Rule 391-3-5-.54. Ground Water Rule.

Georgia Administrative Code

Department 391. RULES OF GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Chapter 391-3. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Subject 391-3-5. RULES FOR SAFE DRINKING WATER

Current through Rules and Regulations Filed through July 9, 2019

Rule 391-3-5-.54. Ground Water Rule

Purpose. The United States Environmental Protection Agency established the Ground Water Rule, which the Division has adopted, to provide increased protection against microbial pathogens in public water systems that use ground water as the source of drinking water.

(1) General Requirements and Applicability. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S §141.400 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) This Rule applies to the following:
1. Systems relying totally on ground water; purchased water systems or consecutive systems receiving ground water;
2. Mixed surface and ground water systems where ground water is added directly to the distribution system or to the treated surface water prior to entry into the distribution system.
(b) Hydrogeologic Sensitivity Assessments.
1. Hydrogeologically sensitive settings include Karst (carbonate rock, i.e. limestone and dolostone), fractured bedrock and gravel.
2. Drinking water produced by water systems from aquifers consisting of the above geologic materials require hydrogeologic sensitivity assessments prepared by the Division.
3. The information that the Division requires to prepare a hydrogeologic sensitivity assessment may be requested by the Division from the water source's owner and/or found in one or all of three regulatory reports approved by the EPA:
(i) A water source's Well Head Protection Plan,
(ii) The Source Water Assessment, and/or
(iii) The Individual Source Vulnerability Assessment.
4. A water source Well Head Protection Plan consists of the information outlined in Rule 391-3-5-.40(3) through (7).
5. A water source, Source Water Assessment consists of the information outlined in Rules 391-3-5-.06(4) and 391-3-5-.42(3) and (4).
6. A water source Individual Source Vulnerability Assessment consists of the information outlined in Rule 391-3-5-.22(g) through (i).
7. The water source rating developed for Individual Source Vulnerability Assessments is to be used to determine if a source is at high, medium, or low risk to microbiological contamination.
(c) Ground water systems must comply with the requirements of this Rule beginning December 1, 2009.
(2) Sanitary Surveys for Ground Water Systems. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S § 141.401 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) Ground water systems must provide the Division, at the Division's request, any existing information that will enable the Division to conduct a sanitary survey.
(b) A sanitary survey conducted by the Division includes an onsite review of the water source(s), facilities, equipment, operation, maintenance, and monitoring compliance of a public water system to evaluate the adequacy of the system, its sources and operations and the distribution of safe drinking water.
(c) The sanitary survey includes an evaluation of the applicable components listed below:
1. Source,
2. Treatment,
3. Distribution system,
4. Finished water storage,
5. Pumps, pump facilities, and controls,
6. Monitoring, reporting, and data verification,
7. System management and operation, and
8. Operator compliance with Division requirements.
(3) Ground Water Source Microbial Monitoring and Analytical Methods. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S §141.402 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) Triggered source water monitoring.
1. General requirements. A ground water system must conduct triggered source water monitoring if the conditions identified in paragraphs (3)(a)1.(i) and either (3)(a)1.(ii) or (3)(a)1.(iii) exist.
(i) The system does not provide at least 4-log treatment of viruses (using inactivation, removal, or a Division-approved combination of 4-log virus inactivation and removal) before or at the first customer for each ground water source; and either
(ii) The system is notified that a sample collected under §141.21(a) is total coliform-positive and the sample is not invalidated under §141.21(c) until March 31, 2016, or
(iii) The system is notified that a sample collected under Rule 391-3-5-.55(4) through (7) is total coliform-positive and the sample is not invalidated under Rule 391-3-5-.55(3)(c) beginning April 1, 2016.
2. Sampling requirements. A ground water system must collect, within 24 hours of notification of the total coliform-positive sample, at least one ground water source sample from each ground water source in use at the time the total coliform-positive sample was collected under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or collected under Rule 391-3-5-.55(4) through (7) beginning April 1, 2016, except as provided in paragraph (3)(a)2.(ii).
(i) The Division may extend the 24-hour time limit on a case-by-case basis if the system cannot collect the ground water source water sample within 24 hours due to circumstances beyond its control. In the case of an extension, the Division must specify how much time the system has to collect the sample.
(ii) If approved by the Division, systems with more than one ground water source may meet the requirements of paragraph (3)(a)2. by sampling a representative ground water source or sources. If directed by the Division, systems must submit for Division approval a triggered source water monitoring plan that identifies one or more ground water sources that are representative of each monitoring site in the system's sample siting plan under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or under Rule 391-3-5-.55(3) beginning April 1, 2016, and that the system intends to use for representative sampling under this paragraph.
