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How to Notify Customers of a MCL or Microbial Monitoring Violation

Step-by-step instructions for notifying customers of acute MCL, non-acute MCL, routine, repeat, increased monitoring, and triggered source monitoring violations, or a fecal indicator-positive groundwater source sample. Page also includes links to templates for preparing Mandatory Language forms and Certificates of Delivery.


Public Notice for an E. coli MCL

When a system commits an E. coli MCL violation, it must issue both a Boil Water Notice and an initial acute Public Notice as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the violation is identified (do NOT wait for violation letter). Copies of all notifications and certificates of delivery required under this subsection must be submitted to the TCEQ within 10 days of its distribution.

Mandatory Language for E. coli MCL violation

Certificate of Delivery for E. coli MCL (Tier I) violation

Mandatory Language for Boil Water Notice (English version)

Mandatory Language for Boil Water Notice (Spanish version)

Certificate of Delivery for Boil Water Notice

The owner or operator of a community water system must furnish a copy of the notice to the radio and television stations in the area the system serves. He or she must also publish a notice in a general-circulation daily newspaper in the area the system serves. If the area is not served by such a newspaper, the system must instead issue notice by direct delivery or by continuous posting in conspicuous places within the area.

The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system must issue the notice by direct delivery or by continuously posting it in conspicuous places within the area the system serves.

If a notice is provided by posting, it must remain in place for as long as the violation persists or seven days, whichever is longer.

The owner or operator of a water system required to issue an initial notice for an acute MCL violation must also issue additional notices:

For either a community or noncommunity system, if the owner or operator issued the initial notice by mail or direct delivery, notice by mail or direct delivery must be repeated at least every three months for as long as the violation persists.

The owner or operator of a community system, within 45 days of the violation, must notify customers by mail or hand delivery. The TCEQ's executive director may waive this requirement in writing if the agency determines that the violation has been corrected within the 45-day period.

If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuous posting, posting must continue for as long as the violation exists and in no case less than seven days.

When the public water system has corrected the acute violation, it must issue a notice in the same manner as the original notice.

[30 TAC Subsection 290.122(a)]

Public Notice for a Non-Acute MCL

When a system commits a non-acute MCL violation, it must issue an initial public notice as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the violation is identified. The PWS must send the TCEQ copies of all required notices and certificates of delivery within 10 days of their distribution.

Mandatory Language for non-acute MCL violation

Certificate of Delivery for non-acute MCL (Tier II) violation

The owner or operator of a community water system must issue the notice by mail or direct delivery and any other method reasonably calculated to reach other customers if they would not normally be reached by direct delivery. Such persons may include those who do not pay water bills or do not have service-connection addresses (e.g., house renters, apartment dwellers, university students, nursing home patients, prison inmates, etc.).

The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system must issue the notice by mail or direct delivery, or by continuously posting the notice in conspicuous places within the area served by the system. If direct delivery or public posting may not reach all persons regularly served by the system, at least one additional method of delivery must be used. A posted notice must remain in place for as long as the violation persists or seven days, whichever is longer.

Additional methods may include:

  • publication in a local newspaper or newsletter
  • delivery of multiple copies for distribution by customers that provide drinking water to others (e.g., apartment building owners or large private employers)
  • continuous posting in conspicuous places
  • post PUBLIC NOTICE on the public water system website
  • deliver to central locations
  • e-mail to notify students and employees

The owner or operator of a water system required to issue an initial violation notice must also issue additional notices:

For either a community or noncommunity system, if the owner or operator issued the initial notice by mail or direct delivery, notice by mail or direct delivery must be repeated at least every three months for as long as the violation persists.

If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuous posting, posting must continue for as long as the violation persists and in no case less than seven days.

When a public water system has corrected the violation, it must issue a notice in the same manner as the original notice.

