EPA Offers Tools to Help Small Drinking-Water Utilities Control Arsenic
On Dec. 14, EPA announced the release of a set of user-friendly multimedia products to help small drinking-water utilities meet revised regulations to control arsenic. The tools will provide owners and operators with information to guide them in making treatment decisions, agency officials said.
"This arsenic treatment tool kit provides useful information to increase local options and sustainable solutions," said Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles.
The anchor product of this suite of tools is the Arsenic Virtual Trade Show, a learning portal for arsenic-treatment technology. The Web site features a database of vendors, a treatment "decision tree," and tips for evaluating and selecting treatment providers. Other products being released include:
- A brochure, Evaluating Arsenic Treatment Providers: A Guide for Public Water Systems, which includes a checklist of questions that owners and operators of small utilities should ask treatment providers.
- A CD-ROM disk, Interactive Workshop on Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water, which features commentary from the nation's top experts. The disk is a companion to 11 arsenic-training events EPA held across the country during 2005.
- A DVD collection of videos, the Arsenic Treatment Technology Showcase, which highlights arsenic treatment technologies currently being pilot-tested through EPA's Arsenic Treatment Technology Demonstration Program.
EPA also updated its Web site to improve navigation and reflect the latest consumer and technical information. Kits including all of the new arsenic tools will be delivered to EPA's state and technical assistance partners for distribution to public water systems affected by the arsenic regulation.
In 2001, EPA revised the regulation for arsenic in drinking water to lower the maximum allowable level from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. The new standard becomes effective on Jan. 23, 2006. The Agency estimates that more than 90 percent of the systems affected by the revised rule are small, serving populations of 3,300 or fewer.
To launch the Arsenic Virtual Trade Show, go to http://www.arsenictradeshow.org.
More information about arsenic and drinking water is at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.
This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.