(a) What elements must be included in the public notice for violations of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) or other situations requiring a public notice? When a public water system violates a NPDWR or has a situation requiring public notification, each public notice must include the following elements:
(1) A description of the violation or situation, including the contaminant(s) of concern, and (as applicable) the contaminant level(s);
(2) When the violation or situation occurred;
(3) Any potential adverse health effects from the violation or situation, including the standard language under paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section, whichever is applicable;
(4) The population at risk, including subpopulations particularly vulnerable if exposed to the contaminant in their drinking water;
(5) Whether alternative water supplies should be used;
(6) What actions consumers should take, including when they should seek medical help, if known;
(7) What the system is doing to correct the violation or situation;
(8) When the water system expects to return to compliance or resolve the situation;
(9) The name, business address, and phone number of the water system owner, operator, or designee of the public water system as a source of additional information concerning the notice; and
(10) A statement to encourage the notice recipient to distribute the public notice to other persons served, using the standard language under paragraph (d)(3) of this section, where applicable.
(b) What elements must be included in the public notice for public water systems operating under a variance or exemption?(1) If a public water system has been granted a variance or an exemption, the public notice must contain:
(i) An explanation of the reasons for the variance or exemption;
(ii) The date on which the variance or exemption was issued;
(iii) A brief status report on the steps the system is taking to install treatment, find alternative sources of water, or otherwise comply with the terms and schedules of the variance or exemption; and
(iv) A notice of any opportunity for public input in the review of the variance or exemption.
(2) If a public water system violates the conditions of a variance or exemption, the public notice must contain the ten elements listed in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) How is the public notice to be presented?(1) Each public notice required by this section:
(i) Must be displayed in a conspicuous way when printed or posted;
(ii) Must not contain overly technical language or very small print;
(iii) Must not be formatted in a way that defeats the purpose of the notice;
(iv) Must not contain language which nullifies the purpose of the notice.
(2) Each public notice required by this section must comply with multilingual requirements, as follows:
(i) For public water systems serving a large proportion of non-English speaking consumers, as determined by the primacy agency, the public notice must contain information in the appropriate language(s) regarding the importance of the notice or contain a telephone number or address where persons served may contact the water system to obtain a translated copy of the notice or to request assistance in the appropriate language.
(ii) In cases where the primacy agency has not determined what constitutes a large proportion of non-English speaking consumers, the public water system must include in the public notice the same information as in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, where appropriate to reach a large proportion of non-English speaking persons served by the water system.
(d) What standard language must public water systems include in their public notice? Public water systems are required to include the following standard language in their public notice:
(1) Standard health effects language for MCL or MRDL violations, treatment technique violations, and violations of the condition of a variance or exemption. Public water systems must include in each public notice the health effects language specified in appendix B to this subpart corresponding to each MCL, MRDL, and treatment technique violation listed in appendix A to this subpart, and for each violation of a condition of a variance or exemption.
(2) Standard language for monitoring and testing procedure violations. Public water systems must include the following language in their notice, including the language necessary to fill in the blanks, for all monitoring and testing procedure violations listed in appendix A to this subpart:
We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not your drinking water meets health standards. During [compliance period], we “did not monitor or test” or “did not complete all monitoring or testing” for [contaminant(s)], and therefore cannot be sure of the quality of your drinking water during that time.
(3) Standard language to encourage the distribution of the public notice to all persons served. Public water systems must include in their notice the following language (where applicable):
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
Title 40 published on 2012-07-01
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