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TITLE 30ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
PART 1TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHAPTER 290PUBLIC DRINKING WATER
SUBCHAPTER FDRINKING WATER STANDARDS GOVERNING DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS
RULE §290.122Public Notification

(a) Public notification requirements for acute violations or situations. The owner or operator of a public water system must notify persons served by their system of any maximum contaminant limit (MCL), maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL), treatment technique violation, or other situation that poses an acute threat to public health. Each notice required by this section must meet the requirements of subsection (d) of this section.

  (1) Situations that pose an acute threat to public health include:

    (A) a violation of the acute MCL for microbial contaminants as defined in §290.109(f)(1) of this title (relating to Microbial Contaminants);

    (B) an acute turbidity issue at a treatment plant that is treating surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water, specifically:

      (i) a combined filter effluent turbidity level above 5.0 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU);

      (ii) a combined filter effluent turbidity level above 1.0 NTU at a treatment plant using membrane filters; or

      (iii) a combined filter effluent turbidity level above 1.0 NTU at a plant using other than membrane filters at the discretion of the executive director after consultation with the system; or

      (iv) failure of a system with treatment other than membrane filters to consult with the executive director within 24 hours after a combined filter effluent reading of 1.0 NTU;

    (C) a violation of the MCL for nitrate or nitrite as defined in §290.106(f)(2) of this title (relating to Inorganic Contaminants);

    (D) a violation of the acute MRDL for chlorine dioxide as defined in §290.110(f)(5)(A) or (B) of this title (relating to Disinfectant Residuals);

    (E) occurrence of a waterborne disease outbreak;

    (F) Detection of E. coli or other fecal indicators in source water samples as specified in §290.109(b)(2) of this title, which requires a public notice to be issued within 24 hours of notification of the positive sample; and

    (G) other situations deemed by the executive director to pose an acute risk to human health.

  (2) The initial acute public notice and/or boil water notice required by this subsection shall be issued as soon as possible, but in no case later than 24 hours after the violation or situation is identified. The initial public notice for an acute violation or situation shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a water system with an acute microbiological or turbidity violation as described in paragraph (1)(A) or (B) of this subsection shall include a boil water notice issued in accordance with the requirements of §290.46(q) of this title (relating to Minimum Acceptable Operating Practices for Public Drinking Water Systems).

    (B) The owner or operator of a community water system shall furnish a copy of the notice to the radio and television stations serving the area served by the public water system.

    (C) The owner or operator of a community water system shall publish the notice in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the area served by the system. If the area is not served by a daily newspaper of general circulation, notice shall instead be issued by direct delivery or by continuous posting in conspicuous places within the area served by the system. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

    (D) The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system shall issue the notice by direct delivery or by continuously posting the notice in conspicuous places within the area served by the water system. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

    (E) If notice is provided by posting, the posting must remain in place for as long as the violation or situation exists or seven days, whichever is longer.

  (3) The owner or operator of a water system required to issue an initial notice for an acute MCL or treatment technique violation shall issue additional notices. The additional public notices for acute violations shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) Not later than 45 days after the violation, the owner or operator of a community water system shall notify persons served by the system using mail (by direct mail or with the water bill) or hand delivery. The executive director may waive mail or hand delivery if it is determined that the violation was corrected within the 45-day period. The executive director must make the waiver in writing and within the 45-day period.

    (B) The owner or operator of a community water system must issue a notice at least once every three months by mail delivery (by direct mail or with the water bill) or by hand delivery, for as long as the violation exists.

    (C) If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuous posting, posting must continue for as long as the violation exists and in no case less than seven days. If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by direct delivery, notice by direct delivery must be repeated at least every three months for as long as the violation exists.

  (4) The owner or operator of the public water system must issue a notice when the public water system has corrected the acute violation or situation. This notice must be issued in the same manner as the original notice was issued.

  (5) Copies of all notifications required under this subsection must be submitted to the executive director within ten days of its distribution.

(b) Public notification requirements for other MCL, MRDL, or treatment technique violations and for variance and exemption violations. The owner or operator of a public water system must notify persons served by their system of any MCL, MRDL, or treatment technique violation other than those described in subsection (a)(1) of this section and of any violation involving a variance or exemption requirement. Each notice required by this section must meet the requirements of subsection (d) of this section.

