DENR will conduct drinking water study

DENR will conduct drinking water study The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is conducting a statewide monitoring study of public drinking water systems to prepare for an upcoming federal rule scheduled to go into effect in December 2003.

The DENR study is being conducted in response to a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Disinfectants/ Disinfection Byproducts Rule. The new rule will require more than 200 public drinking water systems in South Dakota that disinfect their water supply to monitor for disinfection byproducts.

DENR has sent letters to public drinking water systems that will be affected by the new EPA rule, explaining the year-long study and encouraging their participation. The state health lab will provide bottles and instructions to public water systems participating in the study beginning in August. Participating systems will collect water samples and send them in for disinfection byproducts analysis. DENR will use special EPA grant funds to pay for the lab analyses.

"I encourage the owners and operators of those systems that will be affected by the new EPA rule to participate in this study," said DENR Secretary Nettie H. Myers. "Although we don't expect this rule to be a major problem in South Dakota, some of the smaller drinking water systems that use surface water from lakes and rivers may see some of these byproducts in their water supply. Our goal with this study is to get a better idea what levels of disinfection byproducts we have statewide. We can then give those systems which have levels of disinfection byproducts that are more than the proposed EPA standard a headstart on correcting the problem."

Clay Rural Water System is among the public drinking water systems in South Dakota that will be required to begin sampling under the new EPA rule.

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