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Nathan Saunders, P.E. Maine Drinking Water Program 12-10-2014 Public Water System Owner & Operator Responsibility.

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Presentation on theme: "Nathan Saunders, P.E. Maine Drinking Water Program 12-10-2014 Public Water System Owner & Operator Responsibility."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nathan Saunders, P.E. Maine Drinking Water Program Public Water System Owner & Operator Responsibility

2 Objective Upon leaving this session you would have a basic understanding of: 1. Your fundamental responsibilities as an Owner or Operator of a PWS 2. How the Drinking Water Program reviews and oversees Owner & Operator Responsibility 3. Where you can find more detailed information on this topic.

3 Two Core Issues: 1. Public Health (Providing Safe Water) 2. Requirement for certain Public Water Systems to have a Licensed Operator.

4 PWS and Licensed Operator Compliance Cycle 1. PWS Requirement to Have a Licensed Operator 2. Professional Responsibilities, Expectations, & Measurements 3. Auditing Performance 4. Corrective Action Process

5 2. Professional Responsibilities, Expectations, & Measurements 3. Auditing Performance 4. Corrective Action Process 1. PWS Requirement to Have a Licensed Operator PWS and Licensed Operator Compliance Cycle

6 1996 Amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act finalized the requirement for PWS to have licensed operators. The requirement for PWS to have a licensed operator became effective in Maine in 2000.

7 The Following Public Water Supplies are Required to have a Licensed Operator: All Community PWS All Non-Transient Non-Community PWS All PWS using surface water as a source

8 From the Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water: Owners of all Community and Non-Transient Non-Community public water systems, and all PWSs that use surface water as a source, must place the direct supervision of their water system, including each treatment facility and/or distribution system, under the responsible charge of an operator holding a valid license with classification equal to or greater than the classification of the treatment facility and/or distribution system.

9 All Operating personnel making process control system integrity decisions about water quality or quantity that affect public health must be licensed.

10 The operator in responsible charge must hold a valid license equal to or greater than the classification of their water system, including each treatment facility and distribution system as determined by the State.

11 The operator in responsible charge shall ensure that adequate operational and emergency response procedures are in place to enable licensed operating personnel to make appropriate process control system integrity decisions about water quality and quantity.

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13 PWS and Licensed Operator Compliance Cycle 1. PWS Requirement to Have a Licensed Operator 2. Professional Responsibilities, Expectations,& Measurements 3. Auditing Performance 4. Corrective Action Process

14 Owner & Operator Responsibility From the Policy for Administering the Maine Rules Regarding a PWS Operating Without a Licensed Operator (DWP0071) Owner(s) and Licensed Operator(s) are responsible for water quality and quantity related actions and decisions that include but are not limited to:

15 1. Adjusting chemical feed pumps. 2. Creating and mixing chemical solutions. 3. Adding chemical(s), when needed. 4. Measuring quantities of chemicals in water (e.g. Cl2 residual). 5. Changes to piping or equipment involved with drinking water treatment or distribution. 6. Pulling well pumps. 7. Disinfecting wells & water systems.

16 8. Changes to treatment and/or storage. 9. Connecting a new source to the PWS. 10. Resolving drinking water orders (e.g. Boil Water Order or Do Not Drink Order). 11. Reviewing Monthly Operating Reports. 12. Overseeing all sampling (making sure the actual sampler, if it is not the operator, is trained and taking samples properly). 13. Remaining aware of sample results (e.g. Total Coliform positives, Lead Action Level etc.

17 On delegating tasks of the licensed operator to unlicensed individuals, such as taking samples, filling chemical tanks, taking residual readings, filling our MORs: From the DWP Policy: Licensed Operator Minimum Requirements for PWS (DWP0021) Individuals who will perform the tasks need to be identified and known by the Designated Operator

18 The DO shall provide written procedures for individuals performing these tasks. The DO shall train the individuals to perform the tasks. Although trained, on-site individuals may perform certain tasks instead of the DO, the DO remains responsible for all decisions regarding water quality and quantity

19 Notes on terminology: The term “unlicensed individual” refers to an individual without a water operator’s license The term “designated operator” means a designated operator for that PWS A “Notice of Noncompliance” is a notice from the DWP to a PWS as a notice of violation of state drinking water laws, regulations, or rules.

20 Specific Examples of Operator Related Issues Warranting a Notice of Noncompliance Issued to the PWS are:

21 When an unlicensed individual, without using a written procedure or training provided by a designated operator… Adjusts a chemical feed pump. Creates or mixes chemical solutions that will be added to drinking water. Takes compliance samples

22 Adds chemicals to tanks used to provide chemicals to drinking water. Measures quantities of chemicals in drinking water (e.g. Cl2 residual). OR, When an unlicensed individual, without the oversight of a designated operator…

23 Changes piping or changes equipment involved with drinking water treatment. Pulls a well pump. Disinfects a well and/or water system. Makes changes to treatment and/or storage of a water system.