  (1) Violations that require notification under this subsection include:

    (A) any violation of an MCL, MRDL, or treatment technique not listed under subsection (a) of this section;

    (B) failure to comply with the requirements of any variance or exemption granted under §290.102(d) of this title (relating to General Applicability);

    (C) failure for a groundwater system to take corrective action, including uncorrected significant deficiencies, 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 executive director) before or at the first customer under §290.116 of this title (relating to Groundwater Corrective Actions and Treatment Techniques); or

    (D) failure to perform any 3 months of raw surface water monitoring as required by §290.111(b) of this title (relating to Surface Water Treatment) or request bin classification from the executive director under §290.111(c)(3)(A) of this title; or

    (E) other violations or situations deemed appropriate by the executive director that pose a non-acute risk to human health.

  (2) The initial public notice for any violation, situation, or significant deficiency identified in this subsection must be issued as soon as possible, but in no case later than 30 days after the violation is identified. The initial public notice shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a community water system shall issue the notice by:

      (i) mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections to which water is delivered by the public water system; and

      (ii) any other method reasonably calculated to reach other persons regularly served by the system, if they would not normally be reached by the notice required in clause (i) of this subparagraph. Such persons may include those who do not pay water bills or do not have service connection addresses (e.g., house renters, apartment dwellers, university students, nursing home patients, prison inmates, etc.) Other methods may include: publication in a local newspaper; delivery of multiple copies for distribution by customers that provide drinking water to others (e.g., apartment building owners or large private employers); continuous posting in conspicuous public places within the area served by the system or on the Internet; electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911); or delivery to community organizations.

    (B) The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system shall issue the notice by:

      (i) posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the distribution system frequented by persons served by the system, or by mail or direct delivery to each customer and service connection (where known); and

      (ii) any other method reasonably calculated to reach other persons served by the system if they would not normally be reached by the notice. Such persons may include those served who may not see a posted notice because the posted notice is not in a location they routinely pass by. Other methods may include: publication in a local newspaper or newsletter distributed to customers; use of e-mail to notify employees or students; electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911); or, delivery of multiple copies in central locations (e.g., community centers).

    (C) If notice is provided by posting, the posting must remain in place for as long as the violation exists or seven days, whichever is longer.

  (3) The owner or operator of a system required to issue an initial violation notice shall issue additional notices. The additional notices shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a community water system must issue a notice at least once every three months by mail delivery (by direct mail or with the water bill) or by direct delivery, for as long as the violation exists.

    (B) If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuously posting the notice, the posting must continue for as long as the violation exists, and in no case less than seven days. If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by direct delivery, notice by direct delivery must be repeated at least every three months for as long as the violation exists.

  (4) The owner or operator of the public water system must issue a notice when the public water system has corrected the violation. This notice must be issued in the same manner as the original notice was issued.

(c) Public notification requirements for other violations, situations, variances, exemptions. The owner or operator of a public water system who fails to perform monitoring required by this chapter, fails to comply with a testing procedure established by this chapter, or is subject to a variance or exemption granted under §290.102(b) of this title shall notify persons served by the system. Each notice required by this section must meet the requirements of subsection (d) of this section.

  (1) Violations that require notification as described in this section include:

    (A) exceedance of the secondary constituent levels (SCL) for fluoride;

    (B) failure to perform monitoring or reporting required by this subchapter;

    (C) failure to comply with the analytical requirements or testing procedures required by this subchapter;

    (D) operating under a variance or exemption granted under §290.102(b) of this title; and

    (E) failure to maintain records on recycle practices as required by §290.46(f)(3)(C)(iii) of this title.

  (2) The initial public notice issued pursuant to this section shall be issued within three months of the violation or the granting of a variance or exemption. The initial public notice shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a community water system shall issue the notice by mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections. The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system shall issue the notice by either posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the distribution system frequented by persons served by the system, or by mail or direct delivery to each customer and service connection. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

    (B) The owner or operator of any public water system shall also notify the public using another method reasonably calculated to reach other persons regularly served by the system, if they would not normally be reached by the notice required in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Such persons may include people who do not pay water bills or do not have service connection addresses (e.g., house renters, apartment dwellers, university students, nursing home patients, prison inmates, etc.). These other methods may include publication in a local newspaper; delivery of multiple copies for distribution by customers that provide their drinking water to others (e.g., apartment building owners or large private employers); posting in public places or on the Internet; or delivery to community organizations. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

Cont'd...

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