Unregulated contaminant monitoring regulation

 Unregulated contaminant monitoring regulation

The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act required that EPA establish criteria for a program to monitor unregulated contaminants and to identify no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored every five years.

Unregulated contaminants are those contaminants that do not have a drinking water standard (maximum contaminate level) established by EPA.  The purpose of the UCMR is to assist EPA in determining the occurrence of unregulated contaminants in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted.

The third round of the UCMR required monitoring for 28 contaminants.  Colorado Springs Utilities was required to monitoring for these contaminants for 4 quarters, starting in July 2013.  The results for any contaminants detected, to date, are listed below.

Contaminant​ Average Level Detected (Range)​ Units​ Sample Dates​ Potential Sources of Contamination​
Chlorate​ 3.7 (ND - 63)​ ppb​ July, Oct. 2013 & Jan., April, May 2014​ Powerful oxidizer once used in pyrotechnics. Can be chemically bound to make metal salts.​
Chromium - 6​ ​0.001 (ND - 0.041) ​ppb ​July, Oct. 2013 & Jan., April, May 2014 ​Used for chrome plating, dyes and pigments, leather tanning and wood preserving.
Molybdenum​ 0.42 (ND - 1.4)​ ppb​ July, Oct. 2013 & Jan., April, May 2014​ Used to make steel alloys, and in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, as pigments and catalysts.​
Strontium​ 79.4 (46-110)​ ppb​ July, Oct. 2013 & Jan., April, May 2014​ Used in making ceramics and glass products, pyrotechnics, paint pigments, fluorescent lights and medicines.​
Vanadium​ ​0.02 (ND - 0.31) ​ppb July, Oct. 2013 & Jan., April, May 2014​ Used to make metal alloys. Used in making rubber, plastics, ceramics and other chemicals.​
Definitions:
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.
  • Non-detect (ND) – Analytical result is below the reportable level for the analysis.
  • Parts per billion (ppb) – One part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years or one penny in $10,000,000.  One ppb can also be referred to as one microgram per liter (µg/L).