WSR 00-15-080

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed July 19, 2000, 10:48 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: July 7, 2000.

Purpose: To bring drinking water regulations into conformance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency rules on consumer confidence reporting for drinking water systems.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.20.050.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 00-11-164 on May 24, 2000.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 12, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

July 18, 2000

M. C. Selecky

Secretary

OTS-3777.3

PART 7.

REPORTINGSubpart B - Consumer Confidence Reports
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72001
Purpose and applicability of the consumer confidence report requirements.

WAC 246-290-72001 through 246-290-72012 establishes minimum requirements for the content of annual reports that community water systems must deliver to their customers. These reports must contain information on the quality of the water delivered by the systems and characterize the risks (if any) from exposure to contaminants detected in the drinking water in an accurate and understandable manner.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 246-290-020, this section applies only to community water systems.

(2) For the purpose of WAC 246-290-72001 through 246-290-72012:

(a) "Customers" means billing units or service connections to which water is delivered by a community water system.

(b) "Detected" means at or above the levels prescribed by WAC 246-290-300(4) for inorganic contaminants, at or above the levels prescribed by WAC 246-290-300(7) for organic contaminants, and at or above the levels prescribed by 40 CFR 141.25(c) for radioactive contaminants.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72002
Reporting dates.

(1) Each existing community water system must deliver its report by July 1 annually. Each annual report must contain data collected during, or prior to, the previous calendar year as required by WAC 246-290-72005(3).

(2) A new community water system must deliver its first report by July 1 of the year after its first full calendar year in operation and annually thereafter.

(3) A community water system that sells water to another community water system must deliver the applicable information required in WAC 246-290-72003 through 246-290-72009 to the buyer system:

(a) No later than April 1 annually; or

(b) On a date mutually agreed upon by the seller and the purchaser, and specifically included in a contract between the parties.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72003
Report contents -- Source water.

Information on the source of the water delivered:

(1) Each report must identify the source(s) of the water delivered by the community water system by providing information on:

(a) The type of the water, for example, surface water, ground water, spring water, or purchased water; and

(b) The commonly used name (if any) and location of the body (or bodies) of water.

(2) If a source water assessment has been completed, the report must notify consumers of the availability of this information and the means to obtain it. In addition, systems are encouraged to highlight in the report significant sources of contamination in the source water area if they have readily available information.

(3) Where a system has received a source water assessment from the department, the report must include a brief summary of the system's susceptibility to potential sources of contamination, using language provided by the department or written by the purveyor.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72004
Report contents -- Definitions.

(1) Each report must include the following definitions:

(a) Maximum contaminant level goal or MCLG: The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

(b) Maximum contaminant level or MCL: The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

(2) A report for a community water system operating under a variance or an exemption issued under WAC 246-290-060 must include the following definition: Variances and exemptions: State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.

(3) A report that contains data on contaminants that the Environmental Protection Agency regulates using any of the following terms must include the applicable definitions:

(a) Treatment technique: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

(b) Action level: The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

(c) Maximum residual disinfectant level goal or MRDLG: The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

(d) Maximum residual disinfectant level or MRDL: The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72005
Report contents -- Information on detected contaminants.

(1) This section specifies the requirements for information to be included in each report for contaminants subject to mandatory monitoring. It applies to:

(a) Contaminants subject to an MCL, action level, maximum residual disinfectant level or treatment technique (regulated contaminants);

(b) Contaminants for which monitoring is required by WAC 246-290-300(8); and

(c) Disinfection by-products for which monitoring is required by WAC 246-290-300(6) and 40 CFR 141.142 or microbial contaminants for which monitoring is required by WAC 246-290-300(3) and 40 CFR 141.143, except as provided under WAC 246-290-72006(1), and which are detected in the finished water.

(2) The data relating to these contaminants must be displayed in one table or in several adjacent tables. Any additional monitoring results which a community water system chooses to include in its report must be displayed separately.

(3) The data must be derived from data collected to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency and state monitoring and analytical requirements during the previous calendar year except that:

(a) Where a system is allowed to monitor for regulated contaminants less than once a year, the table(s) must include the date and results of the most recent sampling and the report must include a brief statement indicating that the data presented in the report are from the most recent testing done in accordance with the regulations. No data older than five years need be included.

(b) Results of monitoring in compliance with 40 CFR 141.142 and 40 CFR 141.143 need only be included for five years from the date of last sample or until any of the detected contaminants becomes regulated and subject to routine monitoring requirements, whichever comes first.

