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State Leaders Tackle How to Address Water Contaminants Not Yet Regulated

May 20, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

Today (5/20), the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) and the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) jointly released a Recommendations Report developed by a joint ASDWA/ACWA Workgroup with several recommendations to be evaluated by federal and state agencies to address the growing issues surrounding contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). As states and EPA continue to respond to emerging contaminants, like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and/or harmful algal blooms (HABs), ASDWA and ACWA set out to identify the tools state water managers have to respond to this challenging situation. The Workgroup of clean water and drinking water resource managers from across the country discussed and developed recommendations to improve the management of CECs.

The Workgroup developed recommendations across five action areas:

  1. Establish a national priority framework and research agenda for priority setting;
  2. Engage industry to develop and improve access to comprehensive chemical data;
  3. Increase coordinated monitoring across water resource management programs;
  4. Expedite risk assessment and response; and
  5. Improve risk communication

EPA Releases Draft Study on Produced Water for Public Comment

May 16, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

On Wednesday, May 15, EPA released a draft study on produced water from oil and gas extraction, and is seeking public comment on the draft by July 1st. This draft study takes a holistic look at how the agency, states, tribes, and others view the current state of regulation and management of wastewater from the oil and gas industry and provides insight into how this wastewater might be returned to beneficial use in the water cycle.

In May 2018, EPA announced the initiation of a Study of Oil and Gas Extraction Wastewater Management. The agency conducted a robust outreach effort to gather input from state, tribal, industrial, academic, environmental, public health and other entities for the study. This included meeting with individual entities, accepting written input through a public docket on, and hosting a national public meeting in October 2018 to report on what EPA had learned to date and to provide stakeholders an additional opportunity to provide input. The draft study summarizes what EPA heard and the public comments received from this outreach.

Comments should be submitted by July 1st to EPA is particularly interested in public input on the following questions:

  • What non-regulatory steps should EPA take to encourage re-use/recycle of produced water?
  • Considering the cost of transporting and treating produced water, would revising 40 CFR Part 435 to allow for broader discharge of produced water shift the manner in which produced water is currently handled?
  • Should EPA continue to distinguish between discharges from onshore oil and gas facilities located East and West of the 98th meridian or establish a national policy irrespective of geographic location?
  • What steps could EPA take that might incent re-use of produced water within and outside of the oilfield?

The study does not announce or discuss any regulatory efforts regarding oil and gas extraction wastewater. The information in the study and associated public statements will help EPA determine of any future actions are appropriate to further address oil and gas extraction wastewater. EPA anticipates finalizing the study and announcing any next steps later in 2019.

EPA Releases Updated UCMR4 Data Summary

May 15, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

On May 10th, EPA posted the third set of analytical results and a Data Summary for the Fourth Unregulated Contaminant Rule (UCMR 4). Under the rule, all large public water systems (PWSs) and a representative subset of small PWSs are required to monitor for four quarters for up to 30 contaminants (metals, cyanotoxins, pesticides, brominated disinfection byproducts, alcohols, and semi-volatile organic chemicals) between 2018 and 2020. The national summary is for the data received as of 5/1/19. EPA will continue to update the information on UCMR’s occurrence webpage approximately quarterly. The data are subject to change until a final dataset is published in early 2022.

The results for manganese monitoring has probably been the biggest surprise in the UCMR4 monitoring. According to this latest summary, 39 systems in 22 states have had sample results greater than the reference concentration of 300 ug/L (a 10-day health advisory for infants). The resultant actions that water systems have been strongly recommended to take have been a little unexpected for some of the water systems, as the health advisory is being treated the same as an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). Pierre, the capitol of South Dakota, is a recent example of water system that had to issue a “Do Not Drink” order based on the results of the UCMR4 monitoring, which is separate from traditional MCL compliance monitoring.

House Appropriators Boost EPA FY20 Funding in Draft Bill

May 15, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Legislative     

The House Appropriations Committee’s draft Interior-Environment spending bill, scheduled for subcommittee markup May 15, increases EPA funding in the year 2020 to a total of $9.52 billion in funding for the agency — $672 million over FY19 enacted levels and $3.42 billion over the Trump administration’s FY20 budget request.

According to a summary released by House Democrats, the bill includes:

  • $4.64 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, a $511 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $1.87 billion above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
    • $3.11 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, an increase of $345 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.13 billion above the President’s budget request.
    • $70 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants like lead, nitrates, or other health hazards.
  • $18 million in additional funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish a drinking water standard and cleanup standards. This level of funding more than doubles current levels for this work.

The draft bill also includes a $45 million dollar appropriation for WIFIA, as well as funding for provisions under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act and America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

CDC Public Health Grounds Rounds on Legionnaires’ Disease Scheduled for May 21st

May 15, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has scheduled a Public Health Ground Rounds on Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) on May 21st from 1-2 PM EDT. CDC is a leader for LD prevention with the development of water management plans, and several useful resources for facility managers, water systems and the general public can be found on the CDC website. Below is more information on the Public Health Ground Rounds on May 21st.

CDC Public Health Grand Rounds

Turning the Tide: Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease

Tuesday, May 21, 1pm – 2pm ET

Reports of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) cases and outbreaks are increasing in the United States. LD is a serious lung infection caused by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella. Outbreaks are commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, such as hotels and resorts, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and cruise ships.

LD is preventable with effective water management programs. This session of Public Health Grand Rounds will discuss preventive approaches for federal, state, and local authorities along with an innovative water management program toolkit and online training program.

