EPA Releases Guidance To Help Small Drinking Water Systems Identify Affordable-Treatment Options

EPA announced on June 6 it has released a guidance document that provides small drinking water system operators and water officials with valuable information about treatment devices that can be installed at a consumer's tap (point of use) or on the water line to a consumer's home or building (point of entry).

EPA officials said that the guidance, Point-of-Use or Point-of-Entry Treatment Options for Small Drinking Water Systems, will help small drinking water systems provide safe and affordable drinking water to their customers. Cost can be a serious impediment for very small systems planning to install expensive centralized contaminant-removal equipment.

The guidance describes pertinent requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and current federal regulations. It also contains a summary of individual state requirements and a collection of case studies that illustrate how small systems have implemented these treatment options in the past.

Point-of-use devices, such as reverse-osmosis filters, are usually installed under a kitchen sink and can comply with drinking water standards for such contaminants as arsenic, lead, and radium. Point-of-entry devices are installed outside the home or business and can treat an even wider variety of contaminants. Depending on local conditions, the devices may reduce costs by more than 50 percent.

Owners and operators of small drinking water systems will find the guidance useful during the planning stage, including pilot testing, public education, and operation. Maintenance and other implementation issues are also covered.

The guidance can be accessed at http://epa.gov/safewater/smallsys/ssinfo.htm#two.

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