(4) For detected regulated contaminants listed in WAC 246-290-72012, the table(s) must contain:

(a) The MCL for that contaminant expressed as a number equal to or greater than 1.0 (as provided in WAC 246-290-72012);

(b) The MCLG for that contaminant expressed in the same units as the MCL;

(c) If there is no MCL for a detected contaminant, the table must indicate that there is a treatment technique, or specify the action level, applicable to that contaminant, and the report must include the definitions for treatment technique and/or action level, as appropriate, specified in WAC 246-290-72004;

(d) For contaminants subject to an MCL, except turbidity and total coliforms, the highest contaminant level used to determine compliance with a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation and the range of detected levels, as follows:

(i) When compliance with the MCL is determined annually or less frequently: The highest detected level at any sampling point and the range of detected levels expressed in the same units as the MCL.

(ii) When compliance with the MCL is determined by calculating a running annual average of all samples taken at a sampling point: The highest average of any of the sampling points and the range of all sampling points expressed in the same units as the MCL.

(iii) When compliance with the MCL is determined on a system-wide basis by calculating a running annual average of all samples at all sampling points: The average and range of detection expressed in the same units as the MCL.

(iv) Note to WAC 246-290-72005 (4)(d): When rounding of results to determine compliance with the MCL is allowed by the regulations, rounding should be done prior to multiplying the results by the factor listed in WAC 246-290-72012;

(e) For turbidity.

(i) When it is reported pursuant to chapter 246-290 WAC Part 6, Subpart C: The highest average monthly value.

(ii) When it is reported pursuant to the requirements of chapter 246-290 WAC Part 6, Subpart D: The highest monthly value. The report should include an explanation of the reasons for measuring turbidity.

(iii) When it is reported pursuant to chapter 246-290 WAC Part 6, Subpart B: The highest single measurement and the lowest monthly percentage of samples meeting the turbidity limits specified in chapter 246-290 WAC Part 6, Subpart B for the filtration technology being used. The report should include an explanation of the reasons for measuring turbidity;

(f) For lead and copper: The 90th percentile value of the most recent round of sampling and the number of sampling sites exceeding the action level;

(g) For total coliform:

(i) The highest monthly number of positive samples for systems collecting fewer than 40 samples per month; or

(ii) The highest monthly percentage of positive samples for systems collecting at least 40 samples per month;

(h) For fecal coliform: The total number of positive samples; and

(i) The likely source(s) of detected contaminants to the best of the purveyor's knowledge. Specific information regarding contaminants may be available in sanitary surveys and source water assessments, and should be used when available to the purveyor. If the purveyor lacks specific information on the likely source, the report must include one or more of the typical sources for that contaminant listed in WAC 246-290-72012 which are most applicable to the system.

(5) If a community water system distributes water to its customers from multiple hydraulically independent distribution systems that are fed by different raw water sources, the table should contain a separate column for each service area and the report should identify each separate distribution system. Alternatively, systems could produce separate reports tailored to include data for each service area.

(6) The table(s) must clearly identify any data indicating violations of MCLs, MRDLs, or treatment techniques and the report must contain a clear and readily understandable explanation of the violation including: The length of the violation, the potential adverse health effects, and actions taken by the system to address the violation. To describe the potential health effects, the system must use the relevant language of WAC 246-290-72012.

(7) For detected unregulated contaminants for which monitoring is required, the table(s) must contain the average and range at which the contaminant was detected. The report may include a brief explanation of the reasons for monitoring for unregulated contaminants.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72006
Report contents -- Information on Cryptosporidium, radon, and other contaminants.

(1) If the system has performed any monitoring for Cryptosporidium, including monitoring performed to satisfy the requirements of 40 CFR 141.143 which indicates that Cryptosporidium may be present in the source water or the finished water, the report must include:

(a) A summary of the results of the monitoring; and

(b) An explanation of the significance of the results.

(2) If the system has performed any monitoring for radon which indicates that radon may be present in the finished water, the report must include:

(a) The results of the monitoring; and

(b) An explanation of the significance of the results.

(3) If the system has performed additional monitoring which indicates the presence of other contaminants in the finished water, the department strongly encourages systems to report any results which may indicate a health concern. To determine if results may indicate a health concern, the department recommends that systems find out if the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation or issued a health advisory for that contaminant by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). The Environmental Protection Agency considers detects above a proposed MCL or health advisory level to indicate possible health concerns. For such contaminants, the department recommends that the report include:

(a) The results of the monitoring; and

(b) An explanation of the significance of the results noting the existence of a health advisory or a proposed regulation.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72007
Report contents -- Compliance with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

In addition to the requirements of WAC 246-290-72005(6), the report must note any violation that occurred during the year covered by the report of a requirement listed below, and include a clear and readily understandable explanation of the violation, any potential adverse health effects, and the steps the system has taken to correct the violation.

(1) Monitoring and reporting of compliance data;

(2) Filtration and disinfection prescribed by chapter 246-290 WAC, Part 6. For systems which have failed to install adequate filtration or disinfection equipment or processes, or have had a failure of such equipment or processes which constitutes a violation, the report must include the following language as part of the explanation of potential adverse health effects: Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

(3) Lead and copper control requirements prescribed by WAC 246-290-025, specifically CFR 141.80 through 141.91: For systems which fail to take one or more actions prescribed by WAC 246-290-025, specifically CFR 141.80 through 141.84, the report must include the applicable language of WAC 246-290-72012 for lead, copper, or both.

