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Safe Drinking Water What’s New? PowerPoint Presentation
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Safe Drinking Water What’s New?

Safe Drinking Water What’s New?

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Safe Drinking Water What’s New?

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  1. Safe Drinking Water What’s New? Spring, 2008 Drinking Water Program Office of Environmental Public Health Public Health Division Oregon Department of Human Services

  2. Topics • Drinking water and public health • Public water systems • State/county drinking water program • EPA drinking water standards • How safe is our drinking water? • Emerging contaminants

  3. Drinking Water Matters! • Fundamental for health • Fundamental for quality of life • Fundamental for the economy • Fundamental for fire protection

  4. Where Do Drinking Water Contaminants Come From? • Pollution of the source of supply - natural and people-caused • Water treatment failure • Water treatment chemicals • By-products of water treatment • Water system materials, coatings • Pipe breaks, leaks in storage tanks • Cross connections • Plumbing materials

  5. Protecting Drinking Water from “Source to Tap” • Source water selection/protection • Water treatment • Distribution system protection • Management and operations competence

  6. Drinking Water – Who’s Involved? • Public Water Systems • PROVIDE safe water • State/County Public Health/Partner Agencies • ASSURE health standards are met • US EPA • SET standards to protect health

  7. Public Water System - Ground Water Source

  8. Public Water System - Surface Water Source

  9. Oregon Public Water Systems

  10. Oregon Public Water Systems by Size

  11. Oregon Population Served by Public Water Systems

  12. Take water samples Report test results and treatment data Take action when standards not met Notify public when standards not met Notify public when tests not done/reported Keep records Maintain minimum 20 psi pressure Prepare/submit plans Conduct cross connection program Supervision by a certified operator Respond to user complaints Basic Health Responsibilities of Public Water Systems

  13. State Drinking Water Authorities and Rules • ORS 448 – Water Systems • OAR 333-061 – Public Water Systems • Primacy Agreement with USEPA

  14. State/County Drinking Water Program • Mission - Assure Oregonians safe drinking water • Goals • Contamination of public water systems is prevented or reduced, by protecting drinking water sources and adequately treating water • Water system personnel have knowledge, skills, and abilities to produce safe drinking water

  15. Drinking Water • Goals (continued) • Public water system facilities are adequate to reliably and continuously produce safe drinking water • Water users are knowledgeable about safe drinking water and support their local water supplier • All safe drinking water standards are fully implemented and met by water suppliers

  16. Large water systems Pacific NW water assoc. OR Assoc. of Water Utilities Special districts Cities Private-owned systems Certified labs Engineering firms Local health officials OR Environmental Health Assoc. League of Women Voters Environmental groups Plumbers/backflow testers Water consumers Watershed councils Drinking Water Advisory Committee Members

  17. Federal Drinking Water Authorities and Rules • US Environmental Protection Agency • Safe Drinking Water Act • 1974 • 1986 amendments • 1996 amendments • Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR parts 141, 142, 143, 149)

  18. USEPA Functions • Establish national drinking water standards • Oversee and assist state Primacy programs • Administer grants and work plans of states • Directly oversee tribal water systems • Directly implement federal drinking water rules until state applies for and receives Primacy

  19. Which Contaminants Does EPA Regulate? • May have adverse effect on the health of persons, and • Known or likely to occur in public drinking water systems with frequencies and levels of health concern, and • Regulation presents meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems

  20. Setting Standards - Health Effects Matter • Acute effects – occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant at high levels. Example: acute gastrointestinal illness. • Chronic effects – occur after people consume a contaminant at low levels over many years. Examples: cancers, organ damage

  21. Setting Standards - Exposure Matters • Long-term exposure – same people daily (communities, schools, workplaces): • Acute contaminants, and • Chronic contaminants • Short-term exposure – different people daily (campgrounds, parks, motels, restaurants): • Acute contaminants • EPA bases drinking water exposure on 2 liters per day

  22. Forms of EPA Drinking Water Standards • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) – no known or anticipated adverse health effects, with margin of safety • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – enforceable standard set as close as feasible to MCLG considering technology, treatment, cost, field conditions • Treatment Technique (TT) – in lieu of MCL when levels can’t be measured • Action Level (AL) – triggers action by water supplier

  23. EPA Regulations, Trends • 1976: 22 regulated contaminants, 20 pages of federal rules • 2005: 91 regulated contaminants, 280 pages of federal rules • 2008: ___ pages of federal rules • Newer rules are highly complex, “targeted risk”

