Testing for unregulated compounds

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically requires water utilities (including OWASA) to test drinking water for various compounds which could become subject to new Federal standards.

The EPA uses data collected by the utilities and scientific research when deciding whether to adopt new standards and when determining what the standards should be.

These testing requirements are part of the Safe Drinking Water Act and are called the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, or UCMR. For the EPA's webpage on the UCMR, please click here.  To date there have been three rounds of UCMR testing (called UCMR 1, 2, and 3), each focusing on a separate set of compounds.  OWASA has participated in all three rounds and will continue to participate in future iterations of the UCMR.  The tables below show the data OWASA collected in each round of UCMR testing.  The EPA published UCMR 4 in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016.

What did OWASA find in its testing?  See tables below.  Results where a compound was present at detectable levels are shown in bold.

Note, results were also reported in our annual Water Quality Report Cards.

UCMR 1 Results

Unregulated Compound

2001 - 2002 Results
(µg/L)

Acetochlor

<2.0

2,4-Dinitrotoluene

<2.0

2,6-Dinitrotoluene

<2.0

4,4'-DDE

<0.8

DCPA acid degenerates

<1.0

EPTC

<1.0

Molinate

<0.9

MTBE

<5.0

Nitrobenzene

<10

Terbacil

<2.0

Perchlorate

<4.0

Aeromonas

<0.2

 

UCMR 2 Results

Unregulated Compound

2008 - 2009 Results
(µg/L)

Nitrosamines

N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)

<0.0050

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

<0.0025 - 0.0025

N-Nitrosodi-N-bulyamine (NDBA)

<0.0040

N-Nitrosodi-N-propylamine (NDPA)

<0.0070

N-Nitrosomethlyethylamine (NMEA)

<0.0030

N-Nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR)

<0.0020

Pesticides and Flame Retardants

Dimethoate

<0.7

2,2',4,4',5,5'-Hexabromobiphenyl (HBB)

<0.7

2,2',4,4',5,5'-Hexabromobiphenyl ether (BDE-153)

<0.8

2,2',4,4',5-Pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99)

<0.9

2,2',4,4',6-Pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99)

<0.5

Terbufo-sulfone

<0.4

2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenly ether (BDE-47)

<0.3

Explosives

1,3-Dinitrobenzene

<0.8

RDX (Hexahydro-1,3,5-triazine)

<1.0

TNT (2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene)

<0.8

Acetanilides

Acetochlor

<2.0

Alachlor

<2.0

Metolchlor

<1.0

Acetrochlor ESA

<1.0

Acetrochlor OA

<2.0

Alachlor ESA

<1.0

Alachlor OA

<2.0

Metolchlor ESA

<1.0

Metolchlor OA

<2.0

 

UCMR 3 Results

Unregulated Compound

November 2013
Results
(µg/L)

February 2014
Results
(µg/L)

May
2014
Results
(µg/L)

August
2014
Results
(µg/L)

Metals

Total Chromium

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

Hexavalent Chromium

0.05 - 0.06

<0.03 - 0.03

0.04 - 0.05

0.04 - 0.05

Cobalt

<1.0

<1.0

<1.0

<1.0

Molybdenum

<1.0

<1.0

<1.0

<1.0

Strontium

72 - 75

53 - 57

54 - 55

66 - 66

Vanadium

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

Disinfection By-Product

Chlorate

650 - 620

160 - 180

330 - 330

630 - 620

Volatile Organic Compounds

Bromochloromethane

<0.06

<0.06

<0.06

<0.06

Bromomethane

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

1,3-Butadiene

<0.1

<0.1

<0.1

<0.1

Chlorodifluoromethane

<0.08

<0.08

<0.08

<0.08

Chloromethane

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

<0.2

1,1-Dichloroethane

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

1,2,3-Trichloropropane

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

Synthetic Organic Compounds

1,4-Dioxane

<0.07

<0.07

<0.07

<0.07

Perfluorinated Compounds

Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)

<0.09

<0.09

<0.09

<0.09

Perfluorohepatanoic acid (PFHpA)

<0.01

<0.01

<0.01

<0.01

Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

<0.03

Perfluoronanoic acid (PFNA)

<0.02

<0.02

<0.02

<0.02

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

<0.04

<0.04

<0.04

<0.04

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

0.03

0.03

<0.02

<0.02

The following links have information on various contaminants that have been included in the UCMR testing program.

Chromium

Vanadium

Hexavalent chromium

Dioxane

Cobalt

Chlorate

Molybdenum

Perfluorinated compounds

Strontium

Volatile organic compounds

We will continue to closely monitor scientific research, the EPA’s action on regulated and unregulated compounds, and available treatment technologies, taking appropriate actions when necessary to ensure the safety and reliability of our water.  For more information about hexavalent chromium and steps we have taken to reduce the levels in our treated drinking water, please visit our hexavalent chromium webpage

For more information:

From OWASA: Please contact Katie Harrold, Laboratory Supervisor at our Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant, at 919-537-4227 or kharrold@owasa.org

EPA:

American Water Works Association: Please click here