EPA recently issued an interpretive memorandum clarifying that electronic delivery of annual water quality reports, known as consumer confidence reports, is permissible. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, utilities are required to send consumer confidence reports to its customers detailing all of the regulated contaminants found in the drinking water and health effect information related to violation of drinking water standards. Until now, utilities were required to mail paper copies of the reports annually to customers. The new change will enable utilities to save money by posting the consumer confidence report on a public website and notifying customers of its availability through a notice in water bills, a mailed insert, or a community newsletter. To learn more, please visit http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ccr/regulations.cfm.
EPA also recently announced that it has finalized changes to the Total Coliform Rule. The new rule revises the steps utilities must take to prevent exposure to pathogens and requires corrective action when E. coli bacteria are found. Utilities, under the new rule, are required to notify the public if a test exceeds the maximum contaminant level for E. coli in drinking water. The revised rule also requires high-risk, those systems with a history of non-compliance, drinking water systems to perform more frequent monitoring and the rule provides incentives for small systems that consistently meet certain water quality and performance standards. To learn more, please visit http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/tcr/regulation.cfm.