  24. 91 Regulated Drinking Water Contaminants • 7 Microbials (bacteria, viruses, parasites) • 7 Disinfection by-products (trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids) • 16 Inorganic chemicals (arsenic, nitrate, lead) • 56 Organic chemicals (solvents, pesticides) • 5 Radiologic contaminants (uranium)

  25. Newest EPA Standards (2005-07) • Parasitic microorganisms (Cryptosporidium in source waters) • Disinfection by-products (distribution “hot spots”) • Arsenic (increased protection) • Groundwater (viruses) • Lead and Copper revisions (improve education)

  26. Setting Future EPA Standards • Contaminant Candidate List • Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring • National Contaminant Occurrence Database • Consider five contaminants every five years, regulate or not

  27. Contaminant Candidate List 3 - 2008 • 7500 contaminants evaluated • 104 candidate contaminants listed: • 11 microbials – waterborne pathogens • 93 chemicals • Commercial chemicals • Biological toxins • Pesticides • Disinfection by-products

  28. How Safe Is Oregon’s Drinking Water? Safer than it was! Not as safe as it should be

  29. Oregon Waterborne Disease Outbreaks (bacteria, viruses, parasites )

  30. What’s Accomplished in Oregon? • Getting surface water sources filtered and disinfected • Reducing Lead and copper at the tap • Identifying and reducing inorganics • Identifying and reducing organics

  31. Unfiltered Water Systems (1988-2004)

  32. Lead at the Tap (1992-2005)

  33. Top 3 Inorganics

  34. Top 3 Volatile Organics(75 water systems with detections)

  35. Top 3 Synthetic Organics(53 water systems with detections)

  36. Oregon Drinking Water Benchmark (#69) • Establish goals for safe drinking water and track/report progress annually to Oregon Progress Board, legislature, public • Two-part benchmark: • Population • Water systems • Ties directly to EPA national measures and goals, and allows state-by-state comparisons

  37. Benchmark - Population

  38. Benchmark – Water Systems

  39. What Threats Remain? • Chronic diseases • from long-term exposure to chemicals • increased potential as population grows? • Smaller systems • don’t reliably meet all health standards all the time • increased potential as population grows? • Very small systems • no assistance from state or local programs for years • increased potential as population grows?

  40. What Threats Remain? • Current standards • Not yet fully implemented • Future standards • Need to implement • Emerging contaminants • Occurrence? • Significance?

  41. Adding State/County Public Health Capacity (2007) • Approved current fees raised in 2006 • Increased general funding, • Authorized sanitary survey inspection fee, and • Established statutory Drinking Water Advisory Committee

  42. The Fully Capable Program • Adopts and implements all EPA rules • Conducts effective and timely oversight of all public water systems: • Large and small • EPA and non-EPA • Addresses and prevents significant noncompliance • Performs timely sanitary surveys and assures deficiencies are corrected • Assures timely, accurate, and complete water system data

  43. Capacity Building Completed –Setting Up • 2007-09 legislatively approved budget • Amended county/ag intergovernmental agreements for drinking water • Adopted sanitary survey inspection fee • Revised Oregon Drinking Water Benchmark • Received 2-year Primacy extension from EPA for new rules

  44. Capacity Building Underway - Workforce • Organization revision • Unit manager developmental assignments • Lead worker assignments • Recruitment – 11 new FTE • Initial state/county staff training (April and beyond)

  45. Capacity Building Remaining - By July 09 • Adopt EPA rules and apply for Primacy: • Long-term 2 surface water treatment rule • Stage 2 disinfection by-products rule • Ground water rule • HB 3469 (2007) – Treatment technique variance rule

  46. Remaining Drinking Water Concerns and Issues (2009) • Private wells (arsenic) • Monitoring Oregon’s surface and ground waters for potential contaminants identified in drinking water source assessments (pilot with DEQ) • Pesticides • Pharmaceuticals • Flooding and landslides (2007 winter storm) • Growth and development outside urban areas

  47. Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water! • AP survey of 62 large water providers and independent researchers • Pharmaceuticals in 24 systems, serving ~41 million people • Antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones • Detections at very low levels (ppb-ppt) • Most detections occur, or are at higher levels, downstream from wastewater treatment plants

  48. Portland Drinking Water Sources