[ 25 PA. CODE CH. 109 ]
Safe Drinking Water; General Update and Fees
[47 Pa.B. 4986]
[Saturday, August 26, 2017]
The Environmental Quality Board (Board) proposes to amend Chapter 109 (relating to safe drinking water) to read as set forth in Annex A. This proposed rulemaking includes three components:
• Incorporate the remaining general update provisions that were separated from the proposed Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) as directed by the Board on April 21, 2015, including amendments to treatment technique requirements for pathogens, clarifications to permitting requirements, and new requirements for alarms, shutdown capabilities and auxiliary power.
• Amend existing permit fees and add new annual fees to supplement Commonwealth costs and fill the funding gap ($7.5 million).
• Establish the regulatory basis for issuing general permits, clarify that noncommunity water systems (NCWS) require a permit or approval from the Depart-ment of Environmental Protection (Department) prior to construction and operation, and address concerns regarding gaps in the monitoring, reporting and tracking of back-up sources of supply.
Collectively, this proposed rulemaking will provide for the increased protection of public health by every public water system (PWS) in this Commonwealth, and ensure that the Department has adequate funding to enforce the applicable drinking water laws, meet State and Federal minimum program elements, and retain primacy (primary enforcement authority).
Safe drinking water is vital to maintaining healthy and sustainable communities. Proactively avoiding incidents such as waterborne disease outbreaks can prevent loss of life, reduce the incidents of illness and reduce health care costs. Proper investment in PWS infrastructure and operations helps ensure a continuous supply of safe drinking water, enables communities to plan and build future capacity for economic growth, and ensures their long-term sustainability.
One or more of these proposed amendments will apply to all 8,521 PWSs in this Commonwealth.
This proposed rulemaking was adopted by the Board at its meeting of May 17, 2017.
A. Effective Date
This proposed rulemaking will go into effect upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Several provisions are deferred for up to 3 years following promulgation to allow time for operational changes, budgeting or capital improvements.
B. Contact Persons
For further information, contact Lisa D. Daniels, Director, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, P.O. Box 8467, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467, (717) 787-9633; or William Cumings, Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, P.O. Box 8464, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464, (717) 787-7060. Information regarding submitting comments on this proposed rulemaking appears in Section I of this preamble. Persons with a disability may use the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). This proposed rulemaking is available on the Department's web site at www.dep.pa.gov (select ''Public Participation,'' then ''Environmental Quality Board (EQB)'').
C. Statutory Authority
This proposed rulemaking is being made under the authority of section 4 of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (35 P.S. § 721.4), which grants the Board the authority to adopt rules and regulations governing the provision of drinking water to the public, and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. § 510-20), which authorizes the Board to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the performance of the work of the Department.
D. Background and Purpose
The General Assembly found in section 2 of the SDWA (35 P.S. § 721.2) that it is ''in the public interest for the Commonwealth to assume primary enforcement responsibility under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.'' When the SDWA was passed, the purpose was to create a drinking water program to allow the Commonwealth to obtain legal primacy over the Federal program in this Commonwealth.
Under section 5(a) of the SDWA (35 P.S. § 721.5(a)), the Department is the agency delegated authority to implement the Safe Drinking Water Program, including the program elements necessary for the Commonwealth to assume and maintain primary (that is, lead) administration and enforcement authority under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 300f—300j-27). The Department, through the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, provides services to over 8,500 PWSs serving over 10 million citizens to ensure compliance with the SDWA and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The Board is proposing amendments governing the provision of drinking water to the public to continue to implement critical program activities in accordance with applicable Federal and State law requirements.
Part I—General update provisions
This proposed rulemaking incorporates the remaining general update provisions that the Board previously determined should be proposed in a separate rulemaking. These general updates are intended to:
• Clarify the source water assessment, source water protection area and source water protection program elements and requirements.
• Amend the treatment technique requirements for pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoan cysts by adding specific turbidity performance requirements for membrane filtration.
• Amend the disinfection profiling and benchmarking requirements to clarify that all PWSs using filtered surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GUDI) shall consult with the Department prior to making significant changes to disinfection practices to ensure adequate Giardia inactivation is maintained.
• Amend and clarify the monitoring, calibration, recording and reporting requirements for the measurement of turbidity.
• Amend the permit requirements to clarify the components that must be included in a permit application for a new source, including a source water assessment, predrilling plan, evaluation of water quantity, and quality and hydrogeologic report.
• Amend the design and construction standards to require PWSs using surface water or GUDI sources to be equipped with alarm and shutdown capabilities. These provisions would be required for plants that are not staffed continuously while the plant is in operation.
• Clarify that treatment technologies shall be certified for efficacy through an approved third party.
• Update the system management requirements for community water systems (CWS) to strengthen system service and resiliency by requiring auxiliary power or an alternate provision such as finished water storage or interconnections.
• Clarify system management responsibilities relating to source water assessments and sanitary surveys.
• Amend the corrective action time frames in response to a significant deficiency for PWSs using groundwater and surface water sources to be consistent.
• Delete the provision that allows a PWS to avoid the requirement for a corrective action by collecting five additional source water samples after an E. coli-positive triggered source water sample.
Proposed amendments to source water assessment and protection program
The proposed source water assessment and protection amendments will not only protect public health, but should also help to maintain, reduce or avoid drinking water treatment costs. Source water protection represents the first barrier to drinking water contamination. A vulnerable drinking water source puts a water utility and the community it serves at risk and at a disadvantage in planning and building future capacity for economic growth. Contamination of a CWS source is costly for the water supplier and the public. For example, it is estimated that the total cost of the Walkerton, Ontario, E. coli contamination incident was $64.5 million. Livernois, J. (2001), ''The Economic Costs of the Walkerton Water Crisis.'' In addition to increased monitoring and treatment costs for the water system, a contaminated source may result in costs associated with containment or remediation, legal proceedings, adverse public health and environmental effects, reduced consumer confidence, diminished property values and costs to replace the contaminated source.
A Texas A&M study (1997) showed that water suppliers in source water areas with chemical contaminants paid $25 more per million gallons to treat drinking water than suppliers in areas without chemical contaminant detections. The study also showed that for every 4% increase in source water turbidity (an indicator of water quality degradation from sediment, algae and microbial pathogens), treatment costs increase by 1% (Trust for Public Land, 2002). A study by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (2013) stated that ''reducing pollution inputs from pipes and land-based sources can reduce locality costs to treat drinking water sources to safe standards.'' Similarly, a study by the Brookings Institute suggested that a 1% decrease in sediment loading will lead to a 0.05% reduction in water treatment costs. Source water assessments can support and enhance emergency response, improve land use planning and municipal decisions, complement sustainable infrastructure initiatives, and help prioritize and coordinate actions by Federal and State agencies to better protect public health and safety.
The need to understand and update potential threats to public drinking water sources, as well as ways to minimize those threats, was underscored by the January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia that impacted the drinking water for 300,000 people. Currently, of the 10.6 million people served by CWSs in this Commonwealth, 7.7 million people are covered by local source water protection programs that have been substantially implemented. ''Substantial implementation'' is a term referenced in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) work plans that indicates a measure of progress relative to source water protection efforts. This proposed rulemaking will help ensure that the remaining nearly 3 million people also benefit from local source water protection efforts.
Proposed amendments to surface water treatment requirements
The proposed amendments to surface water treatment requirements will benefit more than 8 million Pennsylvanians who are supplied with water by PWSs utilizing filtration technologies. The proposed amendments to the filtration requirements ensure identification and correction of problems at the plant before a turbidity exceedance occurs or escalates. The EPA describes turbidity as ''. . . a measure of the cloudiness of water. It is used to indicate water quality and filtration effectiveness (such as whether disease-causing organisms are present). Higher turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. These organisms can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.'' National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (EPA 816-F-09-004, May 2009). This proposed rulemaking will ensure that PWSs consistently produce water that meets turbidity standards to help ensure the delivery of safe and potable water to all users.
This proposed rulemaking is intended to reduce the public health risks regarding waterborne pathogens and waterborne disease outbreaks. Costs regarding waterborne disease outbreaks are extremely high. For example, the total medical costs and productivity losses associated with the 1993 waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee, WI, was $96.2 million: $31.7 million in medical costs and $64.6 million in productivity losses. The average total cost per person with mild, moderate, and severe illness was $116, $475 and $7,808, respectively. Corso, P.S., et al. (2003), ''Cost of Illness in the 1993 Waterborne Cryptosporidium Outbreak, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,'' Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9(4), 426—431.
When problems such as rapid changes in source water quality, treatment upsets requiring a filter backwash or other unforeseen circumstances occur at filter plants, an immediate response from water plant operators is needed. This proposed rulemaking will ensure that operators are promptly alerted to major treatment problems or, if an operator is unable to respond, that the plant will automatically shutdown when producing inadequately treated water. Therefore, this proposed rulemaking will prevent violations that pose an imminent threat to consumers, reduce PWS costs regarding issuing public notice, reduce costs to the community and maintain consumer confidence.
Proposed amendments to system service and auxiliary power requirements
The proposed amendments to system service and auxiliary power requirements will strengthen system resiliency and ensure that safe and potable water is continuously supplied to consumers and businesses. A continuous and adequate supply of safe drinking water is vital to maintaining healthy and sustainable communities.
PWS sources and treatment facilities in this Commonwealth are susceptible to emergency situations resulting from natural and manmade disasters. Examples of emergencies from recent years include tropical storms, flooding, high winds, ice, snow, industrial chemical plant runoff, pipeline ruptures and transportation corridor spills. These emergencies have resulted in significant impacts to consumers and businesses due to inadequate water quantity or quality, and required water supply warnings and advisories. For example, in 2011, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused flooding, water line ruptures and power outages resulting in mandatory water restrictions and boil water advisories (BWA) at 32 PWSs in this Commonwealth. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused similar problems at 85 CWSs. Most of the impacted systems were small systems where redundancy and back-up systems were lacking. By comparison, systems with redundancy and adequate planning maintained operations until the power was restored with little negative impact to their customers. Countless incidents at individual CWSs have occurred due to localized emergencies with interruptions in potable drinking water service that could have been prevented if adequate preparation and equipment were available.
