California association seeks survey participation

Interested in Education/Training?

Get Education/Training articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Education/Training + Get Alerts

The Nov. 20 deadline is less than a week away for Association of California Water Agencies members who want to contribute to a treatment cost survey that could impact the final guidelines for the triennial Public Health Goal (PHG) Report that the state’s public water providers will be required to file in 2013.

Danielle Blacet, ACWA senior regulatory advocate, says the organization will use the results of the online survey to compile a report to the California Department of Public Health giving recommendations on the standards to be set for the 2013 PHG reports required of water utilities.

PHG contaminant standards are a precursor to the setting of the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) that water providers are required to meet. Based on risk, treatment effectiveness and treatment costs, MCL standards are usually less stringent than PHG levels.

Providers are required by the California Health and Safety Code to report annually on their performance in meeting MCL standards. Since 1998, they have also been required to complete the triennial PHG Report that identifies contaminants in their system that don’t meet PHG standards. They also are required to report how much it would cost to achieve PHG standards using best practice methods.

Survey results will allow ACWA to compile a report that compares the challenges that many water utilities across California are tackling and how they have addressed those challenges. Blacet says the CDPH can use the report to better understand what contaminants are common among many utilities and learn more about methods being used to reduce contaminant levels. She says the information bolsters the state’s ability to determine the most important information it needs from the utilities’ official reports.

When the state first adopted the new requirement for the PHG reports, ACWA sought input from the outside. “When we first did it, we contacted a variety of experts and consultants for descriptions of the technologies and the costs,” Blacet says.

After that, however, ACWA officials decided to tap their own members for that kind of information. “We wanted to figure out how much it cost our members to remove specific contaminants and what technologies have worked best for them,” Blacet says. “Through our survey, we’re trying to get real on-the-ground information.”

ACWA’s report based on survey data will be made available to the CDPH, ACWA members and the public. Blacet says the ACWA report as well as the individual reports filed by water agencies next year will have a threefold benefit. Water consumers benefit from knowing more about what is in their water and what it would cost to further reduce possible contaminants, while water agencies can learn more about how others tackle particular contaminants and how much it should cost.

“The benefit exists as well for regulatory agencies,” Blacet says. “This information could possibly help them determine what is an acceptable level of a particular chemical or substance.”

Some member agencies have already completed online surveys at the AWCA website, but Blacet says, “We would like to get more.”

Members can CLICK HERE to take the survey online. Contact Blacet at or 916/441-4545 with questions.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.