24 Connects a new source to a PWS. Resolves or removes a drinking water order (e.g. Boil Water Order, Do Not Drink Order, or Do Not Use Order). Makes water quality or quantity related decisions based on Monthly Operating Reports

25 When a designated operator is not aware of samples results (e.g. Total Coliform positives, Lead Action Levels, etc.) Note: the issuance of a Notice of Noncompliance by a field inspector to a PWS is influenced by several factors including whether the issues is discovered during a site visit or otherwise.

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28 PWS and Licensed Operator Compliance Cycle 1. PWS Requirement to Have a Licensed Operator 2. Professional Responsibilities, Expectations, & Measurements 3. Auditing Performance 4. Corrective Action Process

29 How does the Drinking Water Program audit Owner & Operator performance regarding meeting their responsibilities? The Drinking Water Program uses sampling, the review of MORS, the Sanitary Survey, and other onsite inspections to review the water source, facilities, equipment, operation and maintenance of a PWS.

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31 PWS and Licensed Operator Compliance Cycle 1. PWS Requirement to Have a Licensed Operator 2. Professional Responsibilities, Expectations, & Measurements 3. Auditing Performance 4. Corrective Action Process

32 The Vast Majority

33 A Few

34 How does the DWP provide corrective action when Owner and Operator responsibilities are not being met? 1. The Notice of Noncompliance issued to the PWS. 2. Filing a complaint on an operator to the Maine Board of Licensure of Water System Operators (the “Water Operator Board”) for their review.

35 How does the DWP work with a designated operator’s failure to perform the operator’s duties properly? From the DWP Policy & Procedure for DWP’s Role in Addressing a DO’s Failure to Perform the Operator’s Duties for a PWS Properly (DWP0183):

36 Three Step Process First Step: The DWP Field Inspector issues a Management & Operations Notice of Noncompliance (NON) to the PWS, noting the specific reasons for the NON (specific examples are given in the document)

37 Why does the PWS get a Management & Operations NON when the designated operator they hired did not perform their duties properly?

38 From the Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water: Owners of all Community and Non-Transient Non-Community water systems, and all PWSs that use surface water as a source, must place the direct supervision of their water system, including each treatment facility and/or distribution system, under the responsible charge of an operator holding a valid license with classification equal to or greater than the classification of the treatment facility and/or distribution system.

39 For Example: A Management & Operations NON may be issued to a PWS for having a designated operator who does not know how to adjust the chemical feed pump adding Chlorine to the system.

40 Second Step: The DWP Field Inspector files a complaint on the operator to the Water Operator Board, using the form the Board provides for this purpose. The complaint form provides for reasons for the complaint, which are the same reasons noted in the Management & Operations NON issues to the PWS.

41 From the previous NON example: The reason for the complaint on the operator would be because the operator does not know how to adjust the chemical feed pump adding Chlorine to the water system.

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43 Third Step: The Water Operator Board reviews the complaint under the authority of 22 M.R.S. s2625-A: “The board may suspend of revoke a license of a certified operator when it is determined that… the operator has been negligent in that reasonable care, judgment or the application of knowledge or ability was not used in the performance of the operator’s duties, or that the operator is incompetent or unable to perform the operator’s duties properly.”

44 Important Note: A PWS may utilize more that one designated operator to perform all duties necessary to operate their water system.

45 Specifics: DWP Field Inspectors may issue a Management & Operations NON when the inspector observes the DO engaging in one or more of the following actions: The DO expresses or shows that s/he… 1. does not know where core drinking water components/equipment (source, tanks, treatment) are located.

46 2. does not know the purpose of the (active) water treatment equipment (i.e. what contaminants are being removed). 3. does not know how to adjust a chemical feed pump used in the operation of the water system.

47 4. does not know how to properly create or mix chemical solutions used to treat the water. 5. does not know how to add chemical(s) to the water system when needed.

48 6. does not know how to measure quantities of treatment chemicals in water (e.g. Cl2 residual) 7. does not know how to disinfect the well and/or water system. 8. The DO falsifies data entered on a monthly operating report (MOR)

49 9. DO or delegated sampler repeatedly collects compliance samples improperly. 10. DO delegates tasks to an individual(s) without training the individual(s) and without providing written procedures to the individual(s)

50 11. DO creates unsanitary conditions through improper operation of a water system (including creating unprotected cross connections) and/or improper storage of non-treatment chemicals in close proximity to the water source.

51 On filing a complaint on a licensed water operator: Using the form provided by the Water Operators Board, the complaint includes the same reasons that were included in the Management & Operations NON issued to the PWS.

52 Related Documents: 1. Policy for Administering the Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water Regarding a PWS Operating Without a Licensed Operator (DWP0071) 2. Rules Relating to the Licensure of Water System Operators CMR Chapter 1 3. Designated Operator Form (DWP0156) 4. Licensed Operator Minimum Requirements for PWS (DWP0021) 5. Procedure for Ensuring PWS Compliance to Requirements for Having a Designated Operator (DWP0075) 6. Policy & Procedure for the DWP’s Role in Addressing a Designated Operator’s Failure to Perform the Operator’s Duties for a PWS Properly (DWP0183) 7. The Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water CMR Chapter 231

53 Questions?

54 Contact Information: Nathan S. Saunders P.E. Field Inspection Team Manager Maine Drinking Water Program


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