3. Additional requirements. If the Division does not require corrective action under §141.403(a)(2) for an E. coli positive source water sample collected under paragraph (3)(a)2. that is not invalidated under paragraph (3)(d), the system must collect five additional source water samples from the same source within 24 hours of being notified of the E. coli-positive sample.
4. Consecutive and wholesale systems.
(i) In addition to the other requirements of paragraph (3)(a), a consecutive ground water system that has a total coliform-positive sample collected under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or under Rule 391-3-5-.55(4) through (7) beginning April 1, 2016, must notify the wholesale system(s) within 24 hours of being notified of the total coliform-positive sample.
(ii) In addition to the other requirements of paragraph (3)(a), a wholesale ground water system must comply with paragraphs (3)(a)4.(ii)(I) and (3)(a)4.(ii)(II).
(I) A wholesale ground water system that receives notice from a consecutive system it serves that a sample collected under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or collected under Rule 391-3-5-.55(4) through (7) beginning April 1, 2016, is total coliform-positive must, within 24 hours of being notified, collect a sample from its ground water source(s) under paragraph (3)(a)(2) and analyze it for a E. Coli under paragraph (3)(c).
(II) If the sample collected under paragraph (3)(a)4.(ii)(I) is E. Coli-positive, the wholesale ground water system must notify all consecutive systems served by that ground water source of the E. Coli source water positive within 24 hours of being notified of the ground water source sample monitoring result and must meet the requirements of paragraph (3)(a)3.
5. Exceptions to the triggered source water monitoring requirements. A ground water system is not required to comply with the source water monitoring requirements of paragraph (3)(a) if either of the following conditions exists:
(i) The Division determines, and documents in writing, that the total coliform-positive sample collected under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or under Rule 391-3-5(4) through (7) beginning April 1, 2016, is caused by a distribution system deficiency; or
(ii) The total coliform-positive sample collected under §141.21(a) until March 31, 2016, or under Rule 391-3-5(4) through (7) beginning April 1, 2016, is collected at a location that meets Division criteria for distribution system conditions that will cause total coliform-positive samples.
(b) Assessment Source Water Monitoring. If directed by the Division, ground water systems must conduct assessment source water monitoring that meets Division-determined requirements for such monitoring. A ground water system conducting assessment source water monitoring may use a triggered source water sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(2) to meet the requirements of this paragraph. Division-determined assessment source water monitoring requirements may include:
1. Collection of a total of 12 ground water source samples that represent each month the system provides ground water to the public,
2. Collection of samples from each well unless the system obtains written Division approval to conduct monitoring at one or more wells within the ground water system that are representative of multiple wells used by that system and that draw water from the same hydrogeological setting,
3. Collection of a standard sample volume of at least 100 mL for E. coli analysis,
4. Analysis of all ground water source samples using one of the analytical methods listed in 40 CFR § 141.402(c)(2) for the presence of E. coli,
5. Collection of ground water source samples at a location prior to any treatment of the ground water source unless the Division approves a sampling location after treatment, and
6. Collection of ground water source samples at the well itself unless the system's configuration does not allow for sampling at the well itself and the Division approves an alternate sampling location that is representative of the water quality of that well.
(c) Analytical Methods.
1. A ground water system subject to the source water monitoring requirements of paragraph (3)(a) must collect a standard sample volume of at least 100 mL for E. coli analysis.
2. A ground water system must analyze all ground water source samples collected under paragraph (3)(a) using one of the analytical methods listed in the following table in 40 CFR § 141.402(c)(2) or one of the alternative methods listed in Appendix A to Subpart C of 40 CFR Part 141 (Alternative Testing Methods Approved for Analyses Under the Safe Drinking Water Act) for the presence of E. coli.
(d) Invalidation of a Fecal Indicator-Positive Ground Water Source Sample.
1. A ground water system may obtain Division invalidation of a E. coli -positive ground water source sample collected under paragraph (3)(a) only under the conditions specified in paragraphs (3)(d)1.(i) and (ii).
(i) The system provides the Division with written notice from the laboratory that improper sample analysis occurred; or
(ii) The Division determines and documents in writing that there is substantial evidence that an E. coli-positive ground water source sample is not related to source water quality.
