Two Arizona Water Companies Ordered to Monitor for Disinfection Byproducts

Under the terms of an EPA order announced on Oct. 2, the South Mountain Water Co. and the Signal Peak Water Co.y must correct recent violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to EPA, South Mountain Water Co. and the Signal Peak Water Co. failed to submit a plan detailing how it will monitor and sample for disinfection byproducts that could be produced when chlorine, ozone, or chlorine dioxide is used to disinfect the water. If either water company fails to comply with the order, it could faces fines of up to $32,500 per day..

"Because of their role as water providers for children and families, agencies that provide drinking water must take steps to comply with all federal regulations," said Alexis Strauss, water division director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "We are confident that both South Mountain Water Co. and Signal Peak Water Co. will comply.".

South Mountain Water Co. provides drinking water for approximately 220 customers in Casa Grande, Pinal County, Ariz., and Signal Peak Water Co. serves 80 people in the same area. The two systems were required to submit their monitoring plans by April 1..

Disinfection is a chemical process in which chlorine, ozone or chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water to kill disease causing pathogens. EPA regulates the concentrations of disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, bromate and chlorite, which can be produced when disinfectants are used in water treatment and react with natural organic matter..

EPA established new disinfection byproduct regulations in December 1998 to protect public health from potentially harmful byproduct chemicals that form when chlorine reacts with natural organic compounds during the treatment process. The Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproduct Rule began regulating surface water systems serving 10,000 or more customers in January 2002. Phased implementation of smaller surface systems, as well as, groundwater systems began in January 2004..

For more information on water pollutants, visit www.epa.gov/ebtpages/watewaterpollutants.html.

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