What The Current Drinking Water Standards

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The following matrices provide you with a summary of the NPDWRs or primary standards. You should visit the EPA Web site (www.epa.gov) and become familiar with the various documents that are publically available. You will not only find these regulations there, but detailed information that explains the reasoning behind each MCLG. You will also find the entire legislation on this site and can become familiar with all of the subtleties of this piece of complex environmental legislation. Tables 1 through 5 are derived from EPA Web site - www.epa.gov/safewater.

Table 1. NPDW Regulations for Microorganisms

(mg/L)2

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Cryptosporidium

01/01/02: TT3

Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps)

Human and animal fecal waste

Giardia lamblia

0

TT3

Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps)

Human and animal fecal waste

Heterotrophic plate count

n/a

TT3

HPC has no health effects, but can indicate how effective treatment is at controlling microorganisms.

HPC measures a range of bacteria that are naturally present in the environment

Legionella

0

TT3

Legionnaire's Disease, commonly known as pneumonia

Found naturally in water; multiplies in heating systems

Total Coliforms (including fecal coliform and E. Coli)

0

5.0%4

Used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present3

Coliforms are naturally present in the environment; fecal coliforms and E. coli come from human and animal fecal waste.

Turbidity

n/a

TT3

Turbidity, a measure of water cloudiness, is used to indicate water quality and filtration effectiveness (e.g., whether disease-causing organisms are present). Higher turbidity is associated with higher levels of microorganisms such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. These organisms can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

Soil runoff

Viruses (enteric)

0

TT3

Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea/vomiting)

Human and animal fecal waste

Table 2. NPDW Regulations for Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts

Disinfectants & Disinfection Byproducts

MCLG1

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

01/01/02: 0.010

Increased risk of cancer

Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

01/01/02: MRDLG

4.01

Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort, anemia

Water additive used to control microbes

01/01/02: MRDL = 4.01

Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort

Water additive used to control microbes

01/01/02: MRDL=0 .8'

Anemia; infants & young children: nervous system effects

Water additive used to control microbes

01/01/02: 1.0

Anemia; infants & young children: nervous system effects

Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

01/01/02: 0.060

Increased risk of cancer

Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

Total

Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

none7

0.10

Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer

Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

as of

01/01/02: 0.080

Table 3. NPDW Regulations for Inorganic Chemicals

(mg/L)2

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Antimony

0.006

0.006

Increase in blood cholesterol; decrease in blood glucose

Discharge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants;

(mg/L)2

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

ceramics; electronics; solder

Arsenic

none7

0.05

Skin damage; circulatory system problems; increased risk of cancer

Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from glass & electronics production wastes

Asbestos fiber > 10 micrometer

7 million fibers per liter

7 MFL

Increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps

Decay of asbestos cement in water mains; erosion of natural deposits

Barium

2

2

Increase in blood pressure

Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits

Beryllium

0.004

0.004

Intestinal lesions

Discharge from metal refineries and coal-burning factories; discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industries

Cadmium

0.005

0.005

Kidney damage

Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; runoff from waste batteries and paints

Chromium (total)

0.1

0.1

Some people who use water containing chromium well in excess of the MCL over many years could experience allergic dermatitis

Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits

Copper

1.3

T^Action Level = 1.3

Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress. Long term exposure: Liver or kidney damage.

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits

Cyanide (as free cyanide)

0.2

0.2

Nerve damage or thyroid problems

Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories

Table 4. NPDW Regulations for Organic Chemicals

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Acrylamide

zero

ryvp9

Nervous system or blood problems; increased risk of cancer

Added to water during sewage/wastewater treatment

Alachlor

zero

0.002

Eye, liver, kidney or spleen problems; anemia; increased risk of cancer

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops

Atrazine

0.003

0.003

Cardiovascular system problems; reproductive difficulties

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops

Benzene

zero

0.005

Anemia; decrease in blood platelets; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills

Benzo(a)pyrene (PAHs)

zero

0.0002

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Leaching from linings of water storage tanks and distribution lines

Carbofuran

0.04

0.04

Problems with blood or nervous system; reproductive difficulties.

Leaching of soil fumigant used on rice and alfalfa

Carbon tetrachloride

zero

0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from chemical plants and other industrial activities

Chlordane

zero

0.002

Liver or nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer

Residue of banned termiticide

Chlorobenzene

0.1

0.1

Liver or kidney problems

Discharge from chemical and agricultural chemical factories

2,4-D

0.07

0.07

Kidney, liver, or adrenal gland problems

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Dalapon

0.2

0.2

Minor kidney changes

Runoff from herbicide used on rights of way

l,2-Dibromo-3-

chloropropane

(DBCP)

zero

0.0002

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Runoff/leaching from soil fumigant used on soybeans, cotton, pineapples, and orchards

o-Dichlorobenzene

0.6

0.6

Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

p-Dichlorobenzene

0.075

0.075

Anemia; liver, kidney or spleen damage; changes in blood

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

1,2-Dichloroethane

zero

0.005

Increased risk of cancer

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

Dichloroethylene

0.007

0.007

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

Dichloroethylene

0.07

0.07

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene

0.1

0.1

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

Dichloromethane

zero

0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from pharmaceutical and chemical factories

Dichloropropane

zero

0.005

Increased risk of cancer

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate

0.4

0.4

General toxic effects or reproductive difficulties

Leaching from PVC plumbing systems; discharge from chemical factories

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

zero

0.006

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from rubber and chemical factories

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Dinoseb

0.007

0.007

Reproductive difficulties

Runoff from herbicide used on soybeans and vegetables

Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)

zero

0.00000003

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Emissions from waste incineration and other combustion; discharge from chemical factories

