North Carolina Groundwater Standards
The North Carolina Groundwater Standards defines the maximum permissible contaminant concentration in groundwater that does not cause harm to humans. Exceeding such specified concentrations poses a threat to human health. Therefore, it serves to prevent contamination of North Carolina's groundwater, protect public health, and allow for the proper management of the state's groundwater. These standards are developed and maintained by the Division of Water Resource's Classifications, Standards & Rules Review Branch. North Carolina groundwater standards are found in Title 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code, Subchapter 2L, Sections .0100, .0200, .0300 and .0400. Review is done after three years whereby any necessary changes are discussed and implemented. The review process incorporates any new health and toxicological information that provides guidelines on the desired levels of groundwater contaminants' concentration. The rules outlined in the groundwater standers are applied to accidental or intentional actions, which may lead to groundwater contamination regardless of whether a government permit had been issued for such activities. However, an exception is made for innocent landowners who purchased the land and do not have knowledge of their properties, causing groundwater contamination.
The development of North Carolina Groundwater Standards considered aspects such as systemic threshold concentration, taste threshold limit value, national secondary drinking water standard, odor threshold limit value, maximum contaminant level, and the concentration corresponding to the incremental lifetime cancer risk. It results in a series of classifications such as Class GA groundwaters, Class GSA groundwaters, and Class GC groundwaters. Each category has an associated best usage, conditions linked with best usage and occurrence.
Additionally, the groundwater standards provide an assessment criterion that is used to ascertain the quality of groundwater. In cases where contamination is found to have occurred, the standards offer procedures for remediation actions. It ensures groundwater is safe for humans and they are used for appropriate purposes.
North Carolina Groundwater Standards are now compiled and available in ESdat at https://www.esdat.net/Environmental_Standards.aspx or by synching against our reference system.
ESdat is a specialist environmental database system; used to validate and import a broad spectrum of Environmental Data and to help users analyze and report it.
Environmental Standards. All compiled environmental guidelines and standards are shown on the ESdat website. These are pre-loaded into ESdat Online.
North Carolina Environmental Quality (n.d). Groundwater standards. Retrieved from https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/water-planning/classification-standards/groundwater-standards-0#GWstd_enforcement