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: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/gwr/regulation.html