The mission of the treatment technology team is to identify and/or develop high quality, cost-effective treatment technologies to meet regulation development and program implementation
objectives and deadlines. The short-term goals are to meet the statutory requirements to publish
lists of technologies for the existing regulations. The long-term goals include identifying small
system technologies for future regulations and updating the existing lists to incorporate new
Timetable for Short-term Goals
||Compliance Technology List for Surface
Water Treatment Rule
||Compliance Technology List for other
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations
||Variance Technology List for
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations
The Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended August 6, 1996, directs EPA to make technology
assessments for three categories of small public water systems. EPA must perform these
technology assessments for all of the regulated contaminants. In August 1997, EPA issued a
guidance manual entitled "Small System Compliance Technology List for the Surface Water
Treatment Rule," available online at
Within two years after enactment, EPA must issue a list of technologies that can achieve
compliance with existing National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) for the other
regulated contaminants. When these technologies cannot be identified, EPA must identify
affordable technologies that maximize contaminant reduction and protect public health (variance
technologies). The list of variance technologies is also due within two years after enactment.
Small System Solutions
The new requirements provide a focus for identifying small system solutions. Through the
process of identifying appropriate technologies, EPA will improve the informational base for
making treatment decisions, and simplify the process for identifying circumstances for the
appropriate use of variances. The treatment technologies can incorporate the limitations faced by
small systems, which can include: lack of expertise in operating complex treatment technologies,
lack of full-time operator, and lack of a large customer base to lessen the impact on individual
The new requirements will provide small systems with options designed specifically for their
use. This should aid in the implementation of the regulations because smaller systems may be
able to successfully install and operate treatment technologies to achieve compliance. When
systems cannot achieve compliance, they can apply for small system variances that will improve
public health protection at an affordable cost.
Detail of Activity
|Examine the current
treatment technology cost equations to determine which
technology/waste disposal options may qualify as small system treatment technologies.
The bases for the technology cost equations in the Very Small Systems Best Available
Technology Cost Document, the Water Model, and the Small Water System Byproducts
Treatment and Disposal Cost Document will be reviewed to identify central treatment/waste
disposal option candidates for the three size categories. Costs for model systems for each of the
three size categories will be compared with the national-level affordability criteria to determine if
affordable compliance technologies exist for the regulated contaminants.
|Develop criteria for
national-level affordability that will be used to identify
affordable compliance or variance technologies. The national-level affordability
criteria will be used to determine when variance technologies and small system variances
are available. The options being evaluated include comparisons to other utilities, other
alternatives, median household income, and infrastructure costs versus water quality. The
existing baseline of expenditures by customers in small water systems is also being
summarized. A draft report will be available for the May 1998 stakeholder
data for systems serving less than 10,000 people to assess
treatment performance and cost. The treatment technology data on 200 sites in
National Drinking Water Clearinghouse's RESULTS database will be examined and
updated to assess technology cost and performance. Other full-scale data in the literature
will also be summarized. All of the cost data will be updated to a common-year basis for
comparison with the current cost models.
database to incorporate treatment technology data on 500
additional systems and to expand the searchable fields in the existing database.
RESULTS 2.0 has data on approximately 200 water systems. Population served is not a
searchable field in RESULTS 2.0. The updated RESULTS database will include
population served as a searchable field and will incorporate the data on another 500
systems that has been received since the release of RESULTS 2.0.
|Develop cost equations for Point-of-Use and Point-of-entry devices and
determine the ranges of applicability. The ranges of applicability (number of
households) will be determined for point-of-use and point-of-entry devices. Cost
equations will be developed for all of these options to compare with the national-level
affordability criteria. A final draft report on POU and POE devices will be discussed at
the May 1998 stakeholder meeting.
||Publish Small System Compliance Technology Lists, to present options for small systems regarding National Primary Drinking Water Regulations set prior to the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
EPA encourages public comment on treatment technology issues. Public stakeholder meetings
are posted on the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water website at
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/cal1031.html. Meeting summaries are posted at