2. If the Division invalidates an E. coli-positive ground water source sample, the ground water system must collect another source water sample under paragraph (3)(a) within 24 hours of being notified by the Division of its invalidation decision and have it analyzed using the analytical methods in paragraph (3)(c). The Division may extend the 24-hour time limit on a case-by-case basis if the system cannot collect the source water sample within 24 hours due to circumstances beyond its control. In the case of an extension, the Division must specify how much time the system has to collect the sample.
(e) Sampling Location.
1. Any ground water source sample required under 40 CFR § 141.402(a) must be collected at a location prior to any treatment of the ground water source unless the Division approves a sampling location after treatment.
2. If the system's configuration does not allow for sampling at the well itself, the system may collect a sample at a Division-approved location to meet the requirements of paragraph (3)(a) if the sample is representative of the water quality of that well.
(f) Public Notification. A ground water system with a ground water source sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a) or (b) that is E. Coli-positive and that is not invalidated under 40 CFR § 141.402(d), including consecutive systems served by the ground water source, must conduct public notification under 40 CFR § 141.202.
(g) Monitoring Violations. Failure to meet the requirements of paragraphs (3)(a) through (3)(e) is a monitoring violation and requires the ground water system to provide public notification under 40 CFR § 141.204.
(4) Treatment Technique Requirements for Ground Water Systems. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S §141.403 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) The treatment technique requirements of this paragraph must be met by ground water systems with significant deficiencies or source water fecal contamination:
1. When a significant deficiency is identified or when a groundwater source sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(3) is fecal positive.
2. When directed by the Division, if a ground water system with a ground water source sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(2), § 141.402(a)(4), or § 141.402(b) is fecal positive.
3. When a significant deficiency is identified at a Subpart H public water system that uses both ground water and surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water, the system must comply with paragraph (4) except in cases where the Division determines that the significant deficiency is in a portion of the distribution system that is served solely by surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water.
4. Unless directed by the Division to implement a specific corrective action, the ground water system must consult with the Division regarding the appropriate corrective action within thirty (30) days of receiving written notice from the Division of a significant deficiency, written notice from a laboratory that a ground water source sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(3) was found to be fecal positive, or direction from the Division that a fecal positive collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(2), § 141.402(a)(4), or § 141.402(b) requires corrective action.
5. Within 120 days of receiving written notification from the Division of a significant deficiency, written notice from a laboratory that a ground water source sample collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(3) was found to be fecal positive, or direction from the Division that a fecal positive collected under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(2), § 141.402(a)(4), or § 141.402(b) requires corrective action, the ground water system must either:
(i) Have completed corrective action in accordance with a Division approved corrective action plan.
(ii) Be in compliance with a Division approved corrective action plan and schedule subject to the conditions specified in paragraphs (4)(a) and (4)(b).
(I) The Division must approve any modifications to the corrective action plan and schedule.
(II) The system must comply with any interim measures specified by the Division for the protection of the public health pending Division approval of the corrective action plan and schedule or pending completion of the corrective action.
6. Ground water systems that meet the conditions of paragraphs (4)(a)1. or (4)(a)2. must implement one or more of the following corrective action alternatives:
(i) Correct all significant deficiencies;
(ii) Provide an alternate source of water;
(iii) Eliminate the source of contamination; or
(iv) Provide treatment that reliably achieves at least 4-log treatment of viruses (using inactivation, removal, or a combination of both) before or at the first customer for the ground water source.
7. Special Notice to the public of significant deficiencies or source water fecal contamination.
(i) In addition to the applicable public notification requirements of 40 CFR § 141.402, a community ground water system that receives notice from the Division of a significant deficiency or notification of a fecal positive ground water source sample that is not invalidated by the Division under 40 CFR § 141.402(d) must inform the public served by the water system under 40 CFR § 141.153(h)(6) of the fecal positive source sample or of any significant deficiency that has not been corrected. The system must continue to inform the public annually until the significant deficiency is corrected or the fecal contamination in the groundwater source is determined by the Division to be corrected under paragraph (4)(a)5.
