Private Well Water Excluded from EPA Standards

I remembered reading in Ezra Taft Benson’s book, “Proper Role of Government” that government should protect liberty and free agency.

According to my research below neither the EPA, federal, state or county governments have legal jurisdiction over our private well water quality. Even if any did, any regulations that apply to one set of people (owners of new wells) should apply to all people (owners of existing wells). To say otherwise uses the force of government to favor one set of people over another.

1. The EPA drinking water standard does not apply to private drinking wells:
“EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Approximately 15 percent of Americans rely on their own private drinking water supplies, and these supplies are not subject to EPA standards, although some state and local governments do set rules to protect users of these wells.”

2. The State of Utah adopted the EPA’s standard for public, not private wells:
“In 2001, a new standard of 10 ppb was set. Since January 23, 2006, all public water systems have been required to meet the new standard. Some water suppliers in Utah may have installed or upgraded treatment processes to meet the new standard. There is no standard for private wells, nor is any testing required, which means the owners of private wells must test their own water.”

3. Our Utah private wells are not public drinking water systems
Public drinking water systems are divided into three categories, as follows:

(a) “Community water system” (CWS) means a public drinking water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.

(b) “Non-transient, non-community water system” (NTNCWS) means a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same nonresident persons over six months per year. Examples of such systems are those serving the same individuals (industrial workers, school children, church members) by means of a separate system.

(c) “Transient non-community water system” (TNCWS) means a non-community public water system that does not serve 25 of the same nonresident persons per day for more than six months per year. Examples of such systems are those, RV park, diner or convenience store where the permanent nonresident staff number less than 25, but the number of people served exceeds 25.

(d) The distinctions between “Community”, “Non-transient, non-community”, and “Transient Non-community” water systems are important with respect to monitoring and water quality requirements.

4. Utah County’s compliance is for public, not private wells:

1. This Article shall be known as the “Utah County Drinking Water Source Protection Ordinance.”

2. The purpose of this Article is to ensure the provision of a safe and sanitary drinking water supply to the residents of Utah County (hereinafter “County”), by the establishment of drinking water source protection zones surrounding the wells and springs used by public water systems in the County and by the designation and regulation of property uses and conditions that may be maintained within such zones.

14. “Public Water System” means a system, either publicly or privately owned, providing water for human consumption and other domestic uses, which has at least 15 service connections, or serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. Such term includes collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under control of the operator and used primarily in connection with the system. Additionally, the term includes collection, pretreatment or storage facilities used primarily in connect

5. Any ambiguity stems from confusing the definition of public versus private wells

Lanty Ross gave me a piece of paper yesterday entitled, “UTAH COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, Division of Environmental Health, Residential Water Source Approval, June 2010.”

Our wells comply because by definition the “State of Utah Primary Drinking Water Standards” are for public wells and do not apply to private wells.

C. Individual Parcel, Not In A Subdivision
3. For both existing and new wells, water samples must be analyzed by a State of Utah certified water lab, and shown to comply with the requirements of the State of Utah Primary Drinking Water Standards, before a building permit application will be approved.

6. Notice existing private wells need not comply with “The State of Utah Primary Drinking Water Standards.”
I told Lanty if Utah County was really concerned about private well water quality they’d mandate all private wells be tested annually. Patterned after the vehicle emissions program it could make money for Utah County.

7. Lanty told me that Elberta blends their water to comply with the EPA public arsenic standards.

8. If contaminants are discovered, we can comply by filtering or blending our water. We can also create our own public water system.

9. This boils down to the proper role of government.

Should government 1) Reduce County Building Permits by confusing private and public well-water compliance, 2) Sicken the public by contaminating their public water supplies with cancer-causing fluoride:

Fluoridating Drinking Water in Davis and Salt Lake Counties

10. Every private well owner should filter his water because it flows and therefore subject to constant change.