In addition, numerous wastewater treatment plants were forced to send untreated sewage to waterways in this Commonwealth during these major weather events. PWSs that use these waterways as a source of supply were at an increased risk due to extremely elevated turbidity levels and pathogen loading. Effectively treating drinking water during and after emergencies requires increased vigilance and operational control.
Water outages caused by power failures or other emergencies can cause additional adverse effects including:
• Lack of water for basic sanitary purposes, such as hand-washing and flushing toilets.
• Increased risk to public health when water systems experience a sharp reduction in supply, which can result in low or no pressure situations within the distribution system. Low pressure can allow intrusion of contaminants into distribution system piping from leaks, and backflow from cross connections.
• Dewatering of the distribution system can result in physical damage to pipes when the system is re-pressurized. This situation is exacerbated due to the Nationwide problem with aging infrastructure.
This proposed rulemaking improves the reliability of service provided to all consumers by requiring the development of a feasible plan to consistently supply an adequate quantity of safe and potable water during emergency situations. More specifically, water suppliers will need to provide onsite auxiliary power sources (that is, generators) or connection to at least two independent power feeds from separate substations, or develop a plan for alternate provisions, such as interconnections with neighboring water systems or finished water storage capacity. Ideally, water systems will implement a combination of options to improve their redundancy and resiliency.
Part II—New annual fees and proposed amendments to permit fees
Funding necessary to provide services
The Department is required to adopt and implement a public water supply program under section 5(a) of the SDWA that includes maximum contaminant levels (MCL) or treatment technique requirements establishing drinking water quality standards, monitoring, reporting, recordkeeping and analytical requirements, requirementsfor public notification, standards for construction, operation and modification to PWSs, emergency procedures, standards for laboratory certification, and compliance and enforcement procedures. These functions and services are required to have an approvable program and maintain primacy from the EPA. Services provided by the Department to maintain compliance with section 5(b) of the SDWA, as well as regulations in Chapter 109 and permits issued, include: monitoring and inspection; maintaining an inventory of PWSs in this Commonwealth; conducting systematic sanitary surveys of public water supply systems; assuring the availability of laboratories certified to analyze drinking water for all contaminants specified in the drinking water standards; reviewing and approving plans and specifications for the design and construction of new or substantially modified PWSs to deliver water that complies with drinking water standards with sufficient volume and pressure to users of the systems; and issuing orders and taking other actions necessary and appropriate for enforcement of drinking water standards.
The proposed fees in this proposed rulemaking are necessary to ensure adequate funding for the Department to carry out its responsibilities under the SDWA and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This Commonwealth is ranked third in the United States, with 8,521 PWSs across this Commonwealth. The Department is responsible for regulating all PWSs and ensuring that safe and potable drinking water is continuously supplied to the 10.7 million customers they serve.
The Department's appropriations from the General Fund have decreased in recent years while the cost of staff salaries and benefits, as well as other operation costs, have increased. The result has been an overall decrease in staffing for the Safe Drinking Water Program of 25% since 2009. As discussed in more detail as follows, these staff reductions have led to a steady decline in the Department's performance of services necessary to ensure compliance with SDWA requirements. Based on the current funding level of $19.7 million, approximately $7.5 million in additional funding is necessary to increase staffing to provide necessary services.
The minimum critical services that the Safe Drinking Water Program must provide to administer the SDWA and its regulations include:
• Conducting surveillance activities, such as sanitary surveys and other inspections.
• Collecting and analyzing drinking water samples.
• Determining compliance with regulations, a permit or order.
• Taking appropriate enforcement actions to compel compliance.
• Reviewing applications, plans, reports, feasibility studies and special studies.
• Issuing permits.
• Conducting evaluations, such as filter plant performance evaluations (FPPE) and other site surveys.
• Tracking, updating and maintaining water supply inventory, sample file and enforcement data in various data management systems.
• Meeting and assuring compliance with all Commonwealth and Federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
• Conducting training.
• Providing technical assistance.
• Responding to water supply emergencies.
Failure to provide these fundamental services may result in an increased risk to public health as well as the loss of approval from the EPA for the Department to serve as the primary enforcement agency for the administration of the Safe Drinking Water Program in this Commonwealth under Federal law.
The Board has the authority under section 4 of the SDWA to establish fees for services that bear a reasonable relationship to the actual cost of providing the services. The Board must also consider the impacts of the proposed fees on small businesses as part of the regulatory analysis required under section 5 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5). Sixty-eight percent of the water systems in this Commonwealth are considered small businesses.
The fees in this proposed rulemaking will provide the Department with funding necessary to properly administer the SDWA consistent with the actual cost of services provided in a manner that minimizes the adverse impact on water systems with fewer customers to bear the cost.
Recent decline in Department staff and services
The number of sanitary surveys (full inspections) conducted by the Department has steadily declined since 2009. The Federally-mandated inspection frequency is every 3 years for CWSs and every 5 years for NCWSs.
SDW Measure FY 09-10 FY 10-11 FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15 FY 15-16 Number of sanitary surveys 3,177 2,271 2,553 2,310 2,181 2,415 1,847
(Source: Governor's Office Performance Measures; data source: Environment Facility Application Compliance Tracking System (eFACTS))
The number of overdue inspections has ranged from 448 to 703 in the last 6 years. Failure to conduct routine and timely inspections may mean that serious violations are not being identified. In 2015, all six Department regions had overdue inspections. The range of overdue inspections was 2.4% to 11.5%. The total number of systems with overdue inspections was 542. The Federal Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) Grant and primacy measure for inspection frequency has not been met.
SDW Measure FY 10-11 FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15 FY 15-16 Number of overdue inspections 703 551 458 448 492 542
(Source: eFACTS and Pennsylvania Drinking Water Information System (PADWIS))
The reduction in staffing levels and inability to conduct routine and timely inspections because of funding shortfalls may be contributing to the overall declining trend in PWS compliance rates. For the last 4 years, the percentage of CWSs that met health-based drinking water standards fell short of the goal of 95%.
SDW Measure FY 09-10 FY 10-11 FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15 FY 15-16 Percentage of CWSs that meet health-based drinking water standards 97% 97% 97% 91% 92% 92% 91%
(Source: Governor's Office Performance Measures; data source: PADWIS)
Per the Department's Annual Compliance Report for 2015, PWSs continue to exceed health-based MCL, maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDL) and treatment technique requirements for arsenic, radionuclides, volatile organic chemicals, disinfection byproducts, nitrate/nitrite and pathogens, and for failure to adequately treat drinking water for contaminants such as lead.
The number of unaddressed violations has also continued to increase. In 2015, 3 of 6 Department regions had more than 500 violations that had not been returned to compliance within 180 days or addressed through formal enforcement. Unaddressed violations are tracked over a 5-year period because it generally takes several years to return MCL violations to compliance.
SDW Measure FY 05-10 FY 06-11 FY 07-12 FY 08-13 FY 09-14 FY 10-15 Number of unaddressed violations 4,298 4,746 5,536 6,849 6,353 7,922
Performance is directly tied to the mandated workload and available resources for the Safe Drinking Water Program. Overall, staffing levels are down by 25% since 2009.
Therefore, the Department's workload has steadily increased since 2009. Per a workload analysis, the recommended number of PWSs/sanitarian was determined to be 100—125 to ensure completion of mandated inspections, review of PWS self-monitoring data, compliance and enforcement determinations, maintenance of PADWIS and eFACTS, review of monitoring plans, emergency response plans, assessments and waivers. In 2009, the Department's average workload was within the recommended range at 118 PWSs/sanitarian. In 2015, five of six Department regions exceeded the recommended workload. The recommended workload has been exceeded in at least four of six Department regions for the last 3 years. Per a 2012 Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) survey, the National range and average of PWSs/inspector is 45—140 and 67, respectively. All Department regions far exceed the National average.
Region Number of PWSs
Number of Sanitarians
(Number of PWSs/Sanitarians)
2009 2014 2015 2009 2014 2015 2009 2014 2015 1—SERO 1,062 911 911 9 7 6 118 130 152 2—NERO 2,973 2,555 2,559 23 20 19 129 128 135 3—SCRO 2,596 2,400 2,408 21 14 13 124 171 185 4—NCRO 1,115 937 941 10 7 6 112 134 157 5—SWRO 879 680 694 10 8 6 88 78 105 6—NWRO 1,302 1,211 1,205 11 9 7 118 117 158 Totals 9,927 8,694 8,718 84 65 57 118
Final numbers for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 will be finalized by the end of August 2017. Currently, the number of sanitarian positions is 61. This workforce includes 43 sanitarians, 11 trainees and 7 vacancies. Due to the ever-increasing complexity of the drinking water program, trainees are not considered adequately trained until they have at least 2 years of experience. In addition, due to a Department-wide complement reduction, it is unclear if or when the drinking water program will receive approval to fill the seven vacancies. Therefore, the actual available workforce is 54 sanitarians with a workload of 158 PWSs/sanitarian. Of those 54 sanitarians, 26 have 4 years or less of experience.
Performance issues and concerns have been well documented by the EPA since 2009:
• EPA Region III PWSS Program Review for Department Bureau of Water Standards and Facility Regulation (July 2009)—identified the impacts of a 2008 hiring freeze that prevented the filling of vacancies to reach the full additional complement and led to inadequate training of field staff. These problems continue today.
