Sunday, August 25, 2019

Texas offers update on revised federal Total Coliform Rule

E. Coli
E. Coli
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently addressed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) changes to the 1989 Total Coliform Rule and explained how those changes will effect Texas public water systems (PWSs).

The EPA revised rule sets a new maximum contaminant level for E. coli and establishes requirements for all PWSs that are intended to prevent contamination in their distribution systems. Under the new rule, PSWs must submit sampling siting plans, which will be subject to repeat sampling and reporting requirements established by the EPA. The regulation also covers assessment requirements and deadlines; treatment technique violations and reporting requirements; procedures for seasonal water system start-ups; and boil water notice and public notice requirements.

Through the rule, the EPA created two levels of assessment for PSWs that have shown coliform contamination. Level 1 assessments apply to systems wherein at least two out of less than 40 samples are total coliform positive, 5 percent of 40 or more samples are positive or the PSW does not perform the required repeat sampling. Systems that incur more than one Level 1 Assessment within 12 months or an E. Coli MCL violation will be subject to Level 2 assessment.

PSWs must submit sample siting plans to the TCEQ by March 31, and the EPA’s regulation will go into effect on April 1.

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Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

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