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North Carolina tackles challenge of tightened federal regulations for public water supplies

North Carolina is tackling the challenge of tightened federal regulations for public water supplies to reduce exposure to disinfection byproducts. Disinfection byproducts are chemicals that are formed when disinfectants added to water the water supply to prevent waterborne diseases react with naturally occurring organic matter.Public water systems are required to meet maximum contaminant levels because disinfection byproducts can cause cancer if ingested over a lifetime. 

 
The federal government tightened regulations on public water systems by increasing compliance monitoring regulations for chemicals associated with disinfectants and disinfection byproducts with compliance for most systems determined last January. Public water systems must now determine whether each individual monitoring location in a distribution system is in compliance rather than determining compliance based on the average of all locations.
 
State regulators implemented extensive training and outreach for the regulated community to meet this challenge. Thanks to this effort, the large majority of utilities in North Carolina are in compliance with the new federal regulations.
 
The department recently issued Park South a Notice of Violation and Administrative Order for violating the maximum contaminant level for disinfection byproducts. Park South has until September 30, 2016 to get back into compliance. State regulators have been working with Aqua, owners of the Park South water system in Mecklenburg County, to achieve compliance with the new regulations.
 
Park South customers have been notified of the violation and Aqua has reviewed alternative methods to achieve compliance. Aqua is increasing the flushing schedule at Park South and will test the water more frequently than required by federal law until it is deemed in compliance. State regulatory staff will continue to meet with Aqua until the issue is resolved.

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