Learn more about Public Health Grand Rounds at

Watch the live webcast on CDC’s Facebook page, May 21 at 1pm ET.

ASDWA Completes Webinar Series on DBP Optimization

May 14, 2019      AWOP, Drinking Water Headlines, Regulatory     

ASDWA has just completed a four part webinar series on controlling Disinfection By Products (DBPs) through optimization of treatment and distribution system operation.  The recordings for all the webinars in the series are available now on ASDWA’s  webinar recordings web page.  The presentation slides are also included with the recordings.  These webinars contain valuable tools for both states and water systems trying to lower DBPs.

Violations of Disinfection By Products requirements are a significant percentage of health based drinking water violations nationally.  ASDWA believes that the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) operated by EPA in cooperation with ASDWA in over 25 states offers positive solutions for water systems trying to reduce DBPs.  We worked with EPA’s Technical Support Center for them to share their expertise and the experience of the participating AWOP states with all states to equip them to combat DBP problems in water systems.  The webinars cover overall approaches to controlling DBPs and specific strategies that can be used in  treatment plants and distribution systems.  EPA trainers were joined by AWOP participants in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

For more information on drinking water optimization and the Area Wide Optimization Program, see ASDWA’s AWOP web page and EPA’s optimization web page.

SDWIS Prime Exploration – How to Create an Account

May 14, 2019      SDWIS Prime     

Hi SDWIS Community!

Thank you for your interest in SDWIS Prime. Getting access to the SDWIS Prime (test) site is currently is multi-step process. Please follow these instructions:


Step 1: Create a CDX Test account or modify an existing CDX Test account:

  • If you do not have a CDX Test account:
    • Create a CDX Test account (visit  and click on “Register with CDX” to complete the steps for creating a CDX Test account
      • You will be asked to select a “Program Service”, select: “SDWISPA: SDWIS Primacy Agency”
  • If you have an existing CDX TEST account:
    • Visit log-in to your account
    • Confirm that your CDX Test account is associated with the Program Service: “SDWISPA: SDWIS Primacy Agency”
      • If it is not, add this Program Service to your CDX Test account. Click on the “Add Program Service” button from the “MyCDX” page


Step 2: Create a SDWIS Prime user support ticket:

Please provide the following in the description of your request:

  • Environment: (if you want access to the SDWIS Prime Test site, the environment is “Pre-Production”)
  • CDX Test User ID: (what is your CDX Test User ID?)
  • Primacy Agency or Region: (Tell us what Primacy Agency or Region your account should be associated to)


Step 3: We will notify you when your account is ready to use, and ask you to confirm access. You should be able to use your CDX Test account credentials to log-in to the SDWIS Prime (test) site:!/login


Please give us 24-48 hours to process these requests. The default role you will be given is “System Administration”, this role will give you access to all available modules in SDWIS Prime (Test).


SDWIS Prime Team

EPA Announces New PFAS Research Grants

May 10, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Regulatory     

Last week EPA announced that it is awarding $3.9 million through two grants that target research to better understand human and ecological exposure to PFAS. This research also intends to promote restoration of water quality in communities that have been impacted by PFAS. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said “These grants will help fulfill a key goal in EPA’s PFAS Action Plan: strengthening science and research in order to better understand the characteristics and impacts of PFAS.” He added, “This funding will also help researchers develop new strategies to further protect our communities and environment from harmful PFAS exposure.”

Grants have been awarded to the following universities:

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, to research the fate, transport, bioaccumulation, and exposure of a diverse suite of PFAS in nationally representative PFAS impacted communities.

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, to study the toxicity of a large collection of PFAS and PFAS mixtures with the zebrafish assay and mice studies to identify toxic PFAS that require prioritization for risk management.

ASDWA Webinar: Minnesota PFAS Actions – Investigation, Response, and Lessons Learned

May 10, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

On Wednesday, May 29th, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm (eastern time), ASDWA will host a free webinar with the State of Minnesota to share information about the state’s efforts to assess and address per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Speaker presentation topics will include: understanding PFAS fate and transport and drinking water health risks; evaluating potential PFAS sources and managing and mitigating impacts; investigating and responding to PFAS releases from disposal sites as part of the 3M lawsuit settlement; and sharing lessons learned. State, territory, and EPA water program personnel are encouraged to attend, along with anyone else that would like to participate. For more information, view the webinar handout. REGISTER HERE

ASDWA Participates in WateReuse Meeting

May 10, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

This week, ASDWA participated in a meeting hosted by WateReuse in partnership with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment Water Reuse Federation, and the Water Research Foundation. The meeting brought together leaders in the water sector to develop a National Water Reuse Action Plan that will review EPA’s framework, consider a vision for the future of water reuse, and discuss priority actions that can be taken to accelerate water reuse as a key element of integrated water resource management. The Action Plan focuses on 6 areas of water reuse: Industrial Reuse, Environmental Restoration, Agriculture and Irrigation, Onsite Decentralized Non-Potable Reuse, Oil and Gas, and Potable Reuse.

This work will inform industry comments on EPA’s Draft Water Reuse Action Plan, which is currently available for public comment. Comments are due by July 1, 2019. After the public comment period, EPA will digest the comments that the Agency receives, revise the Action Plan as appropriate, and release the Action Plan at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego in September. ASDWA provided early input to EPA in January 2019 and plans to submit an additional round of comments by July 1st.

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