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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 590. Waterworks Regulations
8/8/2022

12VAC5-590-395. Surface water and GUDI sources, polymers, and recycle treatment techniques.

A. Surface water and GUDI source treatment techniques.

1. The filtration and disinfection provisions of this section are required treatment techniques for a waterworks supplied by a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both. These treatment technique requirements are in place of a PMCL for the following contaminants: Giardia lamblia, viruses, heterotrophic bacteria, Cryptosporidium, Legionella, and turbidity. A waterworks that uses a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both shall provide treatment of that source water that complies with these treatment technique requirements. See 12VAC5-590-401 for filtration log removal credits and required log inactivation for Cryptosporidium. See 12VAC5-590-500 for log removal credits and required log inactivation for Giardia lamblia and viruses. These treatment technique requirements consist of installing and properly operating water treatment processes that reliably achieve:

a. At least 99.9% (3-log) removal or inactivation of Giardia lamblia between a point where the source water is not subject to recontamination by surface water runoff and a point downstream before or at the first customer;

b. At least 99.99% (4-log) removal or inactivation of viruses between a point where the source water is not subject to recontamination by surface water runoff and a point downstream before or at the first customer; and

c. At least 99% (2-log) removal of Cryptosporidium between a point where the source water is not subject to recontamination by surface water runoff and a point downstream before or at the first customer.

2. A waterworks that uses a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both is considered to be in compliance with the requirements of subdivision A 1 of this section if it meets the following disinfection and filtration requirements:

a. Disinfection requirements.

(1) The disinfection treatment shall be sufficient to ensure that the total treatment processes of that waterworks achieve at least 99.9% (3-log) inactivation or removal of Giardia lamblia and at least 99.99% (4-log) inactivation or removal of viruses. If any physical process can achieve at least a 3-log removal of Giardia lamblia but cannot adequately remove pathogens, then the disinfection treatment shall provide a second treatment barrier for Giardia lamblia, Legionella, heterotrophic bacteria, and viruses. The disinfection treatment shall be sufficient to assure at least a 0.5 log inactivation of Giardia lamblia.

(2) The residual disinfectant concentration in the water entering the distribution system shall not be less than 0.2 mg/L for more than four hours.

(3) The residual disinfectant concentration in the distribution system, measured as total chlorine, free chlorine, combined chlorine, or chlorine dioxide, shall not be undetectable in more than 5% of the samples each month, for any two consecutive months that the waterworks serves water to the public. If the department determines that a waterworks is experiencing excessive coliform occurrences in its distribution system, then the department may require the owner to maintain minimum chlorine residual levels of 0.2 mg/L or monochloramine levels of 0.5 mg/L throughout the distribution system. Water in the distribution system with a heterotrophic bacteria concentration less than or equal to 500/mL, measured as HPC, is deemed to have a detectable residual disinfectant for the purposes of determining compliance with this requirement. Thus, the value "V," in percent, in the following formula shall not exceed 5% in one month, for any two consecutive months.

V = [(c + d + e) / (a + b)] X 100

where

a = number of instances where the residual disinfectant concentration is measured;

b = number of instances where the residual disinfectant concentration is not measured but HPC is measured;

c = number of instances where the residual disinfectant concentration is measured but not detected and no HPC is measured;

d = number of instances where no residual disinfectant concentration is detected and where the HPC is greater than 500/mL; and

e = number of instances where the residual disinfectant concentration is not measured and HPC is greater than 500/mL.

(4) The department may determine that the HPC compliance requirements of subdivision A 2 a (3) of this section do not apply based on site-specific considerations or if an owner has no means for having a sample transported and analyzed for HPC by a certified laboratory under the requisite time and temperature conditions and the waterworks is providing adequate disinfection in the distribution system.

b. Filtration requirements. A waterworks that uses a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both shall provide filtration treatment by using one of the following methods:

(1) Conventional filtration.

