Draft DDW Microplastics Policy Handbook

In November 2021 the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) posted a “Microplastics in Drinking Water Handbook.” The Handbook was released for public comment and was presented at a workshop with the SWRCB on November 17, 2021.

The purpose of the Handbook is

“….to implement Health and Safety Code section 116376 by setting forth the requirements for conducting monitoring and reporting of microplastics in drinking water.”

Recently DDW posted a revised copy of the Microplastics Handbook (copy is enclosed, the revisions are shown using Microsoft’s TrackChanges). Appendix A presents a list of surface water sources “potentially subject to monitoring during Phase 1).”

Senate Bill 1422 was signed into law in 2018 (added Section 116376 to California’s Health and Safety Code). This law required/requires the following DDW activities regarding microplastics:

1. On or before July 1, 2020: adopt a definition of microplastics in drinking water (California’s definition of microplastics was adopted by the SWRCB at its June 16, 2020 meeting).
2. On or before July 1, 2021:
a. Adopt a standard methodology for testing of microplastics in drinking water.
b. Adopt requirements for four years of testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of those results.
c. Consider issuing quantitative guidelines (e.g., notification level) to aid consumer interpretations of the testing results, if appropriate.
d. Accredit qualified laboratories in California to analyze for microplastics in drinking water.