Stricter water regulations are on the horizon
Regulation of water contaminants are critical to enforce the preservation of our environment and water resources so we have safe water to drink and clean water to use as the supply for drinking water and irrigation. With widespread industrial pollution, our water quality has been jeopardized and the U.S. EPA constantly reviews current regulated drinking water contaminants and evaluates unregulated contaminants in drinking water for their occurrence and frequency levels. It is expected that water regulations will become stricter down the road. On this page, we provide solutions to comply with water regulations set in the U.S. and Europe.
U.S. drinking water and wastewater regulations
The U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulates the drinking water and requires the U. S. EPA to set the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) and National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (PSDWR). The U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates the discharge of pollutants into U.S. surface waters and sets quality standards for surface waters. Under the CWA, the U.S. EPA has implemented pollution control programs that include wastewater standards for industry and water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. To protect water resources and guarantee a safe supply of drinking water, both drinking water standards and effluent (wastewater) discharge standards must be enforced.
U.S. EPA approval for alternative technologies and methodologies
Variety of approved analytical methods are required to used for analysis of contaminants in water, such as the EPA methods, ASTM methods, Standard Methods, and others. These methods have been continually been updated with newer technologies and higher sensitivities to meet the needs of new and stricter regulatory standards. Meanwhile, Alternate Test Procedures (ATP) have been approved by the EPA for contaminant analysis. Stay current with alternative technologies and methodologies approved for compliance monitoring through the EPA’s Alternative Test Procedures (ATP) program.
European Union Water Framework Directive
Presenting a complete solution for challenges in environmental analysis
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) was introduced in August 2013 amending the EU directives 2000/60/EC and 2008/105/EC. It is a directive which:
- Commits all member states to actively control and monitor all the water bodies in the various member states on a large list of environmental contaminants
- Lays down a strategy against the pollution of water to be applied to all European Union member states
- Involves the identification of priority substances and the monitoring of different classes of contaminants; and it includes the first watch list (used for future prioritization exercises)
Although the directive acts at the whole EU level, member states can choose to apply an environmental quality standard (EQS) for an alternative matrix or, where relevant, an alternative biota taxon. In addition, the new directive encourages the development of novel monitoring methods such as passive sampling and other tools.
UK Specific Regulations: Introduction to CIP 2
CIP 2 UK regulations investigates the occurrence, sources and removal of trace substances in waste water treatment facility effluent. This regulation helps to establish priorities for remediative action to ensure surface waters meet new Environmental Quality Standards (EQS).
- The CIP 1 program was managed by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) and implemented from 2010-2013.
- The CIP 2 program is a follow up program of sampling and analysis to be implemented between 2014 and 2020.
The primary objective of CIP 2 is to identify and characterize sites where EQS levels are breached. In the program 70 priority substances were determined from 162 sewage treatment works (STW) effluents. 11 pharmaceuticals were also identified as priority monitoring candidates. It is important to note that EQS is defined for only 3 pharmaceutical compounds Diclofenac, E2, and EE2. All substances selected for monitoring analysis were detected previously in wastewater effluent samples. The determined environmental concentrations of many priority substances in effluent exceeded EQS.
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