26.04.01.20

.20 Public Notification of Variances, Exemptions, and Noncompliance with Standards.

A. General Public Notification Requirements.

(1) Each supplier of water shall give notice for all violations of national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWR) and for the situations identified in Table 1 of 40 CFR §§141.201 and 141.211, Subpart Q.

(2) The type of public notification required is determined by the tier to which it is assigned, as follows:

(a) Tier 1 public notice is required for violations of the NPDWR and situations with significant potential to have serious adverse effects on human health as a result of short-term exposure;

(b) Tier 2 public notice is required for all other NPDWR violations and situations with potential to have serious adverse effects on human health; and

(c) Tier 3 public notice is required for all other NPDWR violations and situations not included in Tier 1 and Tier 2.

(3) Each supplier of water must provide public notice as described in 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart Q, to persons served by the water system. A supplier of water that sells or otherwise provides drinking water to other public water systems is required to give public notice to the owner or operator of the consecutive system. The consecutive system shall provide notice to the individuals it serves.

(4) If a supplier of water has a violation in a portion of the distribution system that is physically or hydraulically isolated from other parts of the distribution system, the Approving Authority may allow the supplier to limit the distribution of the public notice to individuals served by the portion of the system that is out of compliance. If the Approving Authority grants permission for limiting distribution, it shall issue the permission in writing.

(5) A copy of the notice shall be filed with the Approving Authority as specified in Regulation .19F of this chapter.

B. Tier 1 Public Notices.

(1) The violation categories requiring Tier 1 notices are specified in 40 CFR §141.202 and include:

(a) Violation of the MCL for fecal coliform or E. coli, or failure to test for fecal coliform or E. coli if a repeat sample tests positive for total coliform;

(b) Violation of the MCL for nitrate, nitrite, or total nitrate and nitrite, or failure to take a confirmation sample within 24 hours of a nitrate or nitrite exceedance;

(c) Exceedance of the nitrate MCL by noncommunity water systems where permitted to exceed the MCL by the Approving Authority under 40 CFR §141.11(d);

(d) Violation of the MRDL for chlorine dioxide, exceedance of the MRDL in the distribution system following an exceedance of the MRDL at the entrance of the distribution system, or failure to take the required samples in the distribution system as specified in 40 CFR §141.133(c)(2)(i);

(e) Violation of the turbidity MCL based on exceeding an average of 5 NTU for 2 consecutive days as determined after consultation with the Approving Authority, or if consultation does not take place within 24 hours after the system learns of the violation;

(f) Violation of the treatment technique requirement resulting from a single exceedance of the maximum allowable turbidity requirement where the Approving Authority determines after consultation that a Tier 1 notice is required or when consultation does not take place within 24 hours after the system learns of the violation;

(g) Occurrence of a water-borne disease outbreak or other water-borne emergency such as:

(i) Failure of key treatment processes;

(ii) Natural disaster that disrupts the water system; or

(iii) A chemical spill that increases the potential for drinking water contamination;

(h) Detection of E. coli, enterococci, or coliphage in source water samples for ground water systems under Regulation .11-2D or E of this chapter;

(i) Other violations or situations with significant potential to have serious adverse effects on human health as a result of short-term exposure, as determined by the Approving Authority.

(2) Manner of Tier 1 Notice. A supplier of water shall:

(a) Provide a Tier 1 public notice as soon as practical but not later than 24 hours after learning of the violation;

(b) Contact the Approving Authority as soon as practical but not later than 24 hours after learning of the violation to determine additional public notice requirements;

(c) Comply with any additional Tier 1 public notification requirements that are established as a result of consultation with the Approving Authority, which may include the timing, form, manner, frequency, and content of repeat notices or other actions designed to reach all individuals served; and

(d) Use one or more of the following forms of delivery:

(i) Appropriate broadcast media, such as radio and television;

(ii) Posting of the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the area served;

(iii) Hand delivery of the notice to persons served; or

(iv) Another delivery method approved in writing by the Approving Authority.

(3) Noncommunity ground water systems.

(a) In addition to the applicable public notification requirements of 40 CFR §141.202, a non-community ground water supplier that receives notice from the Approving Authority of a significant deficiency shall inform the public served by the water supplier, in a manner approved by the Approving Authority, of any significant deficiency that has not been corrected within 12 months of being notified by the Approving Authority, or earlier, if directed by the Approving Authority. The supplier shall continue to inform the public annually until the significant deficiency is corrected. The information must include:

(i) The nature of the significant deficiency and the date the significant deficiency was identified by the Approving Authority;

(ii) The plan and schedule for correction of the significant deficiency, including interim measures, progress to date, and any interim measures completed, as approved by the Approving Authority; and

(iii) For systems with a large proportion of non-English speaking consumers, as determined by the Approving Authority, information in the appropriate language(s) regarding the importance of the notice or a telephone number or address where consumers may contact the supplier to obtain a translated copy of the notice or assistance in the appropriate language.

