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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 50 Pa.B. 4882 (August 29, 2020).

25 Pa. Code § 109.703. Facilities operation.

§ 109.703. Facilities operation.

 (a)  Public water system facilities approved by written permit from the Department shall be operated in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of the permit to achieve the level of treatment for which the facilities were designed.

 (b)  For surface water or GUDI sources, a public water supplier using filtration shall comply with the following requirements:

   (1)  Water suppliers using conventional or direct filtration shall, prior to returning a filter to service, filter-to-waste for one full filter volume and until the filter bed effluent turbidity is less than 0.30 NTU at the normal production flow rate. Water suppliers may implement filter-to-waste for a period of time less than one full filter bed volume if an alternate operating technique is properly utilized to minimize the postbackwash turbidity spike to less than 0.15 NTU. Alternate techniques may include extended terminal subfluidization backwash, permitted addition of coagulant during the backwash or a post-backwash offline filter resting period. Water suppliers implementing alternate techniques shall keep records to document consistent and proper utilization of the technique.

   (2)  A water supplier using slow sand filtration shall, following sanding, scraping or resanding of slow sand filters, filter-to-waste until one of the following occurs:

     (i)   The filter bed effluent turbidity is less than 1.0 NTU at the normal production flow rate.

     (ii)   A reduction in turbidity is achieved when the source water turbidity is less than 1.0 NTU.

   (3)  A water supplier using diatomaceous earth filtration shall, following backwashing and recoating of diatomaceous earth filters, filter-to-waste until one of the following occurs:

     (i)   The filter bed effluent turbidity is less than 1.0 NTU at the normal production flow rate.

     (ii)   A reduction in turbidity is achieved when the source water turbidity is less than 1.0 NTU.

   (4)  For a conventional or direct filtration facility permitted prior to March 25, 1989, without filter-to-waste capability, the Department, upon the supplier’s request, may allow the supplier to utilize other operating techniques which minimize the initial increased turbidity peak when a filter is initially placed back into service after backwashing. The technique, which may include filter settling periods, ramping open the effluent valve or use of a coagulant in the backwash water, shall be justified by a filter performance study approved by the Department.

   (5)  A system with filtration facilities shall implement a filter bed evaluation program, acceptable to the Department, which includes an evaluation of filter media, filter bed expansion, valves, surface sweep and sampling of filter turbidities over one entire filter run. The results of the evaluation shall be maintained on file and submitted to the Department upon request.

 (c)  A public water supplier required to install alarm or shutdown capabilities, or both, under §  109.602 (relating to acceptable design) shall comply with the following:

   (1)  Test the alarm and shutdown capabilities at least quarterly and document the results in the plant’s operational log. To avoid unnecessary disruptions in treatment, simulated testing of shutdown capabilities is acceptable.

   (2)  For any failures of alarm or shutdown equipment:

     (i)   Ensure the plant is adequately staffed until the equipment is operational.

     (ii)   Notify the Department as soon as possible of any failure that cannot be corrected within 24 hours.

     (iii)   Restore the equipment to operation within 5 working days of the failure unless a longer period of time is approved by the Department.

 (d)  Reserve sources, treatment plants or entry points identified in §  109.718(a)(1)(ii) (relating to comprehensive monitoring plan) may not be used without prior written approval from the Department. Approval to use a reserve source, treatment plant or entry point will expire upon submission of the notification specified in §  109.701(n)(2) (relating to reporting and recordkeeping). Department approval will be contingent on all of the following, at a minimum:

   (1)  Completion of source water monitoring in accordance with §  109.503(a)(1)(iii)(D)(I)—(XI), (XIII) and (XV) (relating to public water system construction permits) prior to use. The Department will consider previous source water monitoring results for samples that were collected within the most recent 3 years. Compliance monitoring in accordance with §  109.301(15) (relating to general monitoring requirements) for reserve entry points shall continue so long as the reserve source, treatment plant or entry point is in use.

   (2)  Documentation that source water monitoring specified in §  109.503(a)(1)(iii)(D)(XII) and (XIV) has been completed.

   (3)  A determination and certification by the water supplier, after reviewing monitoring data obtained in accordance with paragraph (1) that use of the reserve source, treatment plant or entry point will not adversely impact treatment efficacy and that an adequate treatment strategy is in place so that the finished water will comply with all applicable drinking water standards.


   The provisions of this §  109.703 amended under section 4(a) of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P.S. §  721.4(a)); and section 1920-A(b) of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §  510-20(b)).


   The provisions of this §  109.703 adopted December 7, 1984, effective December 8, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 4479; amended March 24, 1989, effective March 25, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 1289; amended May 15, 1992, effective May 16, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 2621; amended July 20, 2001, effective July 21, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 3895; amended May 22, 2009, effective May 23, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2661; corrected August 29, 2009, effective August 1, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 5119; amended August 17, 2018, effective August 18, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 4974. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (391386) to (391387).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  109.718 (relating to comprehensive monitoring plan).

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