In 2001, EPA adopted a new standard lowering the permissible amount of arsenic in drinking water. The new limit was set at 10 micrograms per liter (µg/L), replacing the old limit of 50 µg/L. Drinking water systems had to be in compliance with the new Arsenic Rule by January 23, 2006.
EPA’s research helps drinking water systems implement the new Arsenic Rule. The research is an integrated, multidisciplinary program that focuses on the development and evaluation of innovative methods and cost-effective technologies for improving the assessment and control of arsenic contamination. Most importantly, the program aids in the implementation of and compliance with the current Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). Information provided here is for academia, scientists, water utility operators, and the public; it’s about the health effects of arsenic exposure and current treatment technologies available for removing arsenic from drinking water.
To help bring systems into compliance, especially those in smaller communities, EPA is evaluating arsenic removal technologies for their cost-effectiveness. EPA has used a significant portion of Congressional funding to support demonstrations of newly developed low-cost treatment technologies.
In addition, EPA issued its Implementation Guidance for the Arsenic Rule in August 2002. This document provides guidance to EPA regions, states, and stakeholders for implementing the Arsenic Rule. It incorporates comments received on the previous drafts of the guidance and from Arsenic Rule training sessions held throughout the country.
With ongoing development of new scientific data, innovative methods, and cost-effective technologies, the goals of arsenic treatment technologies research are closely aligned with EPA's goal to achieve and protect clean water systems, and to maintain public safety and health.
Arsenic Treatment Technologies for Soil, Waste, and Water (PDF) (132 pp, 2.15 MB) (EPA/542/R-02/004) September 2002
Implementation Guidance for the Arsenic Rule, Drinking Water Regulations for Arsenic and Clarifications to Compliance and New Source Contaminants Monitoring (PDF) (83 pp, 520 KB) (EPA/816/K-02/018) August 2002