Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule

Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (IESWTR)

The IESWTR applies to filtered water systems using surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water. The rule only applies to systems serving at least 10,000 people. The compliance requirements of the rule are effective January 1, 2002. In Pennsylvania, this rule will provide additional drinking water protection to about 7.3 million people that are served by these large systems.

Pennsylvania DEP Filter Backwash Recycling Rule

The Pennsylvania DEP Filter Backwash Recycling Rule (FBBR)

In May 2001, EPA released a rule governing the process of recycling wastewater generated by the backwashing of drinking water filters. The Filter Backwash Recycling Rule (FBRR) is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act as one method of reducing the risks posed to consumers by waterborne disease-causing organisms that may be present in public drinking water supplies.

Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (4)

The Pennsylvania DEP Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT1 ESWTR)

LT1ESWTR was the first small system regulation that provides protection against the disease-causing organism Cryptosporidium. In Pennsylvania, the LT1ESWTR is expected to provide additional protection to over 600,000 customers. This rule will applies to about 265 public water systems using surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water that each serve less than 10,000 people. Early provisions of this rule took affect in the summer of 2002, but the main provisions becameeffective in 2005.

PA DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water (1)

The Pennsylvania DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water

Regulations for radionuclides in drinking water first became effective in 1976. The revised Radionuclides Rule required implementation for some systems starting in 2005. The rule was revised to improve public health protection by requiring monitoring at all entry points to a drinking water distribution system, to create a new standard for uranium, to change monitoring frequencies, and to create new monitoring requirements for radium-226 and radium-228.

disinfectants

The Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Stage 2 Disinfectants

The Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule is a new federal regulation (NOTE: Stage 1 is a final federal regulation and was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on July 21, 2001). The US Environmental Protection Agency created Stage 2 to supplement existing regulations by requiring drinking water suppliers to meet disinfection byproduct maximum contaminant levels at each monitoring site in the distribution system. This rule seeks to better identify monitoring sites where customers are exposed to high levels of disinfection byproducts. This regulation will reduce byproduct exp

Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Groundwater

The Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Groundwater

The Groundwater Rule (GWR) requirements became effective December 1, 2009. The GWR applies to all public water systems that serve groundwater. The rule also applies to any system that combines surface and groundwater if the groundwater is provided to consumers without treatment under the surface water treatment rule. In addition, systems purchasing groundwater from another system are required to comply with certain requirements of the rule.

DEP Lead Copper Rules for Water

The Pennsylvania DEP Lead & Copper Rules for Water

The Lead and Copper Rule was created to protect public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity. Pb and Cu enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of Pb and Cu containing plumbing materials. The rule establishes an action level (AL) of 0.015 mg/L for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper based on the 90th percentile level of tap water samples.

natural water substances

Naturally Occurring Substances in Drinking Water

The quality of drinking water has improved in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas over the years as better water systems are put in place.  However, there are still chemicals and microorganisms that occur naturally that pose a health risk.

Arsenic – Arsenic occurs naturally in the earth's crust. Arsenic in drinking water comes from water traveling through natural rock formations. The water can dissolve arsenic and carry it into underground aquifers, streams, or rivers that may become drinking water supplies.

Long-term exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic in drinking water is known to cause health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Thickening and discoloration of the skin
  • Issues with blood vessels, high blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Nerve issues including numbness and/or pain.

Nitrate – Nitrate is a form of nitrogen that occurs naturally in the environment as well as introduced from human and animal sources. This is the nutrient most often used for lawn and garden care and crop production to increase productivity. Sources including feedlots, animal enclosures, septic systems, and waste treatment systems are additional sources of nitrogen that are carried in waste. It occurs naturally in the soil in organic matter from decaying plant and animal residues.  It is highly soluble and easily moves with water through layers of soil. Unless tested for, nitrate in water is undetectable as it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  

While research has been limited, due to the complexity and cost of this type of research, studies have shown a relationship with long-term ingestion of elevated nitrate.

  • Increased incidence of certain cancers
  • Increased birth defects.
  • Private drinking water should be tested annually to monitor changes in nitrate concentration as pregnant women, children, the elderly are found to be the populations most susceptible to nitrate health effects.

Microorganisms – Many bacteria can be found in drinking water; coliform bacteria are one of the most common water contamination problems in private water systems in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. Coliform, E. Coli is found in about 15% of private wells.

Either because of poor construction or poor maintenance for septic systems, homeowners can be the cause of contamination of their own wells. When a well is placed too close to a septic system or a septic system is placed where it can drain into a waterway or groundwater, problems can arise.

There is no maximum acceptable concentration of Coliform or E. Coli in drinking water.  If any is detected, you cannot drink the water. This is another contaminate with has no taste and must be tested for.

While most coliform bacteria are not harmful, E coli can make you sick with the following symptoms: (Those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe effects)

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

The professionals at Spring Rain can help and advise you on the best filtration systems to reduce and remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water.

Chemicals in water

5 Chemicals Commonly Found in Drinking Water

Everyone loves cold water pouring out of their faucets on a hot summer day, as well as hot water flowing out of the showerhead.  What is coming out of that faucet, though can be concerning?  There is any number of less than healthy man-made chemicals that can reduce the pleasure of freshwater.

Pharmaceuticals: Prescription drugs can get into the water supply when people choose to flush unused medications down the toilet or sink.   

Vinyl chloride: This is a cancer-causing material used in making PVC plastic products, as some pipes.  It can leach from older PVC piping and it has been found in the drinking water of some communities.

Chemical additives to water: Not all chemicals in water are monitored or regulated, like the common perchlorate and PFOA/PFOS which are chemical cousins of Teflon. These chemicals are found in many of Americans’ tapwater supplies. There has been a push to get PFOA/PFOS regulated in New Jersey.

Lead: Lead is a heavy metal that leaches from lead pipes and plumbing fixtures, as when the water flowing through them is corrosive; water with a pH value below 7.0 is considered acidic.  Lead can cause neurological and behavioral problems in children and adverse health effects in adults.  While more often an issue in towns and cities with older systems, what is often forgotten is that new brass features and faucets can still have a high amount of lead.

Nitrates: These are a widespread contaminant also known as fertilizer. Runoff from farms or factory farms can go into both surface and groundwater and wind up in drinking water.  The EPA (EPA.GOV) set a limit of 10 parts per million for nitrates, which can be harmful to pregnant women and infants.

Getting your water tested yearly can keep you on top of the quality of your water.  From historic Jim Thorpe to Stroudsburg keeping your water fresh, refreshing, and free of additives, Spring Rain can help you decide which filtrations system is best for you! Call them today!

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