• EPA Region III Review of the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water (December 2012)—identified that the Department was unsuccessful at retaining all allocated drinking water full-time employees as of June 2009 due to budget cuts and increasing costs. Further, the report documented that the number of field inspectors was down by 20% since June 2009. The report also found that because of staffing cuts, the Department had a backlog of required sanitary surveys (full inspections) and a backlog of PADWIS programming modifications and reports.
• Program performance is currently under review by EPA Region III. An EPA letter dated December 30, 2016, further documents the Department's poor performance. Per the letter, the EPA's concerns include the following:
o Programmatic requirements are not being met in a complete and timely manner. Minimum program requirements must be met for the Commonwealth to maintain primacy for the Safe Drinking Water Program.
o The Department's average of 149 PWSs/sanitarian is more than double the ASDWA National average. The EPA cautions the Department that this kind of excessive workload is not sustainable and program performance will continue to suffer.
o The Department failed to meet the Federal requirement for sanitary surveys, which can have serious public health implications as major violations could be going unidentified.
o In November 2016, the EPA conducted a file review of the Commonwealth's Lead and Copper Rule. The EPA is currently reviewing the information collected. The EPA intends to highlight insufficient program personnel in its findings and recommendations.
o The EPA is encouraged by the Department's proposed rulemaking to increase program funding and is hopeful that the Drinking Water Program will receive the necessary resources to improve program performance and reduce personnel shortfalls.
o A written action plan was due to the EPA within 60 days of the letter (by February 28, 2017). The Department sent a response to the EPA on February 24, 2017. Failure to meet minimum program elements may jeopardize the EPA's approval of the Department's authority to enforce the Federal law.
Current Safe Drinking Water Program funding
The current funding available to administer the Safe Drinking Water Program from State and Federal sources is $19.7 million. The proposed fees are expected to generate approximately $7.5 million, which would allow the Safe Drinking Water Program to restore staffing levels and reverse the decline in services that has occurred since 2009. The proposed fees would provide nearly 50% of the Commonwealth's share of funding for the Safe Drinking Water Program. The remaining portion of the Commonwealth's share ($7.7 million) would be provided through annual General Fund appropriations. If General Funds do not keep pace with program costs, a funding gap could remain even with this proposed rulemaking.
Federal sources currently provide approximately $11.2 million to fund the Safe Drinking Water Program, including:
• PWSS ($4.1 million)—used for personnel costs, lab costs and staff training
• State Revolving Fund set-asides ($7.1 million)—used for personnel costs, capability enhancement programs (training, technical assistance and optimization programs), source water assessment and protection, PADWIS and assistance grants/contracts
The Commonwealth currently provides approximately $8.5 million to fund the Safe Drinking Water Program through the following sources:
• General Fund appropriations (~$7.7 million)—used for personnel costs
• Operator Certification fees ($0.8 million)—used for Operator Certification Program implementation costs
With the addition of the $7.5 million expected to be generated from this proposed rulemaking, the funds available for the Safe Drinking Water Program would total $27.2 million.
Proposed annual fees and permit fee increases
The proposed fees apply to all 8,521 PWSs, which include 1,952 CWSs, 6,397 NCWSs and 172 bottled, vended, retail and bulk water hauling systems (BVRB). The proposed annual fees range from $250 to $40,000 for CWSs, $50 to $1,000 for NCWSs and $1,000 to $2,500 for BVRBs. If passed on to their customers, these annual fees would result in an increase in cost ranging from $0.35 to $10 per year, depending on the water system size. Further explanation of the proposed annual fees is provided in the Summary of Regulatory Requirements section of this preamble regarding § 109.1402 (relating to annual fees). The proposed increased permit fees range from $100 to $10,000 depending on the population served and whether the permit is for major or minor construction. The current permit fees range from $125 to $1,750. This proposed rulemaking provides for a review of the fee structure every 3 years to ensure that the fees continue to adequately supplement the cost of maintaining the Safe Drinking Water Program.
As provided in section 14 of the SDWA (35 P.S. § 721.14), all fees would be paid into the State Treasury into a special restricted revenue account in the General Fund known as the Safe Drinking Water Account administered by the Department. The funds may only be used for purposes as authorized under the SDWA.
Comparison to annual fees in other states
At least 26 states charge annual fees to augment the cost of their drinking water programs. Some states charge a flat fee based on the PWS type and size. Other states charge a fee based on population served or the number of service connections. Annual fees for these 26 states range from $25 to $160,000 and are summarized as follows.
Summary of PWS Fees Levied by Other States as of January 2017 State
Alaska 18 AAC § 80.1910
Type: Fee for service
Examples: Sanitary survey—$398 to $585 for 1st source + $117 for each additional source, other inspections—$64/hour
Arkansas* AC § 20-28-104(a)
Type: Annual fee
CWSs and Nontransient NCWSs: Based on number of connections—$0.30/connection/month, minimum fee = $250
Transient NCWSs: $125
California 22 CCR, Division 4, Chapter 14.5, § 64305
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: minimum $250 or $6/connection (fee per connection on declining tiered scale from $6 to $1.35)
Nontransient NCWSs: Minimum $456 or $2/person
Transient NCWSs: $800
Colorado CRS § 25-1.5-209
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on population
Surface Water: Ranges from $75—$21,630
Ground Water: Ranges from $75—$4,450
Nontransient NCWSs: Ranges from $75—$4,450
Transient CWSs: Ranges from $75—$3,960
Delaware* 16 Del. Code § 135(b)(1)
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of service connections, ranges from $50—$3,000
Nontransient NCWSs: $50
Transient NCWSs: $25
Florida FAC § 62-4.053
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on permitted design capacity, ranges from $100—$6,000
Nontransient NCWSs: $100
Transient NCWSs: $50
Idaho IAC § 58.01.08-010
Type: Annual fee
CWSs and Nontransient NCWSs: Based on number of connections—
21—184: $5/connection, maximum $735
185—3,663: $4/connection, maximum $10,988
Transient NCWSs: $25
Indiana IC § 13-18-20.5-2
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—
< 400 connections: $350
≥ 400 connections: $0.95/connection
Nontransient NCWSs: Based on population—ranges from $150—$300
Transient NCWSs: Based on source water type—ranges from $100—$200
Kansas K.A.R. 28-15-12
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Capped at $0.002 per 1,000 gallons of water sold
Louisiana* Act 605 of 2016
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$12/connection
Maine § 10-144, CMR Chapter 231, § 1-A
Type: Annual fee
Base Fee ($75) + ($0.45 (per capita rate) × (pop))
Cap = $30,000
Massachusetts MGL, Chapter 21A, Section 18A
Type: Annual fee
Metered—minimum $20, $8.50/million gallons used
Unmetered—$50—$250 based on population
Michigan MI SDWA, 1976, PA 399
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on population, ranges from $400—$134,000
Nontransient NCWSs: $575
Transient NCWSs: $135
Minnesota* Minnesota Statutes 2009, § 144.3831
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$6.36/connection
Mississippi* MS ST § 41-26-23
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$3/connection, cap = $40,000
Missouri* RSMO § 640.100.8
Type: Annual fee
CWSs only: Based on number of connections, whether connections are metered and the size of the meters; $1.08—$3.24/connection
Montana ARM § 17.38.248
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$2/connection, minimum fee is $100
Nontransient NCWSs: $100
Transient NCWSs: $50
New Jersey NJAC § 7:10-15
Type: Annual fee
CWSs only: Based on population and whether system has treatment—
w/o treatment w/t
25—999 $60 $120
1,000—9,999 $360 $720
10,000—49,999 $790 $1,580
>50,000 $1,640 $3,280
North Carolina NC ST § 130A-328
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on population, fee ranges from $255—$5,950
Nontransient NCWSs: $150
Ohio R.C. § 3745.11
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on sliding scale of number of connections, minimum $112; for 100 or more connections, fee ranges from $0.76—$1.92/connection
Number of connections
278 (pop=750) $534
1,222 (pop=3,300) $2,346
3,704 (pop=10,000) $5,482
18,518 (pop=50,000) $20,370
92,592 (pop=250,000) $85,185
Nontransient NCWSs: Ranges from $112—$16,820
Transient NCWSs: Ranges from $112—$792
Oklahoma OAC § 631-3-21
Type: Annual fee
Flat fee for inspections + flat fee for SDWA activities + lab costs
Groundwater $100 + $1,600 +
Surface water $200 + $6,800 +
Rhode Island R46-13-DWQ
Type: Annual License Fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$1.50 per connection, ranges from $330—$32,500
Nontransient NCWSs: $330
Transient NCWSs: $200
South Carolina S.C. Code of Regulations R. 61-30.G(2)
Type: Annual fee
CWSs and Nontransient NCWSs:
Three components: Administration + Distribution Monitoring + Source Monitoring
Costs for admin only:
# Connections Base amount + rate/tap Total Fee
278 (pop=750) $769 + $3.85/tap $1,839
1,222 (pop=3,300) $3,749 + $1.96/tap $6,144
18,518 (pop=50,000) $23,389 + $0.46/tap $31,907
92,592 (pop=250,000) $35,239 + $0.17/tap $50,979
Transient NCWSs: $275
Texas 30 The TAC § 290.51
Type: Annual fee
CWSs and NTNCWSs: Based on number of connections—
Transient NCWSs: $100
Virginia 12VAC5-600-50 to 110
Type: Annual fee
CWSs: Based on number of connections—$3/connection, cap = $160,000
278 (pop=750) $834
1,222 (pop=3,300) $3,666
18,518 (pop=50,000) $55,554
92,592 (pop=250,000) $160,000
Nontransient NCWSs: $90
Washington WAC 246-290-070
Type: Annual fee
Based on number of connections—cap = $100,000
Base fee + per connection fee
$100 + $1.05 to $1.30
* Indicates a state where a portion of the annual fee goes towards monitoring costs in addition to administrative costs to run the drinking water program.
