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Water: Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3

Reporting for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR 3)

Reporting for the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3) will be similar to the reporting under the second Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 2). Laboratories responsible for sample analysis under UCMR 3 will post data to EPA’s web-based Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System (SDWARS). Public water systems (PWSs) will then review and act upon data using SDWARS. Users access SDWARS through the Central Data Exchange (CDX), EPA's electronic reporting system.

PWSs that are subject to UCMR are also subject to the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule and the Public Notification (PN) Rule. The CCR rule requires that community water systems (CWS) report monitoring results when unregulated contaminants are detected (40 CFR 141.151). The PN rule requires that water systems notify the public that the results are available (40 CFR 141.207). Please refer to the CCR rule and the PN rule for further information.

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Key reporting dates

Deadlines for Reporting Prior to Monitoring
  • By October 1, 2012: PWSs serving more than 10,000 people must report contact information to SDWARS
  • By October 1, 2012: PWSs serving more than 10,000 people must (1) review and if necessary revise sampling location information; and (2) review and if necessary revise monitoring schedule in SDWARS
  • After Oct. 1, 2012: PWSs serving more than 10,000 people must (1) notify EPA of sampling location and inventory changes; and (2) notify EPA if unable to sample according to the established schedule
Reporting Monitoring Results
  • 120 Days from Sample Collection: Laboratories post monitoring results to EPA's electronic reporting system, SDWARS
  • 60 Days from Lab Posting of Data: PWSs serving more than 10,000 people review and act upon data

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Questions and answers on reporting

What will water systems serving 10,000 or fewer people ("small systems") need to do?
Small water systems selected for Assessment Monitoring or Screening Survey will need to collect samples for EPA. Small water systems selected for Pre-Screen Testing will need to permit EPA or its representative to collect samples. EPA will arrange for sample analysis and will review monitoring results for small PWSs. After review, EPA will issue reports to the PWSs, and send a copy of the report to their respective state. PWSs should save the report as their official record.

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What will water systems serving more than 10,000 people ("large systems") need to do?

  • Review instructions on accessing SDWARS through CDX.
  • Report contact information to EPA through SDWARS by October 1, 2012.
  • Review and, if necessary, revise their monitoring schedule established by EPA in SDWARS.
  • Provide inventory information for each applicable sampling location by October 1, 2012, and
  • Monitor for unregulated contaminants

In addition, PWSs are responsible for approving and submitting analytical results to EPA using SDWARS. PWSs will have 60 days after a laboratory posts data to act upon their monitoring data. If the PWS does not act upon their data within those 60 days, EPA will consider the data approved by the PWS and available to EPA for review and public release. After EPA review, UCMR 3 data reside in EPA's:

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What will laboratories need to do?
Laboratories must obtain EPA laboratory approval prior to analyzing and reporting results to SDWARS. Laboratories can only post data for methods that they have gained EPA approval. To gain EPA approval, laboratories must successfully complete the process of EPA's Laboratory Approval Program.

Laboratories granted EPA laboratory approval are obligated to report their data to SDWARS within 120 days of sample collection. Instructions on submitting data can be found in SDWARS.

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What will states need to do?
States will have an opportunity to review PWS data upon PWS approval. States can review data through SDWARS.

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Data elements for UCMR 3

Data Element Definition
Public Water System Identification (PWSID) Code

Code used to identify each PWS. Code begins with the standard 2-character postal State abbreviation or Region code, and the remaining 7 numbers are unique to each PWS in the State.

This is part of PWS inventory.

U.S. Postal Service Zip Code(s)

U.S. Postal Service Zip Code(s) for all areas being served by the selected PWS.

One time reporting requirement

Public Water System Facility Identification Code

Code used to identify each applicable facility (i.e., for each source of water, treatment plant, distribution system, or any other facility associated with water treatment or delivery) within each PWS. Code is a 5-digit unique number.

This is part of PWS inventory.

Water Source Type

Type of source water that supplies a water system facility. Systems must report one of the following codes for each water system facility:

  • SW = surface water (water facilities that are served all or in part by a surface water source)
  • GW = ground water (water facilities that are served entirely by a ground water source)
  • GU = ground water under the direct influence of surface water (water facilities that are served all or in part by ground water under the direct influence of surface water)
  • MX = any combination of the three above water types

This is part of PWS inventory.

Sampling Point Identification Code

Code that uniquely identifies each sampling point. Each sampling code must be unique within each applicable facility, for each applicable sampling location (i.e., entry point to the distribution system or distribution system sample at maximum residence time).

This is part of PWS inventory.

Sampling Point Type Identification Code

Identification code corresponding to location of the sample point.

  • EP = entry point to the distribution system
  • MR = distribution system sample at maximum residence time

This is part of PWS inventory.

Disinfectant Type

All of the disinfectants that have been added to the water being sampled. To be reported by systems for each sampling point, with possible choices being:

  • CLGA = Gaseous chlorine
  • CLOF = Offsite Generated Hypochlorite (stored as a liquid form)
  • CLON = Onsite Generated Hypochlorite (no storage)
  • CAGC = Chloramine (formed from gaseous chlorine)
  • CAOF = Chloramine (formed from offsite hypochlorite)
  • CAON = Chloramine (formed from onsite hypochlorite)
  • CLDO = Chlorine dioxide
  • OZON = Ozone
  • ULVL = Ultraviolet Light
  • OTHD = All Other Types of Disinfectant
  • NODU = No Disinfectant Used

This is part of PWS inventory.

* Sample Collection Date Date the sample is collected, reported as month, day and year (i.e., 01152013).
* Sample Identification Code Alphanumeric value up to 30 characters assigned by the laboratory to uniquely identify samples collected at a sample location.
* Contaminant Code Unregulated contaminant for which the sample is being analyzed.
* Analytical Method Code Identification code of the analytical method used.
* Sample Analysis Type

Type of sample collected and/or prepared, with the fortification level. Permitted values include:

  • FS = field sample; sample collected and submitted for analysis
  • LFSM = laboratory fortified sample matrix; field sample with a known amount of the contaminant of interest added
  • LFSMD = laboratory fortified sample matrix duplicate; duplicate of the laboratory fortified sample matrix
  • CF = concentration fortified; reported with sample analysis types LFSM and LFSMD; concentration of a known contaminant added to a field sample
* Analytical Results - Sign

Value indicating whether the sample analysis result was:

  • (<) "less than" means the contaminant was not detected, or was detected at a level below the minimum reporting level
  • (=) "equal to" means the contaminant was detected at the level reported in "Analytical Result - Value"
* Analytical Result - Value Numeric value of the analysis for the contaminant for: field samples; laboratory fortified matrix samples; laboratory fortified sample matrix duplicates; and concentration fortified.
* Laboratory Identification Code Assigned by EPA, the code used to identify each laboratory. Code begins with the standard two-character State postal abbreviation; the remaining 5 numbers are unique to each laboratory in the State.
* Sample Event Code

Code represents each sample event. This will associate samples with the PWS schedule to allow EPA to track compliance and completeness. The following codes should be used to associate analytical results with the monitoring schedule:

  • SE1 = represents samples collected to meet the UCMR monitoring requirement for the first sampling period (all source types)
  • SE2 = represents samples collected to meet the UCMR monitoring requirement for the second sampling period (all source types)
  • SE3 = represents samples collected to meet the UCMR monitoring requirement for the third sampling period (surface water and ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI) sources only)
  • SE4 = represents samples collected to meet the UCMR monitoring requirement for the fourth sampling period (surface water and GWUDI sources only)

* Data elements reported by the laboratory.

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UCMR data is stored in:

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