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What’s New Regarding Drinking Water System Operations in Wyoming and on Tribal Lands in EPA Region 8

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Conferences, Meetings and Webinars

Conference and Meeting Announcements

Please check back occasionally to see if there are any upcoming conferences or meetings of interest in Region 8.

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Facts & Tips

New Staff Roles

New staff and/or new roles will be posted here occasionally. For a complete list of all the EPA Region 8 staff and their current roles/responsibilities please see the EPA Region 8 Drinking Water Unit Contact List.

Matthew Langenfeld started as the Groundwater Rule Manager in April 2019. He has been with EPA for 20 years and has 36 years of professional environmental experience with industry, consulting, and government. He previously worked for the Wyoming DEQ in the Groundwater Pollution and Control Program. Please feel free to contact him regarding correction of Significant Deficiencies or triggered groundwater monitoring at Langenfeld.Matthew@epa.gov or 303-312-6284.

Please welcome Bolor Bertelmann as the Regulatory Oversight Coordinator. Bolor joined the EPA in January of this year and is responsible for managing our inventory of regulated water systems, including processing changes and activating new systems. Bolor comes to us from the private sector where she has extensive experience in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and can be reached at Bertelmann.Bolor@epa.gov or 303-312-6233. Please contact her with system changes you may have (e.g., source or treatment changes).

Barb Burkland retired from EPA on January 31, 2020. Barb was a devoted advocate for safe drinking water in Indian country, focusing her EPA career on providing compliance assistance to tribal water systems in Montana. EPA will backfill Barb position in the coming months. For the time being, questions from Montana tribal water systems may be directed to Nate Delano (303-312-6318; Delano.Nathaniel@epa.gov).

We are sorry to report that Jim Gindelberger will be retiring at the end of February 2020, after 27 years at EPA. Jim has managed the Wyoming Sanitary Surveys since 2009 and has interacted with many Wyoming operators on the phone and at conferences. In the meantime, Jim is working hard to set up all 200 sanitary surveys that are due in 2020. We are currently hiring Jim’s replacement and hope that he comes on board while Jim is still here!

Natalie Cannon, the current Lead and Copper Rule Manager, has served on the drinking water team for 10 years. Beginning March 1, 2020 Natalie will be joining the Chemical Safety & Environmental Stewardship Branch at EPA Region 8 to work towards the removal of PCBs in the environment. We are currently in the hiring process for Natalie’s replacement and hope to have an update soon.

Changes to SOC Monitoring Requirements

For several years EPA had not required Wyoming and Tribal water systems to sample for the 5 Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs) Endothall, Diquat, Glyphosate, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), and 1,2-Dibromoethane (Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)). After an evaluation of this practice, EPA is now requiring all community and non-transient non-community water systems to sample for the complete set of SOCs that are listed in the drinking water regulations at 40 C.F.R. 141.24 with the exception of dioxin and total PCBs, which EPA is still evaluating.

Drinking Water Guide For Small Business Owners in Wyoming

If your business or facility makes water available to the public by providing food, drinks, restrooms or lodging, then you are likely managing a public water system that must meet certain safety requirements according to the Safe Drinking Water Act. If you would like to find out more, please see Drinking Water Guide For Small Business Owners in Wyoming.

Some SDWIS Data Now Available to the Public

Compliance and enforcement data from the State Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) for drinking water systems is now available to the public through the Envirofacts SDWIS Search.

Sanitary Surveys

For information about questions we may ask during Sanitary Surveys this year, please review either the Wyoming Sanitary Survey Template or the Tribal Sanitary Survey Checklist/Template on the Reporting Forms page. We have also posted the slides from presentations on Sanitary Surveys in the Training Presentations section.

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Funding & Grants

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

For more information about:

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Latest News

Climate Change and Water

Climate change is changing our assumptions about water resources. As climate change warms the atmosphere and alters the hydrological cycle, we will continue to witness changes to the amount, timing, form, and intensity of precipitation and the flow of water in watersheds, as well as the quality of aquatic and marine environments. These changes are also likely to affect the programs designed to protect the quality of water resources and public health and safety. To learn more, please visit Addressing Climate Change in the Water Sector.

Hydraulic Fracturing (or Fracking)

You have probably noticed there has been a great deal of public interest and media attention lately regarding hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). To find out more about what EPA is doing, please visit EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources.

Deadly Brain Amoeba Infects US Tap Water

News agencies worldwide are carrying stories about the presence of Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as a brain-eating amoeba, in a New Orleans area water system. The contaminant is believed to be the culprit in the recent death of a four-year-old boy infected after playing on a slip-n-slide.