Part III: Additional amendments
This proposed rulemaking will amend other sections of Chapter 109 to:
• Establish the regulatory basis for the issuance of general permits for high volume, low risk modifications or activities to streamline the permitting process.
• Clarify that NCWSs that are not required to obtain a permit shall still obtain Department approval of the facilities prior to construction and operation.
• Address concerns regarding gaps in the monitoring, reporting and tracking of back-up water sources and entry points. Per State and Federal regulations, all sources and entry points shall be included in routine compliance monitoring to ensure water quality meets safe drinking water standards. Sources and entry points that do not provide water continuously are required to be monitored when used. However, monitoring requirements for back-up sources are not currently tracked, which means verifiable controls are not in place to ensure that all sources and entry points meet safe drinking water standards. Some of these sources have not been used in at least 5 years and, therefore, the Department does not know the water quality for these sources. In addition, the treatment facilities and other appurtenances associated with these sources may have gone unused and may no longer be in good working order. This proposed rulemaking will ensure that all sources and entry points are monitored at least annually. PWSs will also be required to document in a comprehensive monitoring plan how routine compliance monitoring will include all sources and entry points.
This proposed rulemaking was presented to the Technical Assistance Center for Small Drinking Water Systems (TAC) on November 14, 2016. The TAC met on January 5, 2017, to continue its review and provide comments. Final comments were received on January 23, 2017. The TAC made several recommendations, some of which were incorporated into this proposed rulemaking. Other recommendations were incorporated into this preamble as a means to solicit further public comment. Refer to Section E for more information about the TAC's comments and recommendations.
E. Summary of Regulatory Requirements
§ 109.1. Definitions
Definitions are proposed to be added for ''PDWEP,'' ''source water assessment,'' ''source water protection area,'' ''source water protection program,'' ''surface water intake protection area'' and ''surface water intake protection program.'' Amendments are proposed to the existing definitions of ''wellhead protection area'' and ''wellhead protection program.'' Except for ''PDWEP,'' these terms are necessary to clarify source water protection requirements in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Regarding the definition of ''surface water intake protection area,'' the TAC recommended that the Department take measures to protect the confidentiality of source water and intake locations consistent with the Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act (35 P.S. §§ 2141.1—2141.6) and the Right-to-Know Law (65 P.S. §§ 67.101—67.3104). The Department avers that source locational information is protected consistent with these laws.
§ 109.5. Organization of chapter
This section is proposed to be amended to add a cross-reference to proposed Subchapter N (relating to drinking water fees).
§ 109.202. State MCLs, MRDLs and treatment technique requirements
Subsection (c)(1)(i)(A)(V) is proposed to be added to require PWSs to achieve, within 1 year of the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking, filtered water turbidity of less than or equal to 0.30 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month under § 109.301(1) (relating to general monitoring requirements), and less than or equal to 1.0 NTU at all times measured under § 109.301(1).
The TAC commented that ''the federal turbidity requirement is 0.3 NTU, not 0.30 NTU.'' The TAC claimed that ''adding a zero to the MCL is not based on science (see Standard Methods methodology regarding significant figures). The same issue applies to establishing the turbidity limit of 1.0 NTU.'' The TAC asserted ''it should be 1 NTU per the EPA limit.'' The TAC further referenced ''the formal public comment regarding significant figures by Jeanne VanBriesen, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University,'' which was ''provided to DEP on the proposed Disinfection Requirements Rule.''
The Department avers that the proposed amendments to the turbidity standard are warranted. Turbidity is a surrogate measurement for pathogen breakthrough, primarily for the acute pathogen Cryptosporidium. As turbidity increases, particle (and pathogen) breakthrough increases. This relationship is well established and accepted by the industry. In addition, industry expert research indicates that as filter effluent turbidity increases from baseline levels, the risk of Cryptosporidium breakthrough also increases. For example, several peer reviewed studies have specifically documented significant reduction in Cryptosporidium removal during breakthrough filtration as compared to stable operation. Huck, P.M., et al. (2002), ''Effects of Filter Operation on Cryptosporidium Removal,'' Journal—American Water Works Association, 94(6), 97—111. Emelko, M.B., Huck, P.M. and Douglas, I.P. (2003) ''Cryptosporidium and Microsphere Removal During Late In-Cycle Filtration,'' Journal—American Water Works Association, 95(5), 173—182.
Per Department records, the large majority of filter plants in this Commonwealth typically produce water that is less than 0.10 NTU. Water suppliers may be most challenged at meeting the lower turbidity standard when they are experiencing significant increases in turbidity. The intent of the proposed amendments is that water suppliers will be able to take the necessary corrective actions (for example, remove filter from service) earlier if they are experiencing significant treatment issues. When water suppliers take timely corrective actions, higher turbidity water is prevented from reaching consumers, and violations are avoided.
Additionally, the Department asserts that it is appropriate to ''add zeros'' for some drinking water standards where the level of sensitivity is warranted by the analytical method. In fact, several Federal drinking water standards end with a zero, including fluoride (4.0 mg/L), arsenic (0.010 mg/L), total trihalomethanes (0.080 mg/L), haloacetic acids (0.060 mg/L), bromate (0.010 mg/L), chlorite (1.0 mg/L), chlorine (4.0 mg/L) and chloramine (4.0 mg/L). Per EPA Water Supply Guidance 20 (1981), the EPA states that all MCLs are expressed in the number of significant digits permitted by the precision and accuracy of the specified analytical procedures. The EPA considers all digits within the MCL to be significant for purposes of determining compliance. For example, the EPA issued very clear guidance for the arsenic rule regarding how to determine compliance with the MCL of 0.010 mg/L. Results that are equal to or greater than 0.0105 mg/L are rounded to the nearest 0.001 mg/L and constitute a violation of the MCL. Regarding turbidity monitoring and recording devices, the instrumentation and method can produce precise and accurate results to the thousandths decimal (for example, 0.000) as evidenced by the manufacturer's specifications. Therefore, the improved sensitivity is warranted, and the proposed amendments will improve public health protection.
Subsection (c)(1)(i)(C) is proposed to be added to include specific treatment technique requirements for membrane filtration. These standards are consistent with the results of pilot testing conducted throughout this Commonwealth, recommendations by the EPA in the Membrane Filtration Guidance Manual (EPA 815-R-06-009, November 2005), as well as recommendations made by equipment manufacturers. These standards were previously applied through special permit conditions. Certified operators have consistently maintained the proposed levels of performance at membrane filter plants throughout this Commonwealth. When deviations from this performance have occurred, follow-up investigations revealed the need for repairs to this treatment barrier.
§ 109.204. Disinfection profiling and benchmarking
Subsection (b) is proposed to be amended and subsections (d) and (e) are proposed to be added to clarify the disinfection benchmark requirements for PWSs using surface water or GUDI sources. These proposed amendments and additions reflect 40 CFR 141.172 and 141.709 (relating to disinfection profiling and benchmarking; and developing the disinfection profile and benchmark). The proposed amendments also ensure that simultaneous compliance issues are assessed and addressed before making any changes to treatment.
The TAC recommended that proposed subsection (d) reflect the Federal regulations regarding disinfection benchmarking and profiling and that proposed subsection (e) include a requirement for the submittal of certain information to the Department. The Department agreed with these recommendations and made modifications accordingly.
§ 109.301. General monitoring requirements
Paragraph (1)(i) is proposed to be amended to delete a cross-reference to paragraph (1)(iii). Paragraph (1)(i)(A) and (B) is proposed to be amended to sunset to 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking. Existing paragraph (1)(i)(C) and (D) is proposed to be renumbered as paragraph (1)(i)(D) and (E), respectively.
Proposed paragraph (1)(i)(C) requires continuous monitoring and recording of the combined filter effluent (CFE) beginning 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking. This is consistent with existing individual filter effluent (IFE) turbidity monitoring and recording requirements. Health effects associated with microbial contaminants tend to be due to short-term, single dose exposure rather than long-term exposure. The proposed amendments are part of a multibarrier approach to ensure treatment is adequate to provide safe and potable water to all users.
The TAC commented that many filter plants do not have the capability to sample CFE; therefore, an alternative methodology and locations should be available to meet the regulation. The TAC stated that the Department should allow averaging of the IFE or, in some instances, allow the plant effluent to be utilized.
The Department has historically considered, and will continue to consider, on a case-by-case basis, alternative methodologies to comply. More specifically, if it is physically impossible for a system to obtain a representative sample (by sample line) from the actual CFE monitoring location, the Department will allow for instantaneous averaging of the IFE turbidity results to be reported for CFE compliance. In these instances, the water supplier would be required to make reasonable efforts to address the lack of CFE sampling during any future plant modifications. Sole reliance on an instantaneous average of IFE turbidity makes the water supplier more vulnerable to reporting violations, in the long term, should the system experience a breakdown in IFE monitoring equipment. Therefore, it is to the water supplier's advantage to develop a true CFE monitoring location if at all feasible.
Existing paragraph (1)(ii) is proposed to be deleted.
Existing paragraph (1)(iii) is proposed to be renumbered as paragraph (1)(ii) and sunset 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking.
Existing paragraph (1)(iv) is proposed to be renumbered as paragraph (1)(iii) and amended to require continuous monitoring and recording of the IFE turbidity for filtration technologies other than conventional and direct beginning 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking. This proposed amendment ensures consistency among all filtration technologies.
Existing paragraph (1)(iv)(A) is proposed to be deleted and added as § 109.304(e) (relating to analytical requirements).
Existing paragraph (1)(iv)(B)—(D) is proposed to be deleted.
Paragraph (1)(iv) is proposed to be added to clarify that all failures of continuous turbidity and residual disinfectant monitoring and recording equipment require grab sampling and manual recording not to exceed 5 working days and that it applies to all PWSs. This proposed amendment is based on existing language in paragraph (1) and ensures consistency among all PWSs.
