Water Monitoring: The GWR specifies three types of monitoring.

Triggered monitoring: required whenever any system has a positive coliform sample;

Assessment monitoring: required for systems determined by the state to be at risk of fecal contamination; and

Compliance monitoring: required for systems serving over 3,330 and using 4-log treatment.

Significant Deficiencies: Significant deficiencies and fecal contamination (failed tests) must be corrected within 120 days of discovery/notification or a plan must be developed after discussion between the state and system to outline specific steps and completion dates.

Public Notice/Violations: Systems are required to provide Tier 1 notification for the detection of fecal indicators, Tier 2 notification for treatment technique violations or failure to take corrective action as required, and Tier 3 notification for monitoring violations. Consumer Confidence Reports must also include GWR information.

Primacy: States must adopt rules and apply for primacy within 2 years of GWR publication in the Federal Register. The Rule was published in the Register in November, 2006.

The complete Groundwater Rule can be found at:

Source: Maine Division of Environmental Health Drinking Water Program