(ii) In addition to the applicable public notification requirements of 40 CFR § 141.402, a non-community ground water system that receives notice from the Division of a significant deficiency must inform the public served by the water system in a manner approved by the Division of any significant deficiency that has not been corrected within twelve (12) months of being notified. The system must continue to inform the public annually until the significant deficiency is corrected. The information must include:
(I) The nature of the significant deficiency and the date the significant deficiency was identified by the Division;
(II) The Division approved plan and schedule for correction of the significant deficiency, including interim measures, progress to date, and any interim measures completed; and
(III) For systems with a large portion of non-English speaking consumers, as determined by the Division, information in the appropriate language regarding the importance of the notice or a telephone number or address where consumers may contact the system to obtain a translated copy of the notice or assistance in the appropriate language.
(iii) If directed by the Division, a non-community water system with significant deficiencies that have been corrected must inform its customers of the significant deficiencies, how the deficiencies were corrected, and the dates of correction.
(b) Compliance Monitoring.
1. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S, § 141.403(b), § 141.403(c), and § 141.403(d) are hereby incorporated by reference.
2. A ground water system that is not required to meet the source water monitoring requirements in this Rule because it provides at least 4-log treatment of viruses for any ground water source must notify the Division in writing that it is providing at least 4-log treatment of viruses and begin compliance monitoring in accordance with this Rule by December 1, 2009.
3. A ground water system that places a ground water source in service after November 30, 2009, that is not required to meet the source water monitoring requirements in this Rule because it provides at least 4-log treatment of viruses for any ground water source must notify the Division in accordance with 40 CFR § 141.403(b)(2)(i), (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) and conduct compliance monitoring as required under 40 CFR § 141.403(b)(3) within thirty days of placing the source in service.
4. If the system subsequently discontinues 4-log treatment of viruses before or at the first customer for a ground water source, the system must conduct ground water source monitoring as required under 40 CFR § 141.402.
5. A ground water system serving greater than 3,300 people that is required to conduct compliance monitoring must continuously monitor the residual disinfectant concentration using analytical methods specified in 40 CFR § 141.74(a)(2) at a location approved by the Division and must record the lowest residual disinfectant concentration each day that water from the ground water source is served to the public. The ground water system must maintain the Division-determined residual disinfectant concentration every day the ground water system serves water from the ground water source to the public. If there is a failure in the continuous monitoring equipment, the ground water system must conduct grab sampling every four hours until the continuous monitoring equipment is returned to service. The system must resume continuous residual disinfectant monitoring within 14 days.
6. A ground water system serving 3,300 or fewer people that is required to conduct compliance monitoring must monitor the residual disinfectant concentration using analytical methods specified in 40 CFR § 141.74(a)(2) at a location approved by the and record the residual disinfect concentration each day that water from the ground water source is served to the public. The groundwater system must maintain the Division-determined residual disinfectant concentration every day the ground water system serves water from the ground water source to the public. The ground water system must take a daily grab sample during the hour of peak flow or at another time specified by the Division. If any daily grab sample measurement falls below the Division-determined residual disinfectant concentration, the ground water system must take follow-up samples every four hours until the residual disinfectant concentration is restored to the Division-determined level. Alternatively, a ground water system that serves 3,300 or fewer people may monitor continuously and meet the requirements of 40 CFR § 141.403(b)(3)(i)(A).
7. A ground water system may discontinue 4-log treatment of viruses if the Division determines and documents in writing that 4-log treatment of viruses is no longer necessary for that groundwater source. A system that discontinues 4-log treatment of viruses is subject to the source water monitoring and analytical methods requirements of 40 CFR Part 141 Subpart S, § 141.402.
8. Failure to meet the monitoring requirements of paragraph (4)(b) is a monitoring violation and requires the ground water system to provide public notification under 40 CFR Part 141 Subpart S, § 141.402.
9. A ground water system conducting compliance monitoring under 40 CFR § 141.403(b) must notify the Division any time the system fails to meet any Division-specified requirements including, but not limited to, minimum residual disinfectant concentration, membrane operating criteria or membrane integrity, and alternative treatment operating criteria, if operation in accordance with the criteria or requirements is not restored within four hours. The ground water system must notify the Division as soon as possible, but in no case later than the end of the next business day.
