About Dan Askenaizer

Dr. Askenaizer leads WQTS’ work on regulatory compliance support for many of our water agencies clients. Dr. Askenaizer tracks water quality and treatment regulations at the Federal and State levels and provides regulatory updates to our clients. Dr. Askenaizer has strong expertise in the development of Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Plans (RMCPs), which he has completed for a number of water agencies. He has also been working on a number of projects dealing with the development of distribution system monitoring plans and review of nitrification control strategies. Prior to joining WQTS, Dr. Askenaizer was the Water Quality Manager for the Glendale Water and Power. Under his leadership, the Water Quality Group conducted a demonstration-scale study of chlorite for nitrification control and a pilot-scale study of biological treatment for removal of nitrate. Dan has 30 years of experience working on projects dealing with regulatory, water quality and public health issues. Dan has given numerous presentations at workshops and round-tables across the country for water utilities. Dan was instrumental in developing and implementing a Mentoring Program for water staff and was involved in a Sustainable Development team.

OEHHA Recommended Cyanotoxin NLs

OEHHA Recommended NLs for Cyanotoxins

On February 4, 2021 the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) submitted a written request to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to develop recommended Notification Levels (NLs) for four cyanotoxins (copy of the February 4, 2021 DDW memo is here DDW Request to OEHAA for Cyanotoxin NLs_2021-02-04).

In response to that request, on May 3, 2021 OEHHA submitted the following recommended NLs to the SWRCB:

Anatoxin-a – Recommended NL 4 µg/L

Saxitoxins – Recommended Interim NL: 0.6 µg/L

Microcystins – Recommended Interim NL 0.03 µg/L

Cylindrospermopsin – Recommended Interim NL: 0.3 µg/L

Two memos from OEHHA to the SWRCB providing background and how the NLs were calculated are here (OEHHA NL_Anatoxin_2021-05-03 OEHHA_Interim NLs_Three Cyanotoxins_2021-05-03 ).

For three of the cyanotoxins, OEHHA recommended that the NLs be used on an interim basis “…while it completes its review of the sizeable database of recent toxicity studies on these cyanotoxins and derives final recommendations.”

Link to OEHHA announcement;

https://oehha.ca.gov/water/crnr/notice-availability-notification-level-recommendations-four-cyanotoxins-drinking-water

Consumer Reports, NDMA, Watershed Tool

Here are some items that may be of interest.

Consumer Reports/Guardian Nine-Month Study of Drinking Water

Consumer Reports and The Guardian published an article on a nine-month study they conducted to test drinking water around the United States (“We sampled tap water across the US – and found arsenic, lead and toxic chemicals”).  Towards the end of the article there is a list of communities where samples were collected.

Consumer Reports article:

https://www.consumerreports.org/water-quality/how-safe-is-our-drinking-water-a0101771201/

Same article posted in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/31/americas-tap-water-samples-forever-chemicals

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and NDMA Study

Last week the Massachusetts DPH released a study (copy enclosed WILMINGTON-Childhood-Cancer-Study-Final-Report_3-24-21) on the association of childhood cancers and exposure to NDMA in drinking water.  The text below is quoted from the DPH Press Release:

“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Environmental Health (DPH) has completed a long-running epidemiological study evaluating potential environmental contributors to elevated rates of childhood cancer observed in the town of Wilmington during the 1990s. Results of the study suggest an association between maternal (i.e. prenatal) exposure to carcinogenic compounds previously contaminating the Wilmington public water supply and development of childhood cancer, particularly leukemia or lymphoma, during this time period.”

“The study focused on exposure to n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a contaminant that originated from a now-defunct chemical manufacturing facility…”

Massachusetts DPH Press Release:

https://www.mass.gov/news/state-study-suggests-link-between-elevated-rates-of-childhood-cancer-in-wilmington-in-the-1990s-and-formerly-contaminated-public-water-supply

Boston Globe article:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/25/metro/after-decades-study-state-officials-link-drinking-water-contamination-with-elevated-rates-childhood-cancer-wilmington/

Watershed Management Tool

On April 29, 2021, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (ET), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a training webinar on EPA’s “Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST).”  A copy of the announcement is enclosed ( EPA Watershed Tool_WMOST).

The text below is taken from the enclosed announcement:

“EPA’s Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) is a decision support tool to facilitate integrated water management at the watershed and community scales. It allows users to determine the most cost-effective suite of

wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and land conservation management practices to meet both water quantity (flood or combined sewer overflow reductions, sustainable water supply) and water quality goals (meeting water quality criteria or pollutant loading targets). WMOST allows users to evaluate 11 stormwater control measures, nonstructural stormwater measures (street

sweeping, urban canopy, outfall enhancements), four agricultural conservation practices, riparian buffer restoration, land conservation, water conservation, repair of infiltration/inflow to sewer lines, improved wastewater treatments, water reuse and aquifer recharge.”

Link to register:

https://www.epa.gov/research-states/forms/register-epa-tools-resources-training-webinar-watershed-management

 

WHO – Cyanobacteria in Water

The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) posted a link to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recently published update of their 1999 book: “Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A Guide to Their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management.”

Link to WHO website where you can download a copy of the entire book.  Scroll down the page and there is the option of downloading individual chapters.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/toxic-cyanobacteria-water-ingrid-chorus-martin-welker/e/10.1201/9781003081449

Abstract Copied from the WHO website:

“Cyanobacterial toxins are among the hazardous substances most widely found in water. They occur naturally, but concentrations hazardous to human health are usually due to human activity. Therefore, to protect human health, managing lakes, reservoirs and rivers to prevent cyanobacterial blooms is critical.

“This second edition of Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water presents the current state of knowledge on the occurrence of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins as well as their impacts on health through water-related exposure pathways, chiefly drinking-water and recreational activity. It provides scientific and technical background information to support hazard identification, assessment and prioritisation of the risks posed by cyanotoxins, and it outlines approaches for their management at each step of the water-use system. It sets out key practical considerations for developing management strategies, implementing efficient measures and designing monitoring programmes. This enables stakeholders to evaluate whether there is a health risk from toxic cyanobacteria and to mitigate it with appropriate measures.”

“This book is intended for those working on toxic cyanobacteria with a specific focus on public health protection. It intends to empower professionals from different disciplines to communicate and cooperate for sustainable management of toxic cyanobacteria, including public health workers, ecologists, academics, and catchment and waterbody managers.”

Proposed UCMR5

The proposed Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 (UCMR5) was published in today’s (March 11, 2021) Federal Register (Proposed UCMR5 Federal Register_2021-03-11).  Public comments are due by May 10, 2021.   The proposed monitoring includes 29 PFAS and lithium.  EPA is proposing that PFAS would be measured using EPA Methods 533 and 537.1.  EPA anticipates the monitoring would occur during 2023 to 2025.

Monitoring would be one year of quarterly monitoring for surface water and groundwater under the direct influence of surface water systems, and two samples (5 to 7 months apart) in a 12 month period for groundwater systems.

EPA will host two identical virtual meetings (via webinar) on April 6th (9:00 am to 12:30  pm, ET) and April 7th (1:00 to 4:30 pm, ET)  2021, to discuss the proposed UCMR5. The meeting will include information on “proposed monitoring requirements, analyte selection, analytical methods, laboratory approval process, and ground water representative monitoring plans (GWRMPs).”

Link to register for April 6th meeting;

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9028403748652228364

Link to register April 7th meeting:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3283529160801705740