Total Coliform Rule Revisions
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The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act [Section 1412(b) (9)] require the Administrator to review and revise, as appropriate, each national primary drinking water regulation not less often than every 6 years. EPA published as part of its National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) Review its decision to revise the TCR in July 2003.
EPA plans to hold meetings and webcasts regarding potential changes to the Total Coliform Rule and the possible addition of distribution system requirements. More information about planned and past meetings is provided below.
Future meetings and webcasts
Total Coliform Rule Revisions - May 11 and 12, 2010, Washington DC
Past meetings and webcasts
Total Coliform Rule Revisions - April 3, 2009
- Federal Register Notice of Stakeholder Meeting | PDF Version (1pp, 64K)
- Presentations PDF (75pp, 566K)
Total Coliform Rule Revision / Distribution System Technical Public Meeting - June 13, 2007
- Federal Register Notice Total Coliform Rule Revision / Distribution System Technical Public Meeting announcement PDF (2pp, 18 K About PDF)
Total Coliform Rule / Distribution System Stakeholder Technical Workshop and Request for Nominations - January 30 - February 1, 2007
On January 30-February 1, 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a technical workshop in Washington, DC, to discuss available information on the Total Coliform Rule (TCR) and available information regarding risks in distribution systems in support of revisions to the TCR. As part of the technical workshop, EPA discussed information and analytic approaches for characterizing risks posed by the distribution system. As an outcome of this meeting and the other considerations, EPA decided to convene a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC). For more information regarding the solicitation of nominations for membership for that FAC before its establishment, use the link provided below.
- Federal Register Notice of meeting
- Agenda PDF (15 pp, K)
- Workshop Presentations
- Welcoming and Opening Remarks
- Considerations for Decision-Making about Risk
- Public Health Perspectives on Distribution Systems
- Distribution System Physical Integrity Issues: Cross Connections and Backflow
- Other Distribution System Physical Integrity Issues: Intrusion, Contamination during Main Repair, and Storage Vessel Integrity
- Water Quality in the Distribution System
- Objective of TCR and its Indicators
- EPA’s Perspective on the Purpose and Limitations of TCR Monitoring PDF (14 pp, 40K)
- State Perspective PDF (15 pp, 447K)
- Industry Perspective PDF (21 pp, 1M)
- Issues with the Current TCR
- EPA’s Perspective on TCR Implementation Issues PDF (11 pp, 171K)
- State Perspective on TCR Implementation Issues PDF (9 pp, 135K)
- Small Utility Perspective on TCR Implementation Issues PDF (9 pp, 20K)
- TCR Compliance Analysis
- Overview of TCR Compliance Information PDF (45 pp, 180K)
- Current Use of Distribution System Tools for Reducing Distribution System Exposures and Total Coliform Occurrence
Preparatory Webcast – January 17, 2007, 2:00pm – 4:30 pm EST
On January 17, 2007 EPA hosted an important preparatory webcast for the Stakeholder Technical Workshop. The purpose of the webcast was to provide basic background information to technical workshop attendees who do not have a good deal of experience with TCR-DS issues, ensuring that all workshop attendees had a common base of information with which to understand and discuss workshop presentations and materials. Please see the links to the agenda and presentation materials below for more information on the topics that were covered.
- Agenda PDF (1 pp, 22 K)
- Webcast Presentations
Review by the Science Advisory Board Drinking Water Committee on EPA's Draft Supporting Analyses for the Proposed Revised Total Coliform Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Water, requested that the Science Advisory Board (SAB) Drinking Water Committee (DWC) review the draft supporting analyses for the proposed Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR). The SAB review focused on (1) the data sources used to estimate baseline total coliform and E. coli occurrence, public water system profile, and sensitive subpopulations in the United States, (2) the occurrence analysis used to inform the benefits analysis, (3) the qualitative analysis used to assess the reduction in risk due to implementation of the rule requirements, and (4) analysis of the engineering costs and costs to states resulting from implementation of the revisions.
- Review of EPA’s Supporting Analysis for Revisions of the Total Coliform Rule (PDF) (37 pp, 226K)
The following files were provided to facilitate the SAB DWC review:
Draft Supporting Analyses
- Baseline Conditions Draft for SAB DWC 05.1.09 (PDF) (22 pp, 675K)
- Occurrence and Predictive Model Draft for SAB DWC 05.1.09 (PDF) (49 pp, 413K)
- Benefits Analysis Draft for SAB DWC 05.1.09 (PDF) (45 pp, 1.8M)
- Cost Analysis Draft for SAB DWC 05.1.09 (PDF) (45 pp, 2.7M)
- Draft Supporting Analyses Appendices
- Appendix A Public Water System Counts (PDF) (83 pp, 34M)
- Appendix B Modeled Total Coliform Occurrence (PDF) (45 pp, 215K)
- Appendix C RTCR Costs (PDF) (13 pp, 413K)
- Appendix D Compliance Forecast (PDF) (26 pp, 142K)
- Draft RTCR Technology and Cost Doc Draft for SAB DWC 05.1.09 (PDF) (45 pp, 413K)
- Agreement in Principle (AIP) (PDF) (41 pp, 1.5M)
- Background on Current TCR and Rule Revisions Development (presentation) (PDF) (42 pp, 429K)
- Comparison of Current TCR Requirements with the AIP and Alternative Analysis (table) (PDF) (4 pp, 183K)
TCR Issue Papers
EPA and AWWA developed a series of TCR Issue Papers to present available information on a range of issues related to the TCR. The paper topics were based on feedback from stakeholders and comments received on the TCR since promulgation. The objective of the issue papers is to review the available data, information and research regarding issues relevant to the revision of the TCR, and where relevant, identify areas in which additional research may be warranted. Draft papers were completed in June 2006 and were reviewed by a range of industry experts and stakeholders from :
- EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW);
- water utilities;
- Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA);
- American Water Works Association (AWWA);
- American Water Works Service Company (AWWSC);
- National Rural Water Association (NRWA);
- environmental consulting companies; and
- state regulators.
EPA held a TCR Experts workshop in June 2006 to discuss the draft papers and possible rule revisions. The review and comment by the experts constitutes peer review of the papers.
EPA will use the papers as information sources for discussions of TCR issues with the drinking water community, experts and stakeholders.
The papers are:
- Total Coliform Rule and Distribution System Issue Papers Overview PDF (6pp, 147K)
- Distribution System Indicators of Water Quality PDF (100pp, 399K)
- The Effectiveness of Disinfectant Residuals in the Distribution System PDF (61 pp, 222K)
- Invalidation of Total Coliform Positive Samples PDF (61 pp, 52K)
- Analysis of Compliance and Characterization of Violations of the Total Coliform Rule PDF (105pp, 750K)
- Evaluating HACCP Strategies for Distribution System Monitoring, Hazard Assessment and Control PDF (81pp, 630K)
- Inorganic Contaminant Accumulation in Distribution Systems PDF (93pp, 788K)
- Distribution System Inventory, Integrity and Water Quality PDF (28 pp, 641K)
- A Review of Distribution System Monitoring Strategies under the Total Coliform Rule PDF (84 pp, 927K)
- Effect of Treatment on Nutrient Availability PDF (45 pp, 413K)
- Causes of Total Coliform Positive Samples and Contamination Events in Distribution Systems PDF (34pp, 19K)
Note - The papers present available information and do not represent Agency policy or necessarily reflect the views of EPA. The papers on Distribution System Monitoring Strategies and Distribution System Inventory were prepared by AWWA.