The TAC recommended that if continuous monitoring equipment cannot be repaired or replaced within the 5 working days, the PWS should not be in violation of paragraph (1) if it notifies the Department.
The Department asserts that the monitoring equipment that water suppliers use to measure and record compliance every 15 minutes is necessary to protect public health. Water suppliers shall take actions necessary to resume continuous monitoring and recording as soon as possible, but no later than within 5 working days, because for each day that 4-hour grab sampling is used, water suppliers will have very limited data (6 grab sample data points) to assess water quality and make operational changes (instead of 96 monitoring data points when continuous monitoring equipment is in use). Significant volumes of water are produced between each 4-hour grab sampling event and no verifiable controls will be in place to ensure that the water continuously meets safe drinking water standards. However, in response to the TAC's comment, proposed language clarifies that the Department will consider case-by-case extensions of the time frame if the water supplier provides sufficient written documentation that it is unable to repair or replace malfunctioning equipment within 5 working days due to circumstances beyond its control. If extensions are not preapproved in writing by the Department, then a violation will occur.
Paragraph (2)(i)(B) and (C) is proposed to be amended to sunset 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking.
Proposed paragraph (2)(i)(D) requires continuous monitoring and recording of the source water turbidity and clarifies grab sample monitoring requirements. This paragraph is proposed to be added to be consistent with filtration monitoring and recording requirements because health effects associated with microbial contaminants tend to be due to short-term, single dose exposure rather than long-term exposure.
Existing paragraph (2)(i)(D) and (E) is proposed to be renumbered as paragraph (2)(i)(E) and (F), respectively.
Paragraph (2)(ii) and (iii) is proposed to be amended to sunset 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking.
Paragraph (11) is proposed to be amended to clarify the monitoring requirements for entry points that do not provide water continuously. At a minimum, all entry points shall provide water to the public on at least an annual basis to ensure all sources and entry points are included in routine compliance monitoring.
This proposed amendment is intended to address concerns regarding gaps in the monitoring, reporting and tracking of back-up water sources and entry points. Per State and Federal regulations, all sources and entry points must be included in routine compliance monitoring to ensure water quality meets safe drinking water standards. Currently, sources and entry points that do not provide water continuously are required to be monitored when used. However, monitoring requirements for back-up sources are not currently tracked, which means no verifiable controls are in place to ensure that all sources and entry points meet safe drinking water standards.
These concerns were most recently highlighted by the EPA's Office of Inspector General in the 2010 report ''EPA Lacks Internal Controls to Prevent Misuse of Emergency Drinking Water Facilities'' (Report No. 11-P-0001). The term ''emergency'' is often used to describe sources other than permanent sources. In this Commonwealth, some of these back-up sources have not been used in at least 5 years and, therefore, the Department does not know the water quality for these sources.
To better understand the scope of the problem in this Commonwealth, the following data was retrieved from PADWIS.
CWSs 3,330 3,003 327 10% Others 7,880 7,760 120 2% Total 11,210 10,763 447 4%
An entry point is the place at which finished water representative of each source enters the distribution system. Routine compliance monitoring is not tracked at nonpermanent entry points. Nonpermanent entry points include seasonal, interim, reserve and emergency entry points.
Based on the data, CWSs provide finished water to consumers through a total of 3,330 entry points, 327 (or 10%) of which are nonpermanent. Therefore, as many as 10% of all entry points may not be conducting all required monitoring prior to serving water to consumers.
The numbers are even higher at the individual source level.
Water Supply Sources (Wells, Springs, Surface Water Intakes, and the Like)
PWS Type Total
CWSs 5,252 4,634 618 12% Others 8,604 8,297 307 4% Total 13,856 12,931 925 7%
For CWSs, as many as 12% of all sources may not be included in routine compliance monitoring, yet these sources can be used at any time.
The Department also reviewed the monitoring history of the 447 nonpermanent entry points previously mentioned.
Nonpermanent Entry Points
PWS Type Number of
Number and Percentage of
Entry Points with No
Monitoring Data (Since 1992)
Number of Entry Points
with Some Monitoring Data
CWSs 327 143 (44%) 184 (of these entry points, 47 were sampled in 2016, 37 were sampled during the 2012—2015 monitoring period and the remaining 101 were sampled prior to 2012) Others 120 7 (6%) 113 (55 entry points have recent data (2016)) Total 447 150 (34%)
For CWSs, 143 (or 44%) of all nonpermanent entry points have no monitoring data since 1992. Of the 184 entry points with some data, most of the data are 5 to 10 years old.
The use of unmonitored sources and entry points could adversely impact basic water quality, including pH, alkalinity, turbidity, corrosivity and lead solubility, dissolved inorganic carbon and natural organic matter. Water suppliers may have limited information about how these sources or entry points will impact treatment efficacy and distribution system water quality. In addition, back-up or emergency sources may have poor water quality or MCL exceedances. The use of these sources without proper monitoring and verifiable controls could lead to an increased risk to public health.
Finally, treatment facilities and other appurtenances associated with these sources may no longer be in good working order. Back-up sources and entry points with unknown water quality or that are no longer in good working order provide a false sense of security in terms of system resiliency and emergency response. While the Department understands that many facilities are not used on a 24/7 basis, these proposed amendments ensure that all permitted sources and entry points are monitored at least annually.
The TAC requested that the Department provide more details about how this provision would be applied to interconnections, or instances when the use of a source is limited by some other entity or permit/approval. The TAC also recommended that this proposed amendment have an effective date of 1 year after the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking.
The Department anticipates that select purchased interconnections will be able to retain the ''emergency'' designation if the following criteria are met. As previously noted, ''emergency'' is often used to describe sources other than permanent sources.
• Using the last 3 years of historical water use data, the water supplier can demonstrate that the purchased interconnection has only been used for emergency purposes.
• Emergency use has not occurred more than 14 days per year, excluding use under State or Federal emergency declarations.
• The Department has conducted an annual compliance check using reported water use data.
On a case-by-case basis, the Department also anticipates that select sources may be able to be retained in the permit, without conducting routine annual compliance monitoring, if documentation is provided to the Department that the use of the source is limited by some other entity or permit or approval. Select sources that meet these criteria will be covered by a special condition in the permit that requires Department notification and completion of compliance monitoring prior to use.
The Board is seeking comment on this proposed amendment, the inclusion of the additional information previously provided regarding retention of the emergency designation of interconnections and whether deferred implementation is needed. The Board will consider other options that address these concerns while providing the same level of public health protection.
§ 109.302. Special monitoring requirements
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to allow the Department to require special monitoring if the Department has reason to believe that a system is not in compliance with an action level for lead or copper.
§ 109.303. Sampling requirements
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to ensure that all samples taken for compliance purposes are collected at the required locations.
Subsection (a)(4) is proposed to be amended to be consistent with 40 CFR 141.61, 141.62 and 141.66 (relating to maximum contaminant levels for organic contaminants; maximum contaminant levels for inorganic contaminants; and maximum contaminant levels for radionuclides). Water suppliers are required to monitor at each entry point representative of each source after all treatment. Proposed amendments clarify the monitoring requirements when sources are blended or alternated prior to the entry point. In some cases, additional samples may need to be collected to ensure that the samples are representative of all sources.
The TAC recommended that the Department provide additional discussion and examples to clarify this proposed amendment. The TAC expressed concern that too many real-world scenarios may exist to be covered by a blanket requirement. The TAC also recommended that the provision be addressed in the facility permit.
The Department avers that the system-specific scenarios will be able to be addressed in the system's comprehensive monitoring plan required under proposed § 109.717 (relating to comprehensive monitoring plan). However, the Board is seeking comment on whether additional regulatory language is needed for clarity.
Subsection (i) is proposed to be added to clarify that samples taken to determine compliance shall be taken in accordance with a written comprehensive monitoring plan as specified in proposed § 109.717. These plans are subject to Department review and revision.
§ 109.304. Analytical requirements
Subsection (c)(2) is proposed to be amended to clarify that an individual conducting analysis using a standard operating procedure shall do so following not only the Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Act (63 P.S. §§ 1001—1015.1), but also the regulations promulgated under that act.
Proposed subsection (e) contains existing language that was moved from § 109.301(1)(iv)(A) and amended to clarify turbidimeter requirements.
The TAC recommended that ''the calibration schedule should remain at the current quarterly frequency for consistency and ease of enforcement [see § 109.301(1)(i)(B)].''The reasoning for this recommendation is a concern that ''every 90 days is more difficult to track and is not the same as quarterly.''
The Department avers that this proposed amendment relates to critical monitoring equipment that is needed to ensure acute pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia are not present in the drinking water supplied to customers. Therefore, a routine calibration frequency is critical to ensure ongoing data integrity. The Department's experiences during inspections and FPPEs indicate the opposite of the TAC's comment that ''quarterly'' is more difficult to track than ''every 90 days.'' Based on Department review of calibration records during FPPEs, filter plants with standard operating procedures for calibration every 90 days had much better overall routine calibration of critical equipment than systems with standard operating procedures for calibration on a quarterly basis. In one case, a water supplier met the quarterly calibration frequency by calibrating the instrument during the first quarter on January 2, 2016, and then again on June 30, 2016, to meet the second quarterly requirement. This system was technically in compliance. However, 178 days lapsed between calibrations, making the validity of the data questionable. The quarterly calibration frequency is far less consistent and protective of data integrity than calibration every 90 days. In addition, references from the largest manufacturer of turbidimeters (HACH Company) include the following language: ''calibrate once every 90 days, when used for compliance.'' This proposed amendment is a necessary clarification consistent with leading industry manufacturer expectations, and serves as a basis for protecting public health by insuring accuracy of turbidity data (the surrogate measurement for pathogens). In response to concerns raised by the TAC about violations for missing the 90-day maximum frequency by just a few days, the Department modified the language to allow it to ''extend this 90-day calibration frequency if the calibration due date coincides with a holiday or weekend, or during a water system emergency which prevents timely calibration.'' This proposed amendment will help reduce the likelihood of inadvertent violations while still maintaining a routine frequency to insure instrument accuracy.
