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EPA to Host Free January Webinar on Legionella Management and Treatment

January 17, 2020      Drinking Water Headlines, Events, Webinars     

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development and Office of Water is hosting a free webinar on January 28, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET with a Q&A session from 3-3:30 pm directly following the presentations. A certificate for one training hour will be offered for this webinar. Follow this link to register: .

The webinar includes two presentations: Image result for legionella

1. Public Water System Characteristics That May Affect Legionella Occurrence in Building Water Systems

This presentation will highlight EPA’s efforts to reduce Legionella risks through regulatory revisions, treatment technologies, and research on premise plumbing. An overview of public health impacts, challenges to addressing Legionella in drinking water, and potential risk factors in municipal supplies will be included.

2. Impact of Chlorine and Chloramine on the Detection and Quantification of Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium Species

Potable water can be a source of transmission for legionellosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection and diseases. This presentation will investigate the influence of disinfectant type and total chlorine residual on the detection and concentration of the five leading pathogens associated with these infections and diseases.

AWWA hosts International Symposium on Potable Reuse Next Month

January 16, 2020      Meetings and Conferences     


AWWA is hosting the 2020 International Symposium on Potable Reuse in Atlanta, Georgia on February 10th and 11th. Covering the latest innovations in treatment and monitoring technology, the Symposium will attract water industry professionals from around the world to discuss the most important and challenging issues associated with both direct and indirect potable reuse. You can find registration and travel information as well as the schedule and technical program at the following link: The Potable Reuse Symposium immediately precedes the International Symposium on Biological Treatment, and special joint registration rates are offered.

Register by January 17 for early rates! 

House Passes PFAS Bill, Unlikely to Move in Senate

January 14, 2020      Legislative     

Late last week the House passed H.R.535 – the PFAS Action Act of 2019. The bill contains multiple provisions requiring EPA to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in the environment including:
Image result for u.s. house of representatives
  1. Determining whether EPA should designate the entire class of PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA);
  2. Conducting comprehensive toxicity testing be conducted on all PFAS;
  3. Setting maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for the two most common types of PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA);
  4. Immediately classifying PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, triggering requirements for cleanup efforts under the Superfund law;
  5. Listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
There are several other requirements outlined in the bill, however, the measure is expected to stall in the Senate, as there is not enough support for the comprehensive PFAS provisions. The White House has stated they do not support the bill and would likely veto the bill, if necessary.

Great Plains and Midwest Harmful Algal Blooms Conference

January 10, 2020      Source Water     

EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Region 7, and the University of Kansas Edwards Campus are hosting an upcoming conference (February 4-5) that will look at solutions to harmful algal blooms in Midwestern waterbodies. This conference will have discussions identifying the issues and challenges with excessive nutrient loading and resulting HABs formation. Discussion will also focus on best practices for nutrient reduction and source water protection.

This conference is intended for state and tribal water quality programs in EPA Region 5,7, and 8, academic institutions, and other federal programs. For more information and to register click here.


Save the Date for ASDWA’s 2020 March Member Meeting

January 10, 2020      ASDWA Conferences, Drinking Water Headlines, Events     

ASDWA’s 2020 Member Meeting is being held this year from March 23 – 25 at the Hilton Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. Please note, the Member Meeting is for states and EPA only, plus invited guests. ASDWA’s Board Meeting will convene immediately following the Member Meeting at noon on March 25, and will conclude at noon on March 26.

Please visit ASDWA’s website at to find a block agenda for travel, register for the meeting, and reserve a hotel room online. Our room block at the hotel closes on March 4. Please plan to join us!

AWWA Publishes Report on Bromide Impacts to Drinking Water from Coal-Fired Power Plants

January 10, 2020      Drinking Water Headlines, Source Water     

AWWA has published a report entitled, “Methods to Assess Anthropogenic Bromide Loads from Coal-fired Power Plants and Their Potential Effect on Downstream Drinking Water Utilities.” The report was developed with the help of EPA, ACWA, ASDWA, and a few states including the Pennsylvania and North Carolina state drinking water programs.

