WaterWorks News: Water shortages, EPA proposes drinking water rule, RAMSCO buys Jones Water Supply

October 2010 Vol. 65 No. 10

EPA is proposing to revise the 1989 Total Coliform Rule to incorporate improvements recommended by a federal advisory committee that included representatives from a broad range of stakeholder groups, including public health and public interest groups, environmental groups, state drinking water agencies and drinking water utilities. EPA used a transparent, collaborative process with stakeholders to help make this regulation more effective.

The revised rule will better protect people from potential exposure to dangerous microbes because it requires water systems to take action when monitoring results indicate that contamination or a pathway to contamination may be present. Water utilities are required to regularly monitor for microbial contamination in the distribution system. Although microbes detected in monitoring are not necessarily pathogens themselves, the detection can indicate that there is a pathway that would allow pathogens to enter the system, such as a water main break or an opening in a storage tank. Under the proposed rule, when monitoring results are positive, systems must find and fix any pathways leading to microbial risk.

The proposal also provides incentives for better system operation by improving the criteria for public water systems to qualify for and stay on reduced monitoring, which provides an opportunity to reduce system burden. In addition, the proposed rule updates conditions that will trigger public notices to better represent the relative health threat identified. It also makes the wording required in these public notices more clear. These changes increase consumer confidence in the safety of their water and understanding of the risks when contamination occurs.

More information about the proposed rule: www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/tcr/index.html.

Waterworks firm RAMSCO buys Binghamton rival
Rexford Albany Municipal Supply Co., a leading provider of quality water, sanitary and storm sewer materials, announced that it has acquired Jones Water Supply Inc., based in Binghamton, NY. Jones Water Supply is a recognized leading supplier to the water and sewer industry servicing New York’s southern tier as well as Northeast Pennsylvania.

Jones Water Supply has been operating for over 40 years and has established a solid reputation for providing excellent customer service through its products and associated services. Jones Water Supply employs a staff of 10.