§ 109.305. Fees
This section is proposed to be rescinded. Data management fees were a one-time fee and are proposed to be deleted. Monitoring waiver fees are being relocated to proposed Subchapter N.
§ 109.416. CCR requirements
Paragraph (4)(i) is proposed to be amended and paragraph (4)(ii) is proposed to be added to require a PWS to mail a paper copy of the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to the Department rather than the other direct delivery options (including electronic delivery) currently provided in paragraph (4)(i). The Department requires a paper copy for its files. Existing paragraph (4)(ii)—(vii) are proposed to be renumbered accordingly.
The TAC recommended that electronic submission of CCRs to the Department be allowed as an environmentally prudent option.
The Department continues to investigate options for water suppliers to submit reports electronically. However, resource considerations (including creating a secure computer application accessible to water suppliers, creating and maintaining a CCR format, legal verification of electronic data submittal, server space and retrieval of records) will affect when and how electronic reporting to the Department occurs. CCRs are documents that must be easily available to the public upon request. Electronic submission of a CCR may still require the Department to print a paper copy for the public records file, which adds additional Department costs to print CCRs for the nearly 2,000 regulated CWSs. Additionally, water suppliers are required to maintain a sufficient number of paper copies to fulfill the good-faith delivery provisions to consumers that do not receive water bills, such as customers that rent, and to provide to the public upon request. Thus, one additional paper copy for the Department is not burdensome to a CWS.
§ 109.503. Public water system construction permits
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to correct the name and mailing address of Department's Drinking Water Bureau.
Subsection (a)(1)(iii) is proposed to be amended to add the requirement to submit a source water assessment and predrilling plan as part of a new source permit application. In addition, the clauses under this subparagraph are proposed to be reorganized to clarify the order in which key actions are taken during the process of permitting a new source. The proposed amendments help ensure that PWSs obtain the highest source water quality available, and that the proper level of treatment for the source is identified and installed in a timely manner. Overall, these proposed amendments will not only protect public health but also help to maintain, reduce or avoid drinking water treatment costs. These proposed amendments are consistent with existing Department guidance and are based on a significant amount of experience permitting new drinking water sources throughout this Commonwealth.
The TAC recommended that the Department provide confidentiality of the source and intake identification and location per the Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act and the Right-to-Know Law. Per long-standing policy, the Department protects source locational information consistent with these laws.
Subsection (c) is proposed to be amended to require an application fee in the amount required under proposed Subchapter N.
§ 109.505. Requirements for noncommunity water systems
Subsection (a)(2)(i) and (ii) is proposed to be amended to clarify the specifications and conditions that NCWSs shall meet to avoid obtaining a permit from the Department. The proposed amendments also clarify that Department approval is needed prior to construction or operation.
Subsection (a)(3)(ii) is proposed to be amended to correct a cross-reference to § 109.503(a)(1)(iii) (relating to public water system construction permits).
§ 109.511. General permits
This proposed section establishes the regulatory basis for the issuance of general permits. General permits are intended for high volume, low risk modifications or activities, and can streamline the permitting process.
The TAC recommended that the entity submitting the first general permit application should not incur all the cost for submitting the general permit application because the general permit would benefit all future users and the Department. The cost to the first entity seeking coverage under a general permit issued by the Department would be the same for all entities seeking coverage. To provide certainty to the regulated community, reasonable fees (not to exceed $500) will be established in each general permit for anyone seeking coverage from the Department under a general permit. Draft general permits are noticed in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for public comment. The public will be able to provide comments on the fees in addition to the technical aspects of the general permit.
The Board is seeking comment on the types of modifications or activities that may be appropriate for a general permit.
§ 109.602. Acceptable design
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to include a cross-reference to Subchapter K (relating to lead and copper) to clarify that a PWS shall be designed to be able to comply with standards established in that subchapter.
Subsection (e) is proposed to be amended to clarify that point-of-use devices are not acceptable treatment to comply with an MRDL. The proposed addition of MRDL is to remain consistent with Subchapter F (relating to design and construction standards).
Proposed subsections (f)—(i) define new requirements for alarm and shutdown capabilities. Alarm and shutdown capabilities are intended to prevent unsafe water from reaching customers.
The TAC recommended that the Department should provide accurate cost estimates for compliance with these provisions and evaluate whether 12 months is adequate time for systems to comply given the costs associated overall with the regulatory package and the addition of fees. The TAC expressed concerns that proposed subsection (i)(2)(iv), regarding other operational parameters that the Department may determine necessary for compliance, may be too far reaching and cost prohibitive.
To address the TAC's concerns about costs, the Department conducted additional cost estimate research. The Department estimates that 10% of the 353 filter plants in this Commonwealth will need to install an auto-dialer. The Department estimates that the cost to achieve the proposed automatic alarm and shutdown capabilities ranges from $8,860 to $11,980 per treatment plant, depending on the options chosen, with annual maintenance costs of $600. A detailed discussion of these estimated costs are included in Section F of this preamble.
The Department notes that the proposed alarm and shutdown amendments will be cost-effective in comparison to staffing costs incurred by systems that maintain physical staffing of the facility. Several states have regulations that do not allow unattended operation of surface water filtration plants. The proposed amendments provide a reasonable alternative to mandating the presence of a certified operator at all times in all water systems in this Commonwealth.
§ 109.606. Chemicals, materials and equipment
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to clarify that equipment which may come into contact with water or affect the quality of the water may not be used unless the equipment is acceptable to the Department.
Subsection (c) is proposed to be amended to clarify that equipment, including mechanical devices and drinking water treatment equipment, which are certified for conformance with American National Standards Institute/NSF International (NSF) Standard 61 are deemed acceptable to the Department.
Proposed subsection (d) clarifies that drinking water treatment equipment shall be certified for inactivation, reduction or removal performance, and to allow equipment which is certified for conformance with the NSF Guidelines for Public Drinking Water Equipment Performance (PDWEP) to be acceptable for use in PWS construction or modification.
Existing subsection (d) is proposed to be renumbered as subsection (e) and amended to add a cross-reference to proposed subsection (d) and PDWEP.
Subsection (e)(2) and (3)(iv), existing subsection (d)(2) and (3)(iv) are proposed to be amended to add references to PDWEP.
The TAC commented that water suppliers have encountered product suppliers that have certified products to conform to either Standard 60 or 61 or PDWEP and do not mark individual product containers. For example, bulk deliveries typically are provided with a certification document and not product markings. In these cases, it has been the Department's practice to require the water supplier to provide documentation that the bulk delivery was NSF certified. In this case, the chemical supplier must also be NSF certified for repackaging.
Proposed subsection (e)(3)(v) requires American National Standards Institute equivalent accreditation for the quality assurance/quality control of equipment claimed to remove or reduce a contaminant.
Existing subsection (e) is proposed to be renumbered as subsection (f).
§ 109.612. POE devices
Subsection (b) is proposed to be amended to update the cross-reference to renumbered § 109.606(e) (relating to chemicals, materials and equipment).
Subsection (b) is proposed to be amended in response to the TAC's recommendation that the Department should add ''components'' to point-of-entry devices used by public water suppliers.
§ 109.701. Reporting and recordkeeping
Subsection (a)(2)(i)(A) is proposed to be amended to clarify that it pertains to CFE turbidity.
Subsection (a)(2)(i)(A)(VIII) and (IX) is proposed to be added to reflect proposed amendments to § 109.202(c)(1)(i)(relating to State MCLs, MRDLs and treatment technique requirements).
Subsection (a)(2)(ii)(A) is proposed to be amended to clarify the turbidity reporting requirements for systems using unfiltered surface water sources and to reflect proposed amendments to § 109.301(2)(i).
Subsection (a)(3)(iii)(B) and (C) is proposed to be amended to clarify what situations would require 1-hour reporting to the Department.
In addition to the reporting requirements in subsection (a)(1), proposed subsection (a)(10) requires water systems to report individual constituents for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. These data are already measured and determined by laboratories and have been voluntarily reported since 2011. These data are necessary for PWSs to identify trends in disinfection byproduct formation and better manage their disinfection practices. Reporting of individual constituent data are consistent with Federal reporting requirements.
Existing subsection (a)(10) is proposed to be renumbered as subsection (a)(11).
Subsection (e)(2) is proposed to be amended to add a citation to clarify which systems are required to report individual filter turbidity monitoring.
The trigger levels specified in subsection (e)(2)(i)—(iv) are proposed to be replaced by lower trigger levels for IFE reporting requirements for all filtration technologies as specified in proposed subsection (e)(2)(v)—(viii). These turbidity reporting requirements are being strengthened because health effects associated with microbial contaminants tend to be due to short-term, single dose exposure rather than long-term exposure. These proposed amendments are part of a multibarrier approach to ensure treatment is adequate to provide safe and potable water to all users.
The TAC commented that this provision is ''more stringent than Federal IFE turbidity standards'' and that the ''provision also reduces IFE turbidity standards significantly as well.'' The TAC referred to ''the requirements of the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule per EPA Fact Sheets and EPA Compilation of Quick Reference Guides from 2011.'' The TAC noted that the proposed amendments would require reporting in the following circumstances:
• IFE turbidity in two consecutive 15-minute readings at end of 4 hours of operation or after filter is offline exceeds 0.30 NTU rather than 0.5 NTU.
• IFE turbidity maximum in two consecutive 15-minute readings exceeds 0.30 NTU rather than 1.0 NTU.