(5) Treatment Technique Violations for Ground Water Systems. 40 CFR, Subpart S, § 141.404 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) A ground water system with a significant deficiency is in violation of the treatment technique requirement if, within 120 days of receiving written notice from the Division of the significant deficiency, the system:
1. Does not complete corrective action in accordance with any applicable Division plan review processes including interim actions and measures specified by the Division, or
2. Is not in compliance with a Division approved corrective action plan and schedule.
(b) Unless the Division invalidates a fecal positive ground water source sample under 40 CFR § 141.402(d), a ground water system is in violation of the treatment technique requirement if, within 120 days of meeting the conditions of 40 CFR § 141.403(a)(1) or § 141.402(a)(2), the system:
1. Does not complete corrective action in accordance with any applicable Division plan review processes including interim actions and measures specified by the Division, or
2. Is not in compliance with a Division approved corrective action plan and schedule.
(c) A ground water system subject to the requirements of 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(2) that fails to maintain at least 4-log treatment of viruses (using inactivation, removal, or a combination of the two) technique requirement if the failure is not corrected within four hours of determining the system is not maintaining at least 4-log treatment of viruses before or at the first customer.
(d) Ground water systems must give public notification under 40 CFR § 141.203 for the treatment technique violations specified in paragraphs (5)(a), (5)(b) and (5)(c).
(6) Reporting and Recordkeeping for Ground Water Systems. 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart S, § 141.405 is hereby incorporated by reference.
(a) In addition to the requirements of 40 CFR § 141.31, a groundwater system regulated under 40 CFR Part 141 Subpart S must provide the following information to the Division:
1. A ground water system conducting compliance monitoring under 40 CFR § 141.403(b) must notify the Division any time the systems fails to meet any Division-specified requirements including, but not limited to, minimum residual disinfectant concentration, membrane operating criteria or integrity, and alternative treatment operating criteria, if operation in accordance with the criteria or requirements is not restored within four (4) hours. The ground water system must notify the Division as soon as possible, but in no case later than the end of the next business day.
2. After completing any corrective action under 40 CFR § 141.403(a), a ground water system must notify the Division within thirty (30) days of completion of the corrective action.
3. If a ground water system that is subject to the requirements of 40 CFR § 141.402(a) does not conduct source water monitoring under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(5)(ii), the system must provide documentation to the Division within thirty (30) days of the total coliform positive sample that it met the Division criteria.
(b) In addition to the requirements of 40 CFR § 141.33, a groundwater system regulated under 40 CFR Part 141 Subpart S must maintain the following information in its records:
1. Documentation of corrective actions. Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than ten years.
2. Documentation of notice to the public as required under 40 CFR § 141.493(a)(7). Documentation shall be kept for a period not less than three years.
3. Records of decisions under 40 CFR § 141.402(a)(5)(ii) and records of invalidation of fecal indicator-positive ground water samples under 40 CFR § 141.402(d). Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than five years.
4. For consecutive systems, documentation of notification to the wholesale system(s) of total coliform-positive samples that are not invalidated under 40 CFR § 141.21(c) until March 31, 2016, or under Rule 391-3-5-.55(3) beginning April 1, 2016. Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than five years.
5. For systems, including wholesale systems, that are required to perform compliance monitoring under 40 CFR § 141.403(b) :
(i) Records of the Division-specified minimum disinfectant residual. Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than ten years.
(ii) Records of lowest daily residual disinfectant concentration and records of the date and duration of any failure to maintain the Division-prescribed minimum residual disinfectant concentration for a period of more than four hours. Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than five years.
(iii) Records of Division-specified compliance requirements for membrane filtration and of parameters specified by the Division for Division-approved alternative treatment and records of the date and duration of any failure to meet the membrane operating, membrane integrity, or alternative treatment operating requirements for more than four hours. Documentation shall be kept for a period of not less than five years.
(7) Division Recordkeeping. The records kept by the Division shall be in accordance with 40 CFR § 142.14.
(8) Division Reporting. The reporting by the Division shall be performed as required by 40 CFR § 142.15.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 391-3-5-.54

Authority: O.C.G.A. Sec. 12-5-170 et seq.

History. Original Rule entitled "Ground Water Rule" adopted. F. May 27, 2009; eff. June 16, 2009.

Amended: F. Jan. 8, 2014; eff. Jan. 28, 2014.

Amended: F. Feb. 29, 2016; eff. Mar. 20, 2016.