SDWIS Prime Business Rules Engine Update

by Scott R. Peterson, Attain, LLC

A business rules engine (BRE) is a software system that executes business rules in a runtime production environment. In the case of the BRE for SDWIS Prime, the business rules come from the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR). For each rule that involves monitoring, there are up to six sets of rule logic:

  1. Rule Applicability (does this NPDWR apply to a particular PWS);
  2. Sample Data Evaluation (does this sample result, sample summary, operational summary, satisfy a monitoring schedule, and does/do the result(s) trigger any additional requirements or violations);
  3. Monitoring Schedule Evaluation (did the PWS collect all the required samples for a particular monitoring schedule, should the frequency of monitoring be increased or decreased, and are there any levels of concern that trigger other requirements or a violation);
  4. Returned to Compliance Determination (does the successful completion of this round of monitoring constitute a return to compliance for an earlier violation);
  5. Monitoring Schedule Determination (what monitoring schedules appear to be appropriate for this new PWS or facility or due to this population or primary source water change); and
  6. Did the PWS complete this task (e.g., lead consumer notice, DBP operational evaluation) on time?

Some of the details of the BRE were discussed during a presentation at the spring 2017 Data Management Users Conference. To view the presentation, please visit ASDWA’s website at:  Then, under “DMUC 2017: All Video” go to #7 on the playlist. It is entitled “2017 DMUC Webinar Getting to Know SDWIS Prime Part 2” The BRE discussion starts at about 1:25.

The initial design and development of the SDWIS Prime BRE occurred in parallel with the development of the SDWIS Prime user interface (UI). Currently, approximately 90% of the logic needed to determine compliance for the NPDWR was designed and coded in the BRE. However, work remains relative to vetting the above capabilities and integrating the BRE’s temporary data structure into SDWIS Prime. We are working on both now.

The September 2017 release of SDWIS Prime will include the RTCR, GWR, and LCR. We’ve held vetting sprints for RTCR and GWR and will complete the vetting sprint for LCR this summer. We’re in the process of refining the logic in the BRE for all three rules and will complete this work before the September release.

Four state agencies are participating in these sprints: Connecticut (Chris Roy), Pennsylvania (Jason Minnich), Indiana (Caesar Natividad and Matthew Prater), and Utah (Patti Fauver); as well as US EPA’s Rule Managers for each respective rule.

Additionally, the BRE temporary data structure will be integrated with the Prime data structure by the September release. This means that users will be able to test the BRE for the three drinking water rules using the Prime UI in the September release. (The summer community testing releases will not include BRE integration.)

In the future, sprints will be scheduled and conducted for Radionuclides, Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules, in order to better vet the BRE capabilities for each of them. Sprints might also be conducted for the Phase II/V Rules, i.e., nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2), inorganic chemicals (IOC), volatile organic chemicals (VOC), and synthetic organic chemicals (SOC), although the Protection Branch started the vetting of these rules.. For CCR and PN, because of their simplicity, we may rely exclusively on user acceptance testing for them.