Revised Total Coliform Rule Basics

Posted by Bryon Killian on Monday, November 30, 2015

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Public water suppliers across the nation have until April 1, 2016 to comply with the EPA’s Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR), but what exactly is changing? Total coliforms will now be used as an indicator of system operation and condition, rather than an immediate health concern. The change will enhance the protection of our drinking water quality.

Sampling Plan Map

What will change with the RTCR?

  • A sample siting plan must be developed and submitted to your state’s department of environmental protection. Your siting plan now mandates certain targeted areas that have been found to be common problem areas and must be sampled. The graphic above shows the mandatory sampling plan areas: first service connection, previous detections, water storage tanks, dead ends, seasonal use connections, and interconnections.
  • The EPA is now requiring a “Find and Fix” approach when total coliforms are found. Systems will be required to perform “assessments” of the distribution system and correct any deficiencies that are identified.
  • There have been changes to the required follow-up and repeat monitoring for systems serving smaller populations, including a requirement for E. coli analysis.

Who is affected?

  • The RTCR affects the approximately 155,000 public water systems throughout the country, including schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals that have their own water systems. Even small systems need a sampling plan, and we expect nearly all systems will need to implement operational and/or schematic system changes as a result of the RTCR.

How can I get more information & help?

Below are resources to ensure you comply with the specific rules and regulations for your water system size and population served.

We strongly recommend the PADEP training sessions. We have one customer who recently attended a session with his system map and a highlighter in hand, and left with his plan conceptualized.

If you have further questions or concerns with the RTCR, our water engineers would be glad to help!

get some RTCR help

sample siting plans | system mapping | hydraulic modeling | sampling stations | tank mixing systems | line extensions | chlorine booster stations | & more

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Bryon Killian, PE


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Categories: Municipal Infrastructure

Tagged: Potable Water

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