(4) Treatment techniques for Acrylamide and Epichlorohydrin prescribed by 40 CFR, Subpart K. For systems which violate the requirements of 40 CFR, Subpart K, the report must include the relevant language from WAC 246-290-72012.

(5) Recordkeeping of compliance data.

(6) Special monitoring requirements prescribed by WAC 246-290-300(8) (unregulated contaminants) and 246-290310(3) (sodium); and

(7) Violation of the terms of a variance, an exemption, or an administrative or judicial order.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72008
Report contents -- Variances and exemptions.

If a system is operating under the terms of a variance or an exemption issued under WAC 246-290-060, the report must contain:

(1) An explanation of the reasons for the variance or exemption;

(2) The date on which the variance or exemption was issued;

(3) A brief status report on the steps the system is taking to install treatment, find alternative sources of water, or otherwise comply with the terms and schedules of the variance or exemption; and

(4) A notice of any opportunity for public input in the review, or renewal, of the variance or exemption.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72009
Report contents -- Additional information.

(1) The report must contain a brief explanation regarding contaminants which may reasonably be expected to be found in drinking water including bottled water. This explanation may include the language of (a) through (c) of this subsection or systems may use their own comparable language. The report also must include the language of (d) of this subsection.

(a) The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

(b) Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

(i) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

(ii) Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

(iii) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.

(iv) Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.

(v) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

(c) In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Environmental Protection Agency and/or the Washington state board of health prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration and/or the Washington state department of agriculture regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health.

(d) Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(2) The report must include the telephone number of the owner, operator, or designee of the community water system as a source of additional information concerning the report.

(3) In communities with a large proportion of non-English speaking residents, the report must contain information in the appropriate language(s) regarding the importance of the report or contain a telephone number or address where such residents may contact the system to obtain a translated copy of the report or assistance in the appropriate language.

(4) The report must include information about opportunities for public participation in decisions that may affect the quality of the water, such as the time and place of meetings.

(5) The systems may include such additional information as they deem necessary for public education consistent with, and not detracting from, the purpose of the report.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72010
Report contents -- Required additional health information.

All reports must prominently display the following language: Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. Environmental Protection Agency/Centers for Disease Control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(1) A system which detects arsenic at levels above 25 micrograms per liter, but below the MCL:

(a) Must include in its report a short informational statement about arsenic, using language such as: EPA is reviewing the drinking water standard for arsenic because of special concerns that it may not be stringent enough. Arsenic is a naturally occurring mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations.

(b) May write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the department.

(2) A system which detects nitrate at levels above 5 mg/l, but below the MCL:

(a) Must include a short informational statement about the impacts of nitrate on children using language such as: Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue-baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agricultural activity. If you are caring for an infant, you should ask for advice from your health care provider.

(b) May write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the department.

(3) Systems which detect lead above the action level in more than five percent, and up to and including ten percent, of homes sampled:

(a) Must include a short informational statement about the special impact of lead on children using language such as: Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home's plumbing. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested and flush your tap for thirty seconds to two minutes before using tap water. Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(b) May write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the department.

(4) Community water systems that detect TTHM above 0.080 mg/l, but below the MCL in WAC 246-290-310(4), as an annual average, monitored and calculated under the provisions of WAC 246-290-300(6), must include health effects language prescribed by WAC 246-290-72012.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72011
Report delivery and recordkeeping.

Each community water system must mail or otherwise directly deliver one copy of the report to each customer.

(1) The system must make a good faith effort to reach consumers who do not get water bills. The department expects that an adequate good faith effort will be tailored to the consumers who are served by the system but are not bill-paying customers, such as renters or workers. A good faith effort to reach consumers would include a mix of methods appropriate to the particular system such as: Posting the reports on the internet; mailing to postal patrons in metropolitan areas; advertising the availability of the report in the news media; publication in a local newspaper; posting in public places such as cafeterias or lunch rooms of public buildings; delivery of multiple copies for distribution by single-biller customers such as apartment buildings or large private employers; delivery to community organizations.

(2) No later than the date the system is required to distribute the report to its customers, each community water system must mail a copy of the report to the department, followed within three months by a certification that the report has been distributed to customers, and that the information is correct and consistent with the compliance monitoring data previously submitted to the department.

(3) No later than the date the system is required to distribute the report to its customers, each community water system must deliver the report to any other agency or clearinghouse identified by the department.

(4) Each community water system must make its reports available to the public upon request.

(5) Each community water system serving one hundred thousand or more persons must post its current year's report to a publicly accessible site on the internet.

(6) Any system subject to WAC 246-290-72001 through 246-290-72012 must retain copies of its consumer confidence report for no less than three years.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-290-72012
Regulated contaminants.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office