Last October during the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stakeholder meeting on potential revisions to the Microbial and DBP regulations (under the SDWA’s requirement to review regulations every six years), a representative from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) presented information on her agency’s latest estimate of waterborne disease in the United States. She noted the following:
- Safe drinking water and sanitation in the United States is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. However, waterborne illness persists and new public health challenges are emerging, due to aging infrastructure, chlorine-tolerant and biofilm-associated pathogens, and increasing recreational water use.
- The study estimates that waterborne pathogens cause approximately 7.15 million illnesses, 118,000 hospitalizations, and 6,630 deaths every year.
- Common diseases like otitis externa (swimmer’s ear), norovirus infection, giardiasis, and cryptosporidiosis account for 95% of all waterborne illnesses.
- Despite accounting for a small proportion of overall illnesses, three biofilm-related pathogens (nontuberculous mycobacteria, Legionella, and Pseudomonas) cause the majority of hospitalizations and the largest number of deaths related to waterborne disease.
- Biofilm-related pathogens are responsible for over 75% of the $3.3 billion in direct healthcare costs.
- The findings from this analysis highlight the evolving epidemiology of waterborne disease in the United States, the increasing role of biofilm-associated pathogens, and the need to focus public health resources to prevent and control these infections.
At the annual meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) this month, CDC staff indicated that publication of their report is expected in the January issue of the Journal of Emerging Infectious Disease. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) circulated an alert to utility members that the paper is expected to be available today.
CDC posted the article at the following location:
Also note that CDC created a web site to help homeowners understand what they can do to manage microbial risks:
On December 16, 2020, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (ET), the WaterISAC (Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center) will Continue reading
The link below is to the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Continue reading
At today’s workshop on hexavalent chromium (CrVI) treatment costs Division of Drinking Water Continue reading
In recent weeks both the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Continue reading
On December 8th and 9th the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) will webcast a workshop on the treatment costs for hexavalent chromium (CrVI) at various potential MCLs (see Regulatory Update below). The December 8th workshop will begin at 9:30 am, and the December 9th workshop will begin at 1:30 pm.
This information was distributed by a workgroup of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). The enclosed notice (DDW Public Workshops Dec 2020_Notice) has been posted on the State Water Resources Control Board’s meeting calendar:
Text copied from the enclosed notice:
“The workshop will begin with a staff presentation summarizing the development of estimated costs for each respective MCL, followed by an opportunity for public comment. During the comment period, members of the public will be allowed three minutes to provide oral comments, unless additional time is approved.”
The webcast of the workshop can be viewed at the following location:
To make oral comments during the webcast, select the link below:
Once you are at that location, select the link at the top of the page.
Written comments on DDW’s treatment cost information for potential CrVI MCLs are due by December 31, 2020.
Recently, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) posted updated occurrence data (dated collected between January 2014 and May 2020) for hexavalent chromium (CrVI). The 1-page summary document (hex_chrome_occurrence_data_2020_v4 (1)) presents a table with the number of sources that would be impacted by different potential CrVI Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).
In 2014 DDW (at that time the Department of Public Health) adopted an MCL for CrVI of 10 µg/L. In May 2017 the Superior Court of Sacramento County invalidated the CrVI MCL indicating that DDW had “failed to properly consider the economic feasibility of complying with the MCL.” Under California’s Safe Drinking Water Act, MCLs are to be set as close to the Public Health Goal as “technologically and economically feasible, placing primary emphasis on the protection of public health.”
Following the Court’s 2017 decision, here is a quote from the SWRCB’s website: “While the Board staff disagrees with the court’s conclusion, the Board staff’s recommendation is to not appeal the trial court’s decision. It will likely be more expedient to begin the process of adopting a new MCL, rather than expending time and resources appealing the court’s order. The State Water Board hopes that the wealth of data obtained during the nearly three years the MCL has been in place will enable the Board to adopt the new regulation more quickly.”
DDW is currently working to establish criteria to determine economic feasibility and at the same time move forward with adopting a new MCL for CrVI.
This week, New Jersey’s Attorney General and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Continue reading
National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) December Meeting
In today’s Federal Register (Fed Reg_NDWAC Dec 2020 Mtg) EPA announced that the NDWAC will meet December 2, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (ET). Continue reading