State Approaches to Building Water System Regulation

Increased concern and awareness of Legionella in buildings as well as a 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services memo on reducing Legionella risk in healthcare facilities are drivers of a focus on Legionella in building water plumbing and, in some cases, supplemental disinfection in buildings. ASDWA’s State Approaches to Building Water System Regulation provides a review of federal rules and agency guidance on Legionella control, discussion on important defining topics like what constitutes treatment and when a building becomes a public water system, and outlines nuanced flexibilities in regulations drawing from EPA water supply guidance.

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ASDWA White Papers

ASDWA collects data, conducts analysis, and provides policy recommendations to educate decision-makers on the states’ perspective on drinking water issues that impact its members.

Developing Lead Service Line Inventories (8/2019)

Many state drinking water programs are considering developing inventories of the materials used in service lines that are part of the distribution system of the community water systems (CWSs) they regulate. Some states have already conducted voluntary or mandatory surveys of CWSs whether on their own or in response to state legislation. Others are preparing to use the information in the next round of Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessments (DWINSA) that EPA is developing pursuant to Section 2015 of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA). To assist states that are considering initiating a lead service line (LSL) inventory, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) has developed the following guidance based on the experience of the states that have already conducted or are preparing to develop a comprehensive inventory of service line materials.


Building Water System Operator Certification (5/2019)

When a building installs water treatment they may then be considered a public water system under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and subject to the SDWA requirements including sampling for regulated contaminants and having a certified operator for the facility. Persons qualified to run a building water system require specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that, in some cases, are different from the knowledge required for a traditional water system operator. The paper makes recommendations on what those key knowledge sets are. The paper does not explore what constitutes treatment or the different ways states are approaching regulating building water systems.


ASDWA Reports: Impacts to State Resources


ASDWA-ACWA Report on Contaminants of Emerging Concern (May 2019)

The public is turning to states for answers and actions when emerging contaminants are detected with potential human health and ecological effects. This report was a partnership between ASDWA and the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) and provides an assessment and several recommendations for states, federal agencies, and chemical manufactures and producers to better detect, characterize and manage contaminants of emerging concerns.


Costs of States’ Transactions Study [CoSTS]
(April 2018)

EPA is evaluating several options for potential Long-Term Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LT-LCR). EPA presented several options at a Federalism Consultation briefing on January 8, 2018, and requested comments by March 8, 2018. ASDWA conducted this Costs of States’ Transactions Study (CoSTS) as part of its comment development process for these regulatory options. The detailed spreadsheets included in this study calculate the estimated hours for the five categories of regulatory options presented at the January 8th meeting, plus an additional category for “Regulatory Start-Up”.


Beyond Tight Budgets (December 2018)

This new report updates the 2013 State Drinking Water Resource Needs Report to estimate the additional resource demands in 2018 from non-regulatory activities such as post-Flint LCR, PFAS, algal toxins, and SDWIS Prime. The increased workload is significant, ranging from 1.1% to 12.5% without calculating the impacts of inflation (an additional 20%) over the past decade. This analysis shows the growing demands on state drinking water programs and highlights the need for either additional funding or a reallocation of resources.


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Insufficient Resources for State Drinking Water Programs Threaten Public Health (December 2013)

As the public health risks posed by drinking water contaminants and other constituents of concern become more complex and pressing, state program responsibilities for adequately managing sources of drinking water, overseeing the treatment of drinking water, and supervising water systems all increase. In 2013, ASDWA produced this report to intertwine the public health protection mission and responsibilities of state drinking water programs with a funding needs assessment and analysis of outcomes should inadequate funding be provided.