UCMR: Monitoring Unregulated Contaminants in Drinking Water
Following a Congressional mandate, the EPA periodically requires public water systems (PWSs) to monitor for potential contaminants that are not regulated by national primary drinking water regulations.
This EPA program is called Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR). In its second cycle, UCMR2, the EPA is requiring selected PWSs to monitor for these contaminants (complete lists from the EPA) between 2008 and 2010:
- List 1 analytes:
- pesticides and flame retardants
- List 2 analytes:
- herbicides and their degradation products
- nitrosamines (at the entry point)
- nitrosamines (in the distribution system)
We will tell each PWS required to participate in UCMR2 which contaminants they must monitor, the monitoring schedule they must follow, and an estimate of the costs involved. Briefly:
- Samples will be collected by a TCEQ contractor. No PWS
has to collect additional samples to participate.
- For groundwater systems, two sets of samples will be collected exactly six months apart.
- For surface water systems, four sets of samples will be collected exactly three months apart—that is, quarterly samples for one year.
- For PWSs serving fewer than 10,000 customers, the EPA
and TCEQ will pay all costs of this program:
- The EPA will pay for sampling kits, including all sampling supplies.
- The EPA will pay to ship the kit to our contractor.
- We will pay the contractor to conduct the sampling.
- The EPA will pay to have the samples shipped to their analytical lab and analyzed.
- For larger PWSs, we will pay the cost of collection.
The PWS must pay only the cost of lab analysis. Estimated
costs per analysis are:
- For List 1, method 527.0, $225.
- For List 1, method 529.0, $225.
- For List 2, method 521.0, $320.
- For List 2, method 525.2, $200.
- For List 2, method 535.0, $375.
If your PWS is participating in UCMR2, then, before these samples are collected, you must go to CDX/SDWARS (Central Data Exchange for the Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System) and use the CRK number (customer registration key) in your letter from the EPA to set up your UCMR2 account in one of these ways:
- If you participated in UCMR1, upgrade your account.
- If you have another existing CDX account (for example, for LT2 monitoring), add SDWARS to it.
- If your PWS has no CDX/SDWARS account, set up a new one for UCMR2.
For more information about UCMR2, read:
- Information from the EPA, including its UCMR2 web page and its related fact sheets:
- UCMR Sampling (staff presentation to sample collectors, October 2006) in PowerPoint or PDF (Help with PDF.)
- Map showing location of all PWSs in Texas participating in UCMR2 (also available as PDF; help with PDF.)
If you need more information, contact us and ask to speak to the UCMR coordinator.