The National Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) specifies maximum permissible levels of contamination and minimum monitoring frequencies for public water systems. Mandatory adherence to the specified maximum contaminant level (MCL) is dependent on whether the water system serves a community (year-round residents) or a transient population (such as parks, campgrounds and restaurants). The MCLs are designed to protect the public from potential health effects of long- term exposure to contaminants, so they are generally not applicable to transient populations. Additionally, the EPA has developed National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations that are intended to serve as guidelines for the states and are not enforceable at the Federal level. These guidelines address contaminants that primarily affect the aesthetic qualities relating to public acceptance of drinking water.
In this course the student will review Chapter 3, "Water Quality Requirements" of EM 1110-2-503, "Design of Small Water Systems" published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This course is particularly relevant to engineers involved in designing both public and private water systems. Although the publication's title suggests coverage of only small water systems, the discussion applies to large systems as well.
The student must take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten questions at the end of this course to obtain PDH credits.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- The National Safe Drinking Water Act's purpose and its applicability to water systems serving different populations
- Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) for microbials, organics, inorganics and radionuclides
- Secondary maximum contaminant levels (SMCL's) that affect the aesthetic qualities of drinking water
- Waterborne diseases and methods for detection and treatment of the water supply
- The prevalence of the most common contaminants in different water sources (surface vs. ground water), their impact on public health and aesthetic water quality and typical removal methods.
Click on the following link to the PDF document to review the course material before taking the quiz for credit.
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