~ by Chris Vaughn, PWS Account Manager and Primary Operator #3121
Secondwind Water Systems operates and samples at over 120 systems throughout the state of New Hampshire. Secondwind works with schools, small businesses, condo associations and many other businesses. We also work with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on a daily basis to keep water systems in compliance, stay up to date with rule changes and to be technical advocates for public water systems. Secondwind has experience in dealing with many types of situations: water quality; quantity; compliance issues; and budgets. We work hard with other contractors to handle all your water needs.
A public water system is given a classification by the NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau. The basic definition is a water system of piped water for human consumption, with at least 15 service connections or that regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. If a system has its own water supply, i.e. you have your own well, and falls under this definition, then it is most likely a public water supply. There are three main types of public water systems; a community system, a non-transient non-community, and transient non-community. This description fits many different types of companies and organizations, including condo associations, restaurants, schools, workplaces and many more.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently in the process of changing the Total Coliform Rule. One key provision to this rule is the reduction of required number of follow-up samples after a routine sample tests positive for bacteria. Currently, the rule requires three sample repeats and a source sample with an additional five routines the following month. The new rule will reduce the five samples to three. Public notices will no longer be required for a failed bacteria sample; instead the rule will require either a Level 1 or a Level 2 assessment. These assessments have different requirements and are performed in order to help find and solve the problem in the timeliest manner. There will be an increase in the frequency that seasonal systems are monitored and it may also require stricter start up and shut down procedures. Theses changes to the rule are welcomed changes. Typically a public notice for a failed bacteria sample leads to a misunderstanding of what is actually taking place, fear and panic when it is not warranted. The assessments will keep the appropriate personnel informed and if further notification is appropriate than that will easily be arranged.
NHDES is working to develop its own interpretation of the rule and how the state will enforce it. Secondwind is involved with other municipalities, owners, campgrounds, state officials and others to help develop the rule. The state plans to set the new rule into effect in 2015. Secondwind stays on top of all the issues, speaking up and negotiating if we feel it will affect our customers negatively, while at the same time preparing to be ready to follow the new guidelines. The state is willing to listen to this group and take its advisement into consideration when writing the final document. We will be working on this for the next few months. There will be more details once the final rule has been written.