(b) If directed by the Approving Authority, a noncommunity water supplier with significant deficiencies that have been corrected shall inform its customers of the significant deficiencies, how the deficiencies were corrected, and the dates of correction.

C. Tier 2 Public Notice.

(1) The violation categories requiring Tier 2 notices are specified in Table 1 of 40 CFR §§141.203 and 141.211, and include:

(a) All violations of the MCL, MRDL, and treatment technique requirements except if Tier 1 notice is required;

(b) Violations of the monitoring and testing procedure requirements if the Approving Authority determines that a Tier 2 public notice is required based on potential health impacts and persistence of the violation; and

(c) Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of any variance or exemption in place;

(d) Repeated failure to conduct monitoring of the source water for Cryptosporidium and for failure to determine bin classification or mean Cryptosporidium level;

(e) Failure to take corrective action or failure to maintain at least 4-log treatment of viruses, using inactivation, removal, or a combination of 4-log virus inactivation and removal approved by the Approving Authority before or at the first customer under Regulation .05-5C of this chapter; and

(f) Treatment technique violations specified in Regulation .05-5D(1)-(3) of this chapter for ground water suppliers subject to that regulation.

(2) Manner of Tier 2 Notice. A supplier of water shall:

(a) Provide a Tier 2 public notice as soon as practical but not later than 30 days after learning of the violation, subject to the following:

(i) If the notice is posted, the notice shall remain in place for as long as the violation persists, but not less than 7 days; and

(ii) The Approving Authority may grant in writing additional time for the initial notice of up to 3 months from the date that the system learns of the violation;

(b) Repeat the notice every 3 months as long as the violation or situation persists, unless the Approving Authority determines that appropriate circumstances warrant a different repeat notice frequency. In no circumstances may the repeat notice be given less frequently than once per year. The Approving Authority may not allow less frequent repeat notice for an MCL or treatment technique violation under Regulation .11-4 of this chapter or a treatment technique violation under Regulation .05-2 of this chapter. The Approving Authority may not allow less frequent repeat notice for a Tier 2 repeat notice. Approving Authority determinations that allow repeat notices to be given less frequently than once every 3 months must be in writing;

(c) For Tier 2 turbidity violations, initiate consultation with the Approving Authority as soon as practical but not later than 24 hours after the system learns of the violation, comply with any public notification requirements in 40 CFR §141.203(b)(3), and if consultation does not take place within the 24-hour period, distribute a Tier 1 notice of the violation within the next 24 hours, that is, not later than 48 hours after the system learns of the violation; and

(d) Comply with any public notification requirements specified in 40 CFR §141.203(b)(3).

(3) If notice is posted under §L(2)(a) of this regulation, the notice shall remain in place for as long as the violation persists, but not fewer than 7 days.

(4) Unless otherwise directed by the Approving Authority, a community water system shall provide notice by:

(a) Mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to service connections to which water is delivered; and

(b) Any other method reasonably determined to reach individuals regularly served by the system such as posting of the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the area served, Internet, local newspapers, hand delivery, or delivery to community organizations, if the individuals would not normally be reached by the notice required in Regulation .20K(2)(d)(i) of this chapter.

(5) Unless otherwise directed by the Approving Authority, a noncommunity water system shall provide notice by:

(a) Posting the notice in conspicuous locations or by mail and direct delivery to each customer; and

(b) Any other method reasonably determined to reach individuals regularly served by the system such as Internet and hand delivery.

D. Tier 3 Public Notice.

(1) The violation categories and other situations requiring Tier 3 notices are specified in 40 CFR §141.204 and include:

(a) Monitoring violations under 40 CFR §141 except if Tier 1 notice is required or the Approving Authority determines that Tier 2 notice is required;

(b) Failure to comply with a testing procedure except if Tier 1 notice is required or the Approving Authority determines that Tier 2 notice is required;

(c) Operating under a variance or an exemption;

(d) Results are available for unregulated contaminant monitoring;

(e) Exceedance of the fluoride secondary maximum contaminant level; and

(f) Reporting and record-keeping violations under subpart Y of 40 CFR §141.

