The Division of Water is providing citizens with the opportunity to check to see if their public water systems are in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act when they review a Division of Water (DOW) report that summarizes violations incurred by public water systems each calendar year.
This year’s Annual Compliance Report (ACR) indicates health-based violations held steady in 2013, increasing slightly from 48 to 50. Health-based violations account for less than 5% of the drinking water violations processed in 2013.
Julie Roney, coordinator of the DOW Drinking Water Program, says credit for the numbers remaining low should be shared among the water utilities, the Division of Compliance Assistance and DOW.
“Water utilities staff have been taking greater advantage of training provided by the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance to become better trained in both management and water treatment topics,” said Roney. “Within the DOW, our Compliance and Technical Assistance staff have been working very closely with utilities to advise them on how to improve their disinfection processes and how to interpret rules and regulations.
The report, required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, lists Kentucky’s 450 public water systems and any violations imposed in the previous calendar year. The 450 systems include cities, water districts, manufactured housing communities, schools, parks and campgrounds.
Kentucky’s public water supply systems test on a regular basis for bacteria, nitrates and other inorganic chemicals, radiological elements and more than 100 industrial chemicals and pesticides. The results are monitored by DOW. A water system that exceeds the standards for a contaminant is required to take corrective action and notify its customers.
Most Kentucky water systems test their drinking water as required, submit the results to the Kentucky Division of Water on time and demonstrate that their drinking water meets the maximum contaminant levels. When discrepancies occur, DOW issues a violation. The Annual Compliance Report compiles these violations and makes them available to the public.
Roney said the division does take seriously the requirement of public water systems to submit accurate monitoring reports in a timely manner. Administrative violations include the failure to report or public notify when required, submitting incorrect data or omitting required information.
The 2013 compliance report may be viewed in summary and detailed formats at http://water.ky.gov/DrinkingWater/Pages/AnnualComplianceReports.aspx.
The summary report is also arranged by contaminant; details on individual public water systems can be found at KY Drinking Water Watch (https://dep.gateway.ky.gov/DWW/).