[30 TAC Subsection 290.122(b)]

Public Notice for a routine, repeat, triggered source, or increased monitoring violation

When a system commits a monitoring violation, it must issue an initial public notice within three months of the violation. Copies of all notifications and certificates of delivery required under this subsection must be submitted to the TCEQ within 10 days of their distribution.

Monitoring and reporting violation Mandatory Language forms:

Certificate of Delivery for Monitoring and reporting (Tier III) violations

The owner or operator of a community or noncommunity water system must issue the notice by mail or direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections to which water is delivered by the system. In addition, the system must use any other method reasonably calculated to reach other customers if they would not normally be reached by the direct delivery. Such persons may include those who do not pay water bills or do not have service connection addresses (e.g., house renters, apartment dwellers, university students, nursing home patients, prison inmates, etc.).

A posted notice must remain in place for as long as the violation persists or seven days, whichever is longer.

Additional methods may include:

  • publication in a local newspaper or newsletter
  • delivery of multiple copies for distribution by customers that supply drinking water to others (e.g., apartment-building owners or large private employers)
  • continuous posting in conspicuous public places
  • posting on the public water systems website
  • delivery to central locations
  • e-mail to students or employees

The owner or operator of a water system required to issue an initial violation notice must also issue additional notices:

  • For a community system, at least once every 12 months by mail or hand delivery for as long as the violation persists or any variance or exemption remains in effect. Repeat public notice may be included as part of the Consumer Confidence Report.
  • For a noncommunity system whose owner or operator issued the initial notice by continuous posting, posting must continue for as long as the violation exists and for at least seven days. Notice by direct delivery must be repeated at least every 12 months for as long as the violation persists.

When the public water system has corrected the violation, it must issue a notice in the same manner as the original notice.

[30 TAC Subsection 290.122(c)]

Public notice for a fecal indicator-positive groundwater source sample

When a system receives a source water sample that is positive for E. coli or another fecal indicator, this situation is not considered a violation. The system must issue an initial acute public notice as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the violation is identified. The system must submit copies of all required notices and certificates of delivery to the TCEQ within 10 days of their distribution.

Mandatory Language for a fecal indicator-positive groundwater source sample

Certificate of Delivery for a non-acute MCL (Tier I) violation

In this situation corrective action is mandatory and the TCEQ may, at its discretion, require issuance of a Boil Water notice. The owner or operator of a community water must furnish a copy of the notice to the radio and television stations - and publish the notice in a general-circulation daily newspaper - in the area the system serves. If the area is not served by such a newspaper, the owner or operator must instead issue notice by direct delivery or by continuous posting in conspicuous places within the area.

The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system must issue the notice by direct delivery or by continuously posting it in conspicuous places within the the area the system serves.

A posted notice must remain in place for as long as the violation persists or seven days, whichever is longer.

The owner or operator of a water system required to issue an initial notice for this situation must also issue additional notices:

For either a community or noncommunity system, if the owner or operator issued the initial notice by mail or direct delivery, notice by mail or direct delivery must be repeated at least every three months for as long as the situation persists.

The owner or operator of a community system, within 45 days of the onset of the situation, must notify customers by mail or hand delivery. The TCEQ's executive director may waive this requirement in writing if the agency determines that the situation has been corrected within the 45-day period.

The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuous posting, posting must continue for as long as the situation exists and in no case less than seven days.

When the system has corrected the situation, it must issue a notice in the same manner as the original notice.

[30 TAC Subsection 290.166(e)(6)]

Submitting public notices to TCEQ for compliance

Within 10 days of when you issue a public notice, send a copy of the actual notice and the signed Certificate of Delivery of Public Notice to Customers to the TCEQ by mail at:

TCEQ
Drinking Water Inventory & Protcetion Team Public Notice Coordinator MC-155
PO Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

You may also submit documents by fax to (512) 239-3666. (NOTE: ensure that both sides of all double-sided documents are faxed)

[30 TAC Subsection 290.122(f)]