America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
Information for Wisconsin drinking water systems
On October 23, 2018, America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law and is an amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). As stated by U.S. EPA, AWIA "improves drinking water and water quality, deepens infrastructure investments, enhances public health and quality of life, increases jobs, and bolsters the economy. The AWIA provisions are the most far-reaching changes to the Safe Drinking Water Act since the 1996 Amendments, with over 30 mandated programs. Title II - Drinking Water System Improvement, Sections 2001 through Section 2023, are specific to community drinking water systems. The EPA is implementing AWIA directly, however the primacy agencies (such as Wisconsin DNR) are providing technical support to their regulated community.
Significant AWIA sections and requirements
Provided below are some of the more significant requirements of AWIA relevant to Wisconsin. Additional information is available on EPA's AWIA website.
Improved Consumer Confidence Reports (AWIA Section 2008)
AWIA revises the requirements for data included in the consumer confidence report. AWIA directs public water system operators to also report exceedances resulting in a treatment technique, other occurrences that required corrective action, corrosion control efforts, and any violations of SDWA that occurred during the monitoring period. The collection of this additional information expands the information captured in the consumer confidence report to include lead exceedances and associated lead treatment techniques. AWIA also increases the frequency that operators of large public water systems (serving more than 10,000 consumers) produce and distribute consumer confidence reports from annually to biannually. This section also expressly authorizes public water system operators to transmit the consumer confidence report electronically.
Consolidation by Management Contract (AWIA Section 2009) and Consolidation Assessments (AWIA Section 2010)
AWIA requires that EPA issue a regulation which authorizes primacy agencies to mandate restructuring assessments for public water systems (PWSs) which frequently violate health-based standards, and which have unsuccessfully attempted, or which are unable to attempt, feasible and affordable actions to comply and must describe liability protection for a compliant PWS which is consolidating with an assessed PWS. Learn more.
Asset Management (AWIA Section 2012)
States must amend their state capacity development strategies to include a description of how the state will encourage the development of asset management plans that include best practices, training, technical assistance and other activities to help with implementation of those plans. States also must include an update of these activities to encourage asset management practices in the Governor's report. EPA must review and update, if appropriate, asset management documents and trainings every five years. Learn more about asset management.
Risk & Resilience Assessments and Emergency Response Plans (AWIA Section 2013)
AWIA requires community water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law specifies the components that the risk assessments and ERPs must address, and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to EPA completion of the risk assessment and ERP. Learn more.
Source Water Petition (Protection) Programs (AWIA Section 2016)
Planning for and Responding to Chemical Releases (AWIA Section 2018)
AWIA requires state and tribal emergency response commissions to notify the applicable State agency (i.e., the drinking water primacy agency) of any reportable releases and provide community water systems with hazardous chemical inventory data. EPA's AWIA Amendments to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) guidance document provides information for community water systems and state drinking water primacy agencies.
Monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants (AWIA Section 2021)
AWIA expands unregulated contaminant monitoring requirements to include public water systems serving 3,300 - 10,000 individuals - subject to the availability of appropriations for this purpose and lab capacity. This requirement enters into effect three years after the enactment date of AWIA (i.e., October 23, 2021).