Diquat

0.02

0.02

Cataracts

Runoff from herbicide use

Endothall

0.1

0.1

Stomach and intestinal problems

Runoff from herbicide use

Endrin

0.002

0.002

Nervous system effects

Residue of banned insecticide

Epichlorohydrin

zero

TT9

Stomach problems; reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from industrial chemical factories; added to water during treatment process

Ethylbenzene

0.7

0.7

Liver or kidney problems

Discharge from petroleum refineries

Ethelyne dibroinide

zero

0.00005

Stomach problems; reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from petroleum refineries

Glyphosate

0.7

reproductive difficulties

Runoff from herbicide use

Heptachlor

zero

0.0004

Liver damage; risk of cancer

Residue of banned termiticide

Heptachlor epoxide

zero

0.0002

Liver damage; risk of cancer

Breakdown of hepatachlor

Hexachlorobenzene

zero

0.001

Liver or kidney problems; reproductive difficulties; risk of cancer

Discharge from metal refineries and agricultural chemical factories

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Hexachlorocyclopen tadiene

0.05

0.05

Kidney or stomach problems

Discharge from chemical factories

Lindane

0.0002

0.0002

Liver or kidney problems

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on catttle, lumber, gardens

Methoxychlor

0.04

0.04

Reproductive difficulties

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestock

Oxamyl (Vydate)

0.2

0.2

Slight nervous system effects

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on apples, potatoes, and tomatoes

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

zero

0.0005

Skin changes; thymus gland problems; immune deficiencies; reproductive or nervous system difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Runoff from landfils; discharge of waste chemicals

Pentachlorophenol

zero

0.001

Liver or kidney problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from wood preserving factories

Picloram

0.5

0.5

Liver problems

Herbicide runoff

Simazine

0.004

0.004

Problems with blood

Herbicide runoff

Styrene

0.1

0.1

Liver, kidney, and circulatory problems

Discharge from rubber and plastic factories; leaching from landfills

Tetrachloroethylene

zero

0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from factories and dry cleaners

Toluene

1

1

Nervous system, kidney, or liver problems

Discharge from petroleum factories

Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Toxaphene

zero

0.003

Kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; increased risk of cancer

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on cotton and cattle

2,4,5-TP (Silvex)

0.05

0.05

Liver problems

Residue of banned herbicide

Trichlorobenzene

0.07

0.07

Changes in adrenal glands

Discharge from textile finishing factories

Trichloroethane

0.20

0.2

Liver, nervous system, or circulatory problems

Discharge from metal degreasing sites and other factories

Trichloroethane

0.003

0.005

Liver, kidney, or immune system problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories

Trichloroethylene

zero

0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from petroleum refineries

Vinyl chloride

zero

0.002

Increased risk of cancer

Leaching from PVC pipes; discharge from plastic factories

Xylenes (total)

10

10

Nervous system damage

Discharges from petroleum and chemical plants

Table 5. NPDW Regulations for Radionuclides

Radionuclides

TT1 (mg/L)2

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Alpha particles

none7

picocuries per Liter (pCi/L)

Increased risk of cancer

Erosion of natural deposits

as of

12/08/03: zero

Radionuclides

(mg/L)2

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

Beta particles and photon emitters

none7

4 millirems per year

Increased risk of cancer

Decay of natural and man-made deposits

as of

12/08/03: zero

Radium 226 and Radium 228 (combined)

none7

5 pCi/L

Increased risk of cancer

Erosion of natural deposits

as of

12/08/03: zero

12/08/03: 30 ug/L

Increased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity

Erosion of natural deposits

The following footnotes apply to the above tables.

1 Definitions: Refer to the discussion box on page 12.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.

3 EPA's surface water treatment rules require systems using surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water to (1) disinfect their water, and (2) filter their water or meet criteria for avoiding filtration so that the following contaminants are controlled at the following levels:

• Cryptosporidium: (as of January 1, 2002) 99% removal/inactivation

• Giardia lamblia: 99.9% removal/inactivation

• Viruses: 99.99% removal/inactivation

• Legionella: No limit, but EPA believes that if Giardia and viruses are removed/inactivated, Legionella will also be controlled.

• Turbidity: At no time can turbidity (cloudiness of water) go above 5 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU); systems that filter must ensure that the turbidity go no higher than 1 NTU (0.5 NTU for conventional or direct filtration) in at least 95% of the daily samples in any month. As of January 1, 2002, turbidity may never exceed 1 NTU, and must not exceed 0.3 NTU in 95% of daily samples in any month

• HPC: No more than 500 bacterial colonies per milliliter.

4 No more than 5.0% samples total coliform-positive in a month. (For water systems that collect fewer than 40 routine samples per month, no more than one sample can be total coliform-positive). Every sample that has total coliforms must be analyzed for fecal coliforms. There may not be any fecal coliforms or E. coli.

5 Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Disease-causing microbes (pathogens) in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. These pathogens may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

6 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants:

9 Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero);

dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L). Chloroform is regulated with this group but has no MCLG.

• Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.3 mg/L). Monochloroacetic acid, bromoacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid are regulated with this group but have no MCLGs.

7 MCLGs were not established before the 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. Therefore, there is no MCLG for this contaminant.

8 Lead and copper are regulated by a Treatment Technique that requires systems to control the corrosiveness of their water. If more than 10% of tap water samples exceed the action level, water systems must take additional steps. For copper, the action level is 1.3 mg/L, and for lead is 0.015 mg/L.

9 Each water system must certify, in writing, to the state (using third-party or manufacturer's certification) that when acrylamide and epichlorohydrin are used in drinking water systems, the combination (or product) of dose and monomer level does not exceed the levels specified, as follows:

, Acrylamide = 0.05% dosed at 1 mg/L (or equivalent)

• Epichlorohydrin = 0.01 % dosed at 20 mg/L (or equivalent)

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