(2) Manner of Tier 3 Notice.

(a) A supplier of water shall provide a Tier 3 public notice not later than 1 year after the system learns of the violation or begins operating under a variance or exemption. If the public notice is posted, the notice must remain in place as long as the situation persists, but not less than 7 days. The system shall repeat the notice annually for as long as the situation persists.

(b) Unless otherwise directed by the Approving Authority, a community water system shall provide notice by:

(i) Mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections, and, if customers would not normally be reached by mail or other direct delivery, any other method reasonably determined to reach individuals regularly served by the system such as Internet and hand delivery; or

(ii) Include the notice, which shall satisfy the form, manner, and content requirements of this regulation, in the Consumer Confidence Report as described in Regulation .20-2 of this chapter if the report will be distributed not later than 12 months after the learning of the violation or situation.

(c) Unless otherwise directed by the Approving Authority, a noncommunity water system shall provide notice by:

(i) Posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the system or by mail or direct delivery; or

(ii) Any other method reasonably determined to reach persons regularly served by the system such as Internet and hand delivery.

E. Public Notice Content.

(1) Each public notice shall meet the requirements as described in 40 CFR §141.205, and shall include the following information:

(a) A description of the violation or situation including the contaminant of concern, and the contaminant level;

(b) When the violation or situation occurred;

(c) Any potential adverse health effects from the violation or situation using standard language as specified in 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart Q, Appendices A—B;

(d) The population at risk, including subpopulations that are particularly vulnerable;

(e) Whether alternative water supplies should be used;

(f) What action consumers should take, including conditions under which consumers should seek medical help, if known;

(g) What the system is doing to correct the violation or situation;

(h) When the water system expects to return to compliance or resolve the situation;

(i) The name, business address, and phone number of the designee of the water system as a source of additional information; and

(j) A statement to encourage the notice recipient to distribute the notice to other persons served, if applicable.

(2) Each public notice:

(a) Shall be displayed in a conspicuous way if printed or posted;

(b) May not contain overly technical language or small print;

(c) May not be formatted in a way that defeats the purpose of the notice;

(d) May not contain language that nullifies the purpose of the notice; and

(e) Shall comply with the multilingual requirements in 40 CFR §141.205(c)(2).

(3) As described in Regulation .20E(1)(j) of this chapter, a water supplier shall include the following language, if applicable:

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or by distributing copies by hand or mail.

(4) A supplier of water shall give a copy of the most recent public notice for any continuing violation, the existence of a variance or exemption, or other ongoing situations requiring public notice to all new billing units or new customers. Noncommunity systems shall continue to post the public notice in conspicuous locations to inform new consumers.

(5) A supplier of water shall notify individuals served by the system of the availability of unregulated contaminant monitoring results under 40 CFR §141.40 not later than 12 months after the monitoring results are known. The notice shall:

(a) As to form and manner, follow the requirements for a Tier 3 notice in §D of this regulation; and

(b) Identify a person to contact for information on the monitoring results, and provide the person's telephone number.

(6) A supplier of water to a community water system shall notify individuals served by the system of fluoride levels that exceed the secondary maximum contaminant level of 2 milligrams per liter as determined by the last single sample taken in accordance with Regulation .14 of this chapter, but does not exceed the maximum contaminant level for fluoride. The public notice shall:

(a) Be provided as soon as practical, but not later than 12 months after the system learns of the exceedance, and if required by the Approving Authority, be provided initially sooner than 12 months and repeated more often than annually;

(b) Include the mandatory language as specified in 40 CFR §141.208;

(c) Remain in place for as long as the SMCL is exceeded, but not fewer than 7 days; and

(d) Follow the requirements for a Tier 3 public notice in §D of this regulation.

(7) A supplier of water to a noncommunity water system shall notify persons served by the system that the Approving Authority has granted permission for the system to exceed nitrate levels of 10 milligrams per liter in the drinking water. The public notice shall be posted continuously as specified in 40 CFR §141.209.

(8) The Approving Authority may give the required notice of this regulation on behalf of the supplier of water.

(9) A supplier of water that is required to monitor source water under 40 CFR §141.701 shall notify persons served by the system that monitoring has not been completed as specified not later than 30 days after the system failed to collect any 3 months of monitoring, and, if applicable, a supplier of water shall notify persons served by the system that the bin determination has not been made as required. The form and manner of notification shall meet the requirements of a Tier 2 notice as specified in §C of this regulation and the requirements of 40 CFR §141.211.