The proposed Drinking Water Disinfection Requirements Rule was published in the PA Bulletin on February 20, 2016 with a 60-day comment period (ending April 19, 2016).
Below are links to the proposed rule:
PA Bulletin PDF
The proposed rule also includes additional public comment opportunities at three public hearings, and a stakeholder group to meet during the public comment period.
The three public hearings on the proposed rule will be held at 1 pm on the following dates:
March 28, 2016 Department of Environmental Protection
Southcentral Regional Office
909 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
April 5, 2016 Department of Environmental Protection
Southeast Regional Office
Delaware and Schuylkill Conference Rooms
2 East Main Street
Norristown, PA 19401
April 7, 2016 Department of Environmental Protection
Southwest Regional Office
Waterfront Conference Rooms A and B
400 Waterfront Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The stakeholder group meetings will be held March 9th, 30th, and April 15th. These are also open to the public. PMAA has been asked along with other groups representing water suppliers to be part of the stakeholder group to discuss the proposed regulation.
Changes to disinfection requirements at both the entry point and within the distribution system are being proposed. Water suppliers will be required to maintain a residual that is equal to or greater than 0.20 mg/L at the entry point. Currently, levels of 0.15 mg/L or higher round up to 0.2 mg/L, therefore, a minimum of 0.20 mg/L will be required.
Also, the proposed rulemaking requires a regulatory limit of 0.2 mg/L (free or total chlorine) in the distribution system.
In addition, the proposed rule includes minor changes to the Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts Rule, Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Lead and Copper Rule Short-Term Revisions to obtain or maintain primacy.
You can read more by visiting DEP's dedicated proposed disinfection requirements rule web page.
Background on Disinfection Residual Requirement in the distribution system
DEP’s advisory committee, the Small Water Systems Technical Assistance Center Board (TAC) presented their concerns on a number of provisions. One in particular was the proposed limit of 0.2 mg/L (free or total chlorine) in the distribution system. Concerns noted were whether or not the new level was necessary given no public health threat and with no public health benefit, no cost/ benefit analysis, additional O&M and BMPs, and increased compliance costs. The TAC Board voted on and made the recommendation to change the proposed minimum required disinfectant residual in the distribution system to 0.1 mg/L for both free and total chlorine, 95% of the time.
Additional discussions centered on taste and odor complaints due to enhanced chlorine levels, and the need for system wide elevations of chlorine levels when many of the identified water-borne problems have been premise-specific.
Additional information regarding the TAC Board’s comments on the proposed rule can be viewed here.
Scroll down to "Proposed Rulemaking: Disinfection Requirements Rule (25 Pa. Code Chapter 109)" section located under November 17 Meetings/Agendas/Minutes/Handouts.