EPA’s Office of Research and Development indicates that Naegleria fowleri has been known since the 1970’s when it caused infections in people in Perth, Australia as a result of the drinking water being very warm and the chlorine residual levels being very low. It is controlled by keeping the chlorine residual (free chlorine or total chlorine (if you use chloramines)) in the distribution system greater than 0.5 mg/L. You cannot be infected by ingestion, it must enter through the nose.

Water utilities should be prepared for media inquiries about the potential for Naegleria fowleri contamination in their systems. Information is provided below to help utilities speak to this issue.

Systems with warm water temperatures who may be concerned about this pathogen should focus on distribution system residual levels, dead ends and a unidirectional flushing program. More information may be found at the following CDC website: Naegleria fowleri and Public Drinking Water Systems

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Mail & Reminders

2021 Drinking Water Monitoring Requirements

The 2021 Drinking Water Monitoring Requirements and a copy of the current water system site schematic will be sent (via email or postal mail) to each water system in mid-late-February. If you do not receive a copy of your 2021 Monitoring Requirements or if you would like another copy, please let us know.

Drinking Water Watch

Drinking Water Watch is an online tool available to operators, administrators and others involved with public water systems to review monitoring requirements, sampling results and related data, copies of your water system schematic, the latest reminder to sample and report, and sampling forms for use with chemical and radiological samples. It can be useful for many purposes including checking data when away from your office or system and ensuring that the EPA has all your samples and accurate information about your system.

EPA Region 8 is pleased to announce a new version of Drinking Water Watch (DWW) that is accessible to the public without a username or password. Although the information available through this website is somewhat restricted, it includes sample schedules, lab results, violations and enforcement actions and more. Please visit the Public Access Version of DWW and feel free to share this information with anyone else who might be interested.

Sampling

One way to track your sampling and reporting requirements is by using the calendar software on your computer. Computer calendars usually allow you to schedule one-time and recurring events easily. You may also set the computer to remind you of a sampling or reporting "event". If you prefer to fill in a paper form and post it on your bulletin board, you can find a wide variety of paper calendars, many for free or at any number of retail outlets.

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Newsletters

To read articles about public drinking water systems in Wyoming and tribal drinking water systems on tribal lands in EPA Region 8, please visit:

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New Rules & Regulations

There are several drinking water rules that have, or may soon, affect requirements for your public water system. We have notified systems regarding changes and any actions they may need to take. For additional information, please visit New and Revised Rules.

AWIA - Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans

On October 23, 2018, America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law and replaces the SDWA Section 1433 (from 2002 Bioterrorism Act). AWIA Section 2013 requires community (drinking) water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law specifies the components that the risk assessments and ERPs must address, and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to EPA completion of the risk assessment and ERP. For more information please visit America's Water Infrastructure Act: Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans.

Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR)

The Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) is a significant revision to the 1989 Total Coliform Rule (TCR) and is intended to improve public health protection. All public water systems must comply with the RTCR starting in April of 2016. Until then, PWSs must continue complying with the Total Coliform Rule (TCR).

For more information, please visit Revised Total Coliform Rule And Total Coliform Rule.

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act

Congress recently adopted the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act which will amend the SDWA to reduce the national standard of lead in pipes, pipe fittings and plumbing fixtures from 8% to 0.25%. Several states already have standards lower than 8%. The law provides for a 36 month implementation period.

For more information, please visit Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux for Drinking Water.

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New Tools

Toll Free Fax for EPA Region 8 Drinking Water

The Drinking Water Units at EPA Region 8 now exclusively use the following fax: 1-877-876-9101Skype logo.

This toll-free electronic fax should be used by anyone faxing information to Region 8 Drinking Water. Since this is an efax, documents sent via this number will be delivered electronically to employees in Region 8. Please include a cover page with your fax that clearly states the name of the intended recipient as well as its subject matter. For example, Attn: TCR Rule Manager Re: TCR Results. Again the new fax number is: 1-877-876-9101Skype logo.

Tribal Drinking Water Operator Certification Program

This voluntary program was announced in the Federal Register on August 10, 2010. It enables qualified operators in Indian country to be recognized as certified operators by the EPA. Additional information on the program as well as updates and application materials can be found on the Tribal Programs webpage.

New Small System Resource Available

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) Exit is now hosting a new web resource for small communities called WaterOperator.org Exit. This site helps water and wastewater operators find what they need on the Internet. Through an easy-to-use search interface, operators can use WaterOperator.org to find direct links to numerous online resources and training events as well as keep up with the latest news relevant to small utilities.

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Upcoming Training

WaterOperator.org - Training Calendar

WaterOperator.org has an excellent Training Calendar/Event Search Exit application that can easily be filtered to show various training opportunities for each month based on category, type, state or sponsor. The calendar is updated often so be sure to check back whenever you are looking for training opportunities.

Additional Training

For additional training, please check the operator training offered by South Dakota Rural WaterExit Wyoming DEQExit or the Indian Health ServiceExit.

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