• IFE turbidity in two consecutive 15-minute readings for 3 consecutive months exceeds 0.30 NTU rather than 1.0 NTU.
• IFE turbidity in two consecutive 15-minute readings for 2 consecutive months exceeds 1.0 NTU rather than 2.0 NTU.
The TAC asserted that the ''ramifications of these turbidity reductions include additional reporting, self-assessments and comprehensive performance evaluations, as well as possible public notifications.'' The TAC recommended that ''the Department'' should provide rationale, science and methodology, cost vs. benefits, public health benefit, etc. and data to support the proposed changes.''
These comments mirror previous comments regarding significant figures and reducing IFE turbidity standards significantly.
In response to the TAC's comments, the Department offers the following. IFE is a primary compliance monitoring location. As with CFE, IFE turbidity is the surrogate measurement for pathogen breakthrough, primarily the acute pathogen Cryptosporidium. Turbidity breakthrough on individual filters often provides an indication of water quality problems before CFE turbidity is significantly impacted. As IFE turbidity increases, risk of particle breakthrough on that particular filter increases; this is very simple science supported by existing regulations and industry experts. The vast majority of filter plants in this Commonwealth typically produce IFE water quality <0.10 NTU. Therefore, exceedances of the proposed lower turbidity levels will occur only when water systems are experiencing significant increases in turbidity from an individual filter. Multiple peer reviewed research papers indicate that as turbidity significantly increases from the baseline levels, the risk of pathogen breakthrough increases. The real-world impact to operational practices at filter plants in this Commonwealth under the proposed amendments would be that water suppliers take important corrective actions sooner (for example, remove the filter from service, consult with the Department and notify customers). This will enable suppliers to identify physical integrity issues within an individual filter before CFE water quality is impacted, or before problems within one filter occur in other filters. The Department has documented breakdowns in treatment and the presence of pathogens (for example, Giardia or Cryptosporidium) in the IFE of water treatment plants in this Commonwealth that complied with the current IFE turbidity standards. This has been documented both with continuous turbidity monitoring and Microscopic Particulate Analysis cartridges. Therefore, the current IFE turbidity standards do not provide an adequate level of protection. Additionally, several peer reviewed studies have specifically documented significant reduction in Cryptosporidium removal during breakthrough filtration as compared to stable operation. Huck, P.M., et al. (2002); and Emelko, M.B., Huck, P.M. and Douglas, I.P. (2003). Therefore, failure to adopt the proposed amendments increases the risk of exposure to pathogens whenever significant operational problems occur with individual filters. This interim step is necessary to protect public health now. This small step will also better position water systems for future, more significant reductions in turbidity requirements in Federal regulations.
In addition, for the reasons previously discussed under § 109.202, the Department believes that it is appropriate to add zeros for some drinking water standards when the level of sensitivity is warranted by the analytical method.
§ 109.702. Operation and maintenance plan
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to clarify that a water system shall have an operation and maintenance plan that follows guidelines in the Public Water Supply Manual and includes the information in subsection (a)(1)—(14).
Subsection (a)(13) is proposed to be amended to require that the operation and maintenance plan also include an exercise and testing program for alarm and shutdown and auxiliary power equipment. This requirement is proposed to be added because testing of all critical water system components is consistent with § 109.4(3) and (4) (relating to general requirements).
§ 109.703. Facilities operation
Subsection (b)(1)—(3) is proposed to be amended to delete implementation dates that have already passed.
Subsection (b)(1) is proposed to be amended to strengthen filter-to-waste requirements. Filters are most likely to shed turbidity, particles and microbial organisms at the beginning of a filter run when the filter is first placed into service following filter backwashing or maintenance, or both. For systems with filter-to-waste capabilities, an adequate filter-to-waste protocol following filter backwashing or maintenance, or both, and prior to placing a filter into service will reduce the likelihood of pathogens passing through filters and into the finished drinking water.
The TAC commented that one full filter volume may be excessive and unnecessarily wasting water. The TAC also commented that facilities may not be able to hold that volume of filter waste. Further, the TAC asserted that many facilities do not have filter-to-waste capability because it is prohibitively expensive to provide. The TAC reiterated its concern that achieving turbidity of less than 0.30 NTU is more stringent than EPA regulation and again raised the concern with the additional significant figure. The TAC stated that the Department needs to allow new filter backwash technologies such as sub-fluidization or resting a filter after backwash before putting a filter back in service. The TAC suggested requiring filter-to-waste for one full filter volume or until the filter bed effluent turbidity is less than 0.3 NTU at the normal production flow rate or unless a filter plant can demonstrate that an alternate methodology provides turbidity compliance.
The Department notes that these proposed amendments only apply to operation of existing filter-to-waste capabilities and do not require installation of filter-to-waste. The proposed amendment makes this clarification. The Department believes that filtering to waste for one full filter bed volume is critical for public health protection. For effective operation, one full filter bed volume of water is necessary for a water supplier to determine how the filter will perform relative to the first slug of applied (settled) water. A shorter duration of filter-to-waste can lead to a secondary turbidity spike after the filter has been placed into service. Regarding the TAC's comment about storage capacity, the Department is unaware of facilities that lack the waste holding capacity necessary to filter-to-waste one full filter bed volume. The Department agrees with the TAC regarding its comment to include an alternate methodology.
In addition, for the reasons previously discussed under § 109.202, the Department believes that it is appropriate to add zeros for some drinking water standards when the level of sensitivity is warranted by the analytical method.
Subsection (b)(5) is proposed to be amended to clarify the requirements of the filter bed evaluation program and to ensure that all plants are evaluating their filters. A filter bed evaluation program assesses the overall health of each filter to identify and correct problems before a turbidity exceedance occurs. The TAC recommended that the language regarding a filter bed evaluation program be amended to further clarify this requirement, which the Department has done.
The TAC recommended that the Department should not be requiring best management practices unless a facility is not meeting turbidity requirements or not meeting filter plant performance objectives. The Department notes that this proposed requirement is not a best management practice. Rather, it is a minimum requirement to verify the critical filtration barrier is physically intact. Filter components are in constant use and as such are constantly aging. Operators routinely (for example, on average once per shift) walk through the filter plant to visually verify operational integrity of critical filter plant components. However, assessment of the physical integrity of one of the most critical components—the filter itself—is difficult, or often impossible, for operators to evaluate during walk-throughs. Most of the filter's components are below the water line or buried within the filter media. Physical inspection of filter components once per year constitutes a minimum preventative measure and not a best management practice. If a water system waits until a filter plant is no longer meeting performance objectives before investigating the integrity of the filter components, significant deterioration may have occurred and public health may have been compromised. In addition, the amount of time necessary to repair compromised filter components can be excessive. During times of filter repair, loading ratings are increased on adjacent filters or production is limited. Proactive annual investigations should be more cost effective in the long run because it increases the chances of identifying and fixing small problems before they become larger and more widespread.
Proposed subsection (c) requires a water supplier to test alarm and shutdown capabilities at the filter plant and to outline the procedures to be followed in the event of a failure of alarm or shutdown equipment. This subsection is proposed to be added because testing of all critical water system components is consistent with § 109.4(3) and (4). The TAC recommended that during quarterly tests of plant shutdown capabilities, the Department should allow for simulation of a shutdown. The Department agrees and has proposed that simulated testing of shutdown capabilities would be acceptable.
§ 109.704. Operator certification
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to clarify that CWSs and nontransient noncommunity water systems (NTNCWS) shall have personnel certified to operate and maintain a PWS under the Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Act and the regulations promulgated under that act.
§ 109.705. System evaluations and assessments
Subsection (a)(1) is proposed to be amended by separating existing language into subparagraphs (i) and (ii) and adding subparagraph (iii). The first sentence of subsection (a)(1) is proposed to be amended to replace ''drainage area or wellhead protection area'' with ''source water protection area.''
Proposed subsection (a)(1)(i) is proposed to be amended to replace ''drainage area or wellhead protection area'' with ''source water protection area.''
Proposed subsection (a)(1)(iii) requires revisions to the source water assessment if a system evaluation identified any changes to actual or potential sources of contamination. This addition was made to fulfill the EPA's expectation that source water assessments are routinely updated.
Subsection (a)(2) is proposed to be amended to delete the requirement for an evaluation of ''source protection'' since a CWS will be required to inspect portions of a source water protection area as part of an evaluation conducted under subsection (a)(1).
Subsection (a)(6) is proposed to be added to require the system evaluation be documented and made available to the Department upon request instead of requiring the water system to submit the evaluation.
Subsections (c) and (d) are proposed to be deleted and significant deficiency language is incorporated in proposed § 109.716 (relating to significant deficiencies).
§ 109.706. System map
The heading of this section is proposed to be amended to ''system map'' to be consistent with proposed amendments to the map requirements in the section.
Subsection (a) is proposed to be amended to require all PWSs to prepare and maintain a system map. This proposed amendment ensures that public water suppliers provide and effectively operate and maintain PWS facilities to be consistent with § 109.4(3).
Subsections (b) and (c) are proposed to be amended to clarify system map requirements.
The TAC commented that medium to large facilities will not be able to capture all of the minimum requirements on one system map. Systems should be able to develop maps or schematics of their systems, or both, as appropriate for that system. Direction of flow is not predictable or known under all circumstances depending on system conditions. Flow may go in different directions dependent on system demands. The TAC claimed that the Department's request for one system map is overly simplified and not realistic for how systems operate. Distribution systems are dynamic and not static. Therefore, larger systems will not be able to meet this requirement. Further, the TAC stated that this information should be protected under the Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act and the Right-to-Know Law.
