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EPA Issues Guidance
on POU/POE Systems

The EPA has issued an industry-critical guidance and interpretation, which states that compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) can be achieved using practical implementation of home water treatment technologies.

It was written as part of the "Arsenic Guidance," but in the future, the same principles can be transferred to other contaminants and other POU and POE technologies as well.

The good news concerning this release is that it should remove public water system and state concerns about meeting the letter of the law when considering POU or POE treatment strategies by municipalities. Important agency determinations that WQA sees includes:

  • "If the water system and state have developed a rigorous maintenance program, strong public education, and representative monitoring regime. POU (and POE) devises can provide public health benefits required by the SDWA."

  • Federal recognition that proper unit operation can be confirmed with rapid field test (e.g. a conductivity meter for RO or hardness test kit for a water softener).

  • The SDWA regulatory monitoring requirements in CFR 141.23 can be met with compliance monitoring at a percentage of homes annually that will be statistically representative of the full community, or by sampling one-ninth of the units each year.

  • Recognition the the requirement for a device to be in each customer’s home may be satisfied by use of ordinances and compliance agreements to address the small number of customers who may be reluctant to allow installation of or access to a household treatment unit.

This guidance is now out for comment and for presentation in the USEPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water training on the arsenic rule.


"EPA Issues Guidance on POU/POE use for SDWA Compliance." WQA Newsfax. 17 April 2002.
 Water Quality Association: 1.


 
 
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Last Updated: January 9, 2014