US Water Monitors a subdivision of US Nuclear Corp States:
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. The law was amended in 1986 and 1996. (SDWA does not regulate private wells which serve fewer than 25 individuals.)
Protecting America’s drinking water is a top priority for EPA. EPA has established protective drinking water standards for more than 90 contaminants, including drinking water regulations issued since the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act that strengthen public health protection. Over 92 percent of the population supplied by community water systems receives drinking water that meets all health-based standards all of the time.
With the advent of the ever-increasing use of radionuclide isotopes in the industry, the risk of contamination to water is far more extensive than the origin of contamination as specified in the SDWA. The SDWA lists naturally occurring radioactive materials originating from the erosion and decay of natural deposits of certain minerals. This is true, however with industry use of isotopes in manufacturing, medicine, etc., the high cost of proper disposal of waste material containing radioactive components the SDWA clearly no longer goes far enough to protect the public drinking water.
- Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.
- Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
Current Monitoring Regulation:
- Initial compliance monitoring was to take place for 4 consecutive quarters during the years 2004-2007. Once that was accomplished time frames for monitoring was established as below:
- If the average of the initial monitoring results for each contaminant is below the detection limit: One sample every 9 years.
- If the average of the initial monitoring results in for each contaminant is greater than or equal to the detection limit, but less than or equal to one-half the MCL: One sample every 6 years.
- If the average of the initial monitoring results in for each contaminant is greater than one-half the MCL, but less than or equal to the MCL: one sample every 3 years.
- A system with an entry point result above the MCL must return to quarterly sampling until 4 consecutive quarterly samples are below the MCL.
This monitoring regimen does not take into consideration the risk of illegal dumping, terrorist activities, or industrial accident. Most Community Water Systems (CWS) get their water from surface water: reservoirs, rivers, watersheds, etc. All of these water resources are vulnerable to contamination not just of radioactivity but from any number of harmful chemical contaminants.
The SDWA was a really good start but that was in 1996. It is now 2020 and with the increased use of radionuclides in the manufacturing and medical industries is it really a good idea to only have monitoring every 9 years or even every 3 years? CWS for municipalities should have real-time monitoring for radionuclides and harmful chemicals to fully protect the public drinking water.
Technical Associates, a division of US Nuclear Corp determined real-time water monitoring for radionuclides was a need in 2000. A whole line of real-time water monitoring instrumentation for detecting radionuclides in water developed, creating US Water Monitors, a subdivision of US Nuclear Corp.
From fixed systems for water treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants to portable handheld instruments for quick deployment at an accident or spill. US Water Monitors real-time instruments can be attached to water inflow to vulnerable facilities such as hospitals or government buildings. Real-time radiation detection of nuclear power liquid effluent or seawater is now also available. The ability to detect difficult to see isotopes in water such as Tritium, Radon, and Radium further enhance the benefit of instruments for real-time detection of radiation in water.
Installing the fixed monitoring systems as part of the infrastructure in water treatment plants for CWS and in wastewater treatment plants, after which treated water is reused and the public is exposed to it in a wide variety of ways, would go a long way in assuring compliance with the SDWA regulations, save money, and eliminate risk to the public.
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