MONROVIA, Calif. - MWH Laboratories, a division of MWH, the global wet infrastructure sector leader, introduced new methods allowing utilities across the U.S. to proactively address anticipated chemical monitoring needs under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3).
MWH Laboratories is the first commercial lab to offer methods addressing the EPA’s proposed rules, anticipated to affect more than 4,800 public and private utilities across the country. The new rules will apply to utilities that serve more than 10,000 people, as well as a sample of 800 smaller systems selected by the EPA. Announced in April by the EPA, the new rules could go into effect as early as 2013.
“We acted quickly to bring these new methods to market to help utilities prepare for these anticipated new rules,” said Dr. Andrew Eaton, technical director for MWH Laboratories. “It is important for utilities to know their level of exposure to the hormones and other emerging contaminants they could be required to monitor in the water supply. They can get started now, by using these new methods to monitor for a wider variety of contaminants.”
The proposed plan would require utilities to monitor for up to 28 unregulated contaminants, including seven pharmaceutical compounds (hormones); six perfluorinated compounds (PFCs); nine volatile organic compounds (VOCs); four metals; 1,4-dioxane and chlorate. New methods in the proposed rules include EPA 537 for PFCs (e.g. PFOS and PFOA), EPA 539 for hormones, EPA 524.3 for low-level volatile organics and EPA 522 for 1,4-dioxane. Existing methods include EPA 300 for chlorate and EPA 200.8 for vanadium, cobalt, molybdenum and strontium.
Affected utilities will monitor under the Assessment Monitoring (List 1) program. A subset of utilities serving more than 100,000 people will be required to perform Screening Program monitoring (List 2). Monitoring will occur at the entry point to the distribution system (EPTDS) and, for some compounds including metals, also at the maximum residence time (MRT) in the distribution system.
EPA currently uses the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring (UCM) program to collect data for contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water but that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
MWH Laboratories has attained state certification for UCMR3 methods where certification is offered. Once official UCMR3 monitoring begins, approval will occur through the EPA.