(a) Achieve a filtered water turbidity of less than or equal to 0.3 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month. Samples shall be representative of the waterworks' filtered water.

(b) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall at no time exceed one NTU, measured as specified in 12VAC5-590-440.

(c) A waterworks that uses lime softening may acidify representative samples before analysis using a protocol approved by the department.

(d) Water treatment plants utilizing conventional or direct filtration with gravity flow granular media filters are capable of producing filtered water with turbidity consistently less than 0.10 NTU. Therefore, for these types of water treatment plants, the operational goal for filter effluent turbidity for each filter, before any post-filtration chemical addition, shall be 0.10 NTU.

(2) Diatomaceous earth filtration.

(a) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall be less than or equal to one NTU in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month.

(b) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall at no time exceed five NTU.

(3) Slow sand filtration.

(a) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall be less than or equal to one NTU in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month, except that if the department determines there is no significant interference with disinfection at a higher turbidity level, then the department may substitute this higher turbidity limit for that waterworks.

(b) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall at no time exceed five NTU.

(4) Membrane filters, bag filters, and cartridge filters.

(a) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall be less than or equal to 0.3 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month, except that if the department determines there is no significant interference with disinfection at a higher turbidity level, then the department may substitute this higher turbidity limit for that waterworks.

(b) Water treatment plants utilizing membrane filtration are capable of producing filtered water with turbidity consistently less than 0.05 NTU. Therefore, for these types of water treatment plants, the operational goal for filter effluent turbidity for each filter, before any post-filtration chemical addition, is 0.05 NTU.

(c) The turbidity level of representative samples of a waterworks' filtered water shall at no time exceed one NTU.

(5) The owner may use a filtration technology not listed in this section if the owner demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department by full-scale, pilot plant, or challenge studies, or by other approved means that the alternative filtration technology, in combination with disinfection, will meet the requirements of this section.

3. Once the department has determined that a waterworks utilizes a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both (see 12VAC5-590-430), then filtration and disinfection treatments are required. The owner shall install and have in operation treatment units that meet the requirements described in subdivisions A 1 and A 2 of this section no later than 18 months following the department's determination. During the interim period, and until filtration and disinfection treatments are installed and in operation, the owner shall discontinue use of the surface water source, GUDI source, or both unless the source must remain in service because discontinuing the source is not a viable option, at which point the owner shall:

a. Issue a continuous boil water notice through the public notification procedure in 12VAC5-590-540 A 1 until the required filtration and disinfection treatments are installed and are in operation;

b. Provide disinfection treatment to achieve a 4-log inactivation of virus during the interim period before the filtration treatment is installed. Monitoring equipment shall be installed that will ensure compliance with this requirement; and

c. Increase bacteriological sampling frequency in the distribution system. For the owner required to collect routine distribution system bacteriological samples at a monthly frequency, the owner shall collect twice the number of samples required for that population each month. For the owner required to collect routine bacteriological samples at a quarterly frequency, the owner shall increase the sampling frequency to monthly.

B. Polymer treatment techniques.

1. The owner shall certify annually in writing to the department (using third-party or manufacturer's certification) that, when polymers containing acrylamide or epichlorohydrin are used by the waterworks, the combination (or product) of dose and monomer level does not exceed the following specified levels:

a. Acrylamide = 0.05% dosed at one ppm (or equivalent) of polymer.

b. Epichlorohydrin = 0.01% dosed at 20 ppm (or equivalent) of polymer.

2. Certifications may rely on the manufacturers or third parties as approved by the department.

C. Recycle treatment techniques.

1. If spent filter backwash water, thickener supernatant, or liquids from dewatering processes are recycled, in a waterworks supplied by a surface water source, a GUDI source, or both that employ conventional filtration or direct filtration treatment, then the waterworks is subject to the treatment technique requirement described in subsection A of this section.

2. Under this requirement, recycle flows shall be returned through all the processes of the treatment system or an alternative location approved by the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-170 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

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