The purpose of the report is to provide information for states and water utilities to consider and address bromide impacts from coal-fired power plants using wet flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) air scrubbers. The report provides:

  1. Detailed information on how to identify and assess power plants that may be discharging bromide upstream of drinking water utilities and how to evaluate the potential treatment and public health impacts from disinfection by-product formation and its associated risks.
  2. Technical guidance for Clean Water Act regulatory agencies and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit writers on approaches to limit bromide loads in drinking water supplies to help mitigate drinking water treatment challenges.

To download and read the report, visit AWWA’s website.

Senate EPW Hearing on Nonpoint Source Pollution

January 9, 2020      Drinking Water Headlines, Source Water     

On January 8, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Nonpoint Source Management Program Under the Clean Water Act: Perspectives from States.” During the hearing, Jennifer Zygmunt, the Nonpoint Source Program Coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and Ben Grumbles, Secretary for Maryland’s Department of the Environment, provided testimony and responded to questions. Key discussion points during the hearing included:

  • EPA should streamline the 319 (nonpoint source) program grant application process to make it easier to complete.
  • The 319 program state funding allocation formula should be reevaluated to consider increasing weight for rangeland and grazing activities in addition to cropland, as well as potentially considering tourism populations.
  • Increased coordination is needed with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, particularly with the National Water Quality Initiative program that selects priority watersheds in each state to implement conservation projects with landowners.
  • Additional support is needed for small rural communities where there is little to no revenue available for required 319 program matching funds.
  • More federal 319 funding is needed for all states and more flexibility is needed within the program to support partnerships.

Other discussion topics during the hearing included the need to enforce requirements for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL efforts while implementing voluntarily efforts for nonpoint source programs, and the need to consider how conservation and water quality protection can be measured and paired with flood and climate impact mitigation. To view the video archive of the webcast and read the written testimony, visit the Senate EPW website.

Drinking Water System Partnerships Case Study Map Tool Available on EPA’s Website

January 7, 2020      Capacity Development, Drinking Water Headlines, Small Systems     

EPA developed an interactive website for water system partnerships that includes the Drinking Water System Partnerships Case Study Map Tool for users to explore case study summaries and learn more about different types of partnerships across the U.S.

Who: The targeted audience is states, drinking water program managers, utilities, and technical assistance providers.

Why: Partnerships are tools that can be used to address the technical, managerial, and financial challenges water systems face, with options ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation.

The partnership case study maps encompass the topics of:

  • Informal cooperation
    • Water systems partner with other systems, but without contractual obligations.
  • Contractual assistance
    • Water systems contract with other systems or service providers. The water systems remain independent, but certain functions are contracted out to increase efficiency.
  • Joint power agency
    • Water systems create a new entity designed to serve the systems that formed it.
  • Ownership transfer
    • Water systems engage in mergers, mutual transfer of existing entities, or creation of a new entity.
  • Layered partnership
    • Water systems use several types of partnerships to improve efficiency or provide safe drinking water. This type of partnership helps systems facing multiple technical, managerial, and financial challenges.

To view the map tool and for more information on water systems partnerships, visit the larger interactive website that also includes a map with links to state partnership approaches, a summary of the January 2017 National Stakeholder Meeting, and will soon feature more in-depth case studies and the updated State Partnership Handbook at

If you have a case study you would like to share with EPA, please contact Brooke Porter at

If there is a tool that you recommend to be highlighted in this blog series, please contact Deirdre White of ASDWA at

EPA at 50

January 7, 2020      Drinking Water Headlines     

The start of the 2020 marks the beginning of a series of events to celebrate EPA’s 50th anniversary. The landscape for public health and environmental protection has certainly changed over the past 50 years, and the future poses many uncertainties and future challenges. Other organizations are likely to conduct their own retrospectives, and 2020 provides an opportunity for everyone involved in environmental policy to document the past progress and think about how challenging issues in the future are going to be appropriately resolved.

More information on EPA’s 50th anniversary can be found here.

EPA Announces New Policy on Using DWSRF for Water Rights Purchases

January 6, 2020      Drinking Water Headlines     

This week, EPA announced a new policy for using the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). EPA will now allow DWSRF funds to be used for purchasing rights or access to new sources of drinking water under certain circumstances. This change will allow public water systems to switch water sources in the event of contamination or to obtain rights or access to new water sources in the event of drought or other hydrological changes to meet current water needs.

EPA’s class deviation responds directly to the needs and requests of the states and public water systems, while improving public health protection. More information can be found on EPA’s website: 

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