Multiple maps are acceptable. Map scale would be the determining factor regarding the overall number of maps. Maps should be of sufficient scale and detail to be interpreted during onsite review by Department staff. The Department is not requesting submittal of these maps. Rather, they should be kept on file at the facility for onsite review during inspection and submittal upon request. Regarding direction of flow, the Department recognizes the TAC's comment that direction of flow can change with time. The Department's expectation is that the maps will contain adequate detail so water system staff can explain to Department staff the expected direction of flow under a specific circumstance (for example, tanks filling and tanks drawing). The direction of flow requirement is proposed to be deleted. If a system's distribution system is so complex that staff are unable to use a map to determine expected direction of flow under specific circumstances, a calibrated hydraulic model should be developed and maintained. Subsection (c) is proposed to be amended to provide that systems ''may meet this requirement by maintaining a calibrated hydraulic model instead of paper maps.''
§ 109.708. System service and auxiliary power
This section is proposed to be amended to describe new requirements for system resiliency. The section heading is proposed to be amended to ''system service and auxiliary power.''
This Commonwealth is susceptible to natural disasters, such as ice storms, tropical storms and hurricanes, which can lead to massive and extended flooding or power outages, or both. As previously noted, all of this Commonwealth's drinking water sources and treatment facilities are susceptible to emergency situations resulting from natural and manmade disasters. Therefore, all CWSs shall have effective options to provide consistent system service during these emergencies. Despite long-standing efforts to encourage water systems to develop feasible plans for the continuous provision of adequate and safe water quantity and quality during emergency circumstances, many water suppliers are still inadequately prepared. In fact, the Department estimates that more than 400 CWSs do not have up-to-date emergency response plans. This has resulted in significant impacts to consumers in the form of inadequate water quantity or quality, or both, and the resulting consumption advisories.
Flooding events caused by localized heavy rains, hurricanes and tropical storms result in elevated public health risks. Source water turbidity and pathogen loading can increase dramatically during these events. Additionally, when power outages cause interruptions in water system operations, water systems can experience a sharp reduction in supply, which results in low or no pressure within the distribution system. This results in increased risk to public health, because low pressure can allow intrusion of contaminants into distribution system piping from backflow and cross connections. Some customers may also experience inadequate supply of water for basic sanitary purposes, flushing toilets and potable uses.
Several other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states are considering or have already promulgated regulations for auxiliary power. New Jersey and New York have existing design standards for auxiliary power. New York requires standby power through incorporation of standards recommended by the Great Lakes—Upper Mississippi River Board of State and Provincial Public Health and Environmental Managers (known as the 10 States Standards). New Jersey's requirements are in N.J.S.A. 58:12A-4(c) and N.J.A.C. 7:10-11.6(i). New Jersey recently evaluated its regulations and issued additional guidance and best management practices regarding auxiliary power, available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pdf/guidance-ap.pdf. Connecticut is in the process of updating its regulations to incorporate generator and emergency contingency and response plan requirements, available at http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/public_health_code/pending_regulations/proposed_regulation--generators.pdf.
The Board is seeking comment on the following:
• What actual costs have been incurred by water systems that have already installed an auxiliary power supply or other resiliency measures?
• Which facilities should be considered a primary component of a water system, meaning the facilities are indispensable to the effective operation of the water system?
• Costs vary considerably for portable versus fixed generators. The type of fuel supply also impacts costs. What are the pros and cons of these various options?
• Do additional alternatives exist to meet the system service requirements of subsection (a)?
The TAC commented that the Department should not be prescribing the methods by which a public water supplier obtains auxiliary power. The TAC further claimed that: the Department has not sufficiently evaluated the cost of providing auxiliary power; secondary power feeds may not be attainable in rural areas or may be extremely cost prohibitive; and the Department has not properly evaluated the total cost for implementing generator power. Also, the TAC stated that systems may avail themselves of the resources from PaWARN to meet auxiliary power demands. The TAC recommended that this provision be addressed in emergency response plans and not in regulation.
This proposed rulemaking does not prescribe the specific method by which a system shall comply. Rather, this proposed rulemaking requires that a feasible plan be in place to ensure safe and potable water is continuously supplied to users. The water supplier will determine which option or combination of options it will use to comply. Ideally, suppliers will implement a combination of options to improve their redundancy and resiliency.
This information should be incorporated into emergency response plans, as the TAC suggests. However, despite long-standing efforts to encourage water systems to develop feasible plans for the continuous provision of adequate and safe water quantity and quality during emergency circumstances, many water suppliers are still inadequately prepared. In fact, the Department estimates that more than 400 CWSs do not have up-to-date emergency response plans.
Regarding the TAC's comment that systems can use the services of PaWARN to comply, PaWARN has limited resources. Those resources will be quickly overwhelmed during any large scale event. Additionally, as of December 2016, PaWARN had approximately 100 members and approximately 89 of those members manage CWSs throughout this Commonwealth. This is a small subset of the 1,952 CWSs in this Commonwealth.
Therefore, the Department believes that these proposed amendments are necessary. Wastewater treatment plants have been required to have back-up power supplies for many years. These proposed amendments would provide consistency within the drinking water and wastewater industry. It is not feasible to develop these plans under an emergency. Rather, plans must be in place before emergencies occur. It is only a matter of time before another natural or manmade disaster significantly impacts water systems in this Commonwealth. If proposed amendments are not adopted, it is anticipated that a large number of CWSs will not be able to provide a consistent supply of safe and potable water.
§ 109.713. Source water protection program
The heading of this section is proposed to be amended to ''source water protection program'' to be consistent with the proposed definition of ''source water protection program'' in § 109.1 (relating to definitions).
Subsection (a)(1) and (2) is proposed to be amended to change ''wellhead'' to ''source water'' to remain consistent with the proposed definition of ''source water protection program,'' which encompasses a surface water intake protection program and a wellhead protection program.
Subsection (a)(3) and (4) is proposed to be rewritten to remain consistent with the proposed definitions of ''source water protection area'' and ''source water assessment.''
Subsection (a)(5) is proposed to be amended to change references to ''wellhead'' to ''source water'' to remain consistent with the proposed definition of ''source water protection program,'' which encompasses a surface water intake protection program and a wellhead protection program.
Subsection (a)(6) is proposed to be amended to make the contingency planning for the provision of alternate water supplies relate to all sources, not just groundwater. This proposed amendment is consistent with the proposed definition of ''source water protection program,'' which encompasses surface and groundwater sources.
Subsection (a)(7) is proposed to be amended to make the provisions for protection of new source sites applicable to all source types. This proposed amendment is consistent with the proposed definition of ''source water protection program,'' which encompasses surface and ground water sources.
Proposed subsection (b) requires water suppliers with an approved source water protection program to conduct an annual review of the program. This proposed addition is made to clarify an existing program requirement that fulfills the EPA's expectation that source water assessments are routinely updated.
The TAC commented that this provision mandates that a public water supplier is responsible for ensuring protection of their sources, when the source water protection program does not provide legal access or the authority for the water supplier to inspect or enforce up-gradient facilities that pose a potential source water contamination. The Department notes that this proposed amendment was not intended to mandate water supplier inspection or enforcement of up-gradient facilities. However, the proposed amendment has been revised to address the TAC's concerns.
§ 109.716. Significant deficiencies
This proposed section is compiled from existing §§ 109.705 and 109.1302 (relating to system evaluations and assessments; and treatment technique requirements) to provide implementation consistency in identifying and responding to significant deficiencies by systems using surface and ground water sources. This proposed section will ensure that all Federal requirements are met.
§ 109.717. Comprehensive monitoring plan
This proposed section ensures that all sources and entry points are included in routine compliance monitoring at the entry point and within the distribution system. The plan must be specific to the system and include details about the various sources and entry points, and how the facilities are operated. The operation of each source and entry point dictates how compliance monitoring is conducted to ensure that all sources and entry points are included in routine compliance monitoring.
Subsection (a) contains the basic components of the plan.
Subsection (b) clarifies that the monitoring plans required under other sections shall be added to the system's comprehensive monitoring plan. In other words, all monitoring plans must be stored in the same comprehensive plan.
Subsection (c) contains the requirements for an annual PWS review and update of the plan. The date of each update shall be recorded on the plan.
Subsection (d) contains the requirements for submission of the plan to the Department. The plans are subject to Department review and revision.
§ 109.810. Reporting and notification requirements
Subsection (b) is proposed to be amended to clarify laboratory reporting and notification requirements.
§ 109.1003. Monitoring requirements
Subsection (b)(3) is proposed to be amended to clarify sampling and analysis requirements to be consistent with § 109.304(a) and is necessary to maintain primacy in response to EPA comments.
§ 109.1005. Permit requirements
Subsection (c)(5)(ii) is proposed to be amended to correct a cross-reference to § 109.606.
Subsection (e) is proposed to be amended to correct the name of the Department's Drinking Water Bureau.
Subsection (i) is proposed to be amended to clarify that the permit fees have been moved to proposed Subchapter N.
§ 109.1105. Permit requirements
Subsection (b)(1) and (2) is proposed to be amended to clarify that CWSs and NTNCWSs should follow the requirements specified only until the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking. After that time, they should follow the requirements specified in proposed paragraph (3).
Proposed subsection (b)(3) requires all CWSs and NTNCWSs to obtain a construction and operations permit for new corrosion control treatment beginning on the effective date of adoption of the final-form rulemaking. This paragraph is proposed to be added to be consistent with permitting requirements in Subchapter E (relating to permit requirements).
§ 109.1107. System management responsibilities
Subsection (a)(2)(i) is proposed to be amended to delete the reporting requirements under the Lead and Copper Rule that required accredited labs to calculate and submit the 90th percentile values. The Department now calculates the 90th percentile compliance values so labs are only required to report the individual lead and copper results. In addition, the requirements that information regarding the number of lead and copper samples required and the number of samples taken and whether a lead and copper action level has been exceeded are proposed to be deleted.
§ 109.1108. Fees
Fees for activities under the Lead and Copper Rule are proposed to be relocated to proposed Subchapter N.
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