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e-CFR data is current as of January 14, 2021

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter DPart 141Subpart Y → §141.859


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 141—NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS
Subpart Y—Revised Total Coliform Rule


§141.859   Coliform treatment technique triggers and assessment requirements for protection against potential fecal contamination.

(a) Treatment technique triggers. Systems must conduct assessments in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section after exceeding treatment technique triggers in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.

(1) Level 1 treatment technique triggers.

(i) For systems taking 40 or more samples per month, the system exceeds 5.0% total coliform-positive samples for the month.

(ii) For systems taking fewer than 40 samples per month, the system has two or more total coliform-positive samples in the same month.

(iii) The system fails to take every required repeat sample after any single total coliform-positive sample.

(2) Level 2 treatment technique triggers.

(i) An E. coli MCL violation, as specified in §141.860(a).

(ii) A second Level 1 trigger as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, within a rolling 12-month period, unless the State has determined a likely reason that the samples that caused the first Level 1 treatment technique trigger were total coliform-positive and has established that the system has corrected the problem.

(iii) For systems with approved annual monitoring, a Level 1 trigger in two consecutive years.

(b) Requirements for assessments. (1) Systems must ensure that Level 1 and 2 assessments are conducted in order to identify the possible presence of sanitary defects and defects in distribution system coliform monitoring practices. Level 2 assessments must be conducted by parties approved by the State.

(2) When conducting assessments, systems must ensure that the assessor evaluates minimum elements that include review and identification of inadequacies in sample sites; sampling protocol; sample processing; atypical events that could affect distributed water quality or indicate that distributed water quality was impaired; changes in distribution system maintenance and operation that could affect distributed water quality (including water storage); source and treatment considerations that bear on distributed water quality, where appropriate (e.g., small ground water systems); and existing water quality monitoring data. The system must conduct the assessment consistent with any State directives that tailor specific assessment elements with respect to the size and type of the system and the size, type, and characteristics of the distribution system.

(3) Level 1 assessments. A system must conduct a Level 1 assessment consistent with State requirements if the system exceeds one of the treatment technique triggers in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(i) The system must complete a Level 1 assessment as soon as practical after any trigger in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. In the completed assessment form, the system must describe sanitary defects detected, corrective actions completed, and a proposed timetable for any corrective actions not already completed. The assessment form may also note that no sanitary defects were identified. The system must submit the completed Level 1 assessment form to the State within 30 days after the system learns that it has exceeded a trigger.

(ii) If the State reviews the completed Level 1 assessment and determines that the assessment is not sufficient (including any proposed timetable for any corrective actions not already completed), the State must consult with the system. If the State requires revisions after consultation, the system must submit a revised assessment form to the State on an agreed-upon schedule not to exceed 30 days from the date of the consultation.

(iii) Upon completion and submission of the assessment form by the system, the State must determine if the system has identified a likely cause for the Level 1 trigger and, if so, establish that the system has corrected the problem, or has included a schedule acceptable to the State for correcting the problem.

(4) Level 2 assessments. A system must ensure that a Level 2 assessment consistent with State requirements is conducted if the system exceeds one of the treatment technique triggers in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The system must comply with any expedited actions or additional actions required by the State in the case of an E. coli MCL violation.

(i) The system must ensure that a Level 2 assessment is completed by the State or by a party approved by the State as soon as practical after any trigger in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The system must submit a completed Level 2 assessment form to the State within 30 days after the system learns that it has exceeded a trigger. The assessment form must describe sanitary defects detected, corrective actions completed, and a proposed timetable for any corrective actions not already completed. The assessment form may also note that no sanitary defects were identified.

(ii) The system may conduct Level 2 assessments if the system has staff or management with the certification or qualifications specified by the State unless otherwise directed by the State.

(iii) If the State reviews the completed Level 2 assessment and determines that the assessment is not sufficient (including any proposed timetable for any corrective actions not already completed), the State must consult with the system. If the State requires revisions after consultation, the system must submit a revised assessment form to the State on an agreed-upon schedule not to exceed 30 days.

(iv) Upon completion and submission of the assessment form by the system, the State must determine if the system has identified a likely cause for the Level 2 trigger and determine whether the system has corrected the problem, or has included a schedule acceptable to the State for correcting the problem.

(c) Corrective action. Systems must correct sanitary defects found through either Level 1 or 2 assessments conducted under paragraph (b) of this section. For corrections not completed by the time of submission of the assessment form, the system must complete the corrective action(s) in compliance with a timetable approved by the State in consultation with the system. The system must notify the State when each scheduled corrective action is completed.

(d) Consultation. At any time during the assessment or corrective action phase, either the water system or the State may request a consultation with the other party to determine the appropriate actions to be taken. The system may consult with the State on all relevant information that may impact on its ability to comply with a requirement of this subpart, including the method of accomplishment, an appropriate timeframe, and other relevant information.

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