WSSC Monitoring for and Reporting on “Unregulated Contaminants”
Nationwide EPA Process to Gather Data Continues
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laurel, Maryland – December 10, 2013: As part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) third Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) program, WSSC is collecting and analyzing four sets of quarterly drinking water samples between July 2013 and April 2014. The EPA then uses this data and other health information to determine if there is a potential health risk and whether any of these chemicals should be regulated in drinking water.
The results of detected contaminants from the recently concluded second quarter (October 2013) are similar to those from the first quarter. Only four of the 28 tested contaminants were detected in drinking water in October, and all detections were at low levels (parts per billion). Source water sampling (of water before treatment) was also conducted for the second quarter to attempt to identify the source of the detected contaminants. Those results suggested that detected contaminants appear to be present in the source water at low levels.
It is important to remember that detection of a chemical in drinking water does not mean it is harmful. The EPA will make that determination in the future based on UCMR3 data and available health effects information.
The EPA requires utilities to report any contaminants detected from UCMR3 monitoring in their annual water quality reports. WSSC’s water quality report must be available to the public by June 30 of each year for the previous year’s monitoring. However, recent Maryland legislation requires WSSC to also report any contaminants detected from the quarterly sampling to the public and the county executives of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties within 30 days of receiving the results.
Background on the UCMR3 program, a list of the chemicals monitored, quarterly results, further information on the chemicals detected, and frequently asked questions are posted on our website: http://www.wsscwater.com/home/jsp/content/ucmr3.faces. WSSC is committed to protecting the public health of the citizens of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and will continue to monitor and support EPA’s research on these emerging contaminants.
For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.