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TITLE 30ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
PART 1TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHAPTER 290PUBLIC DRINKING WATER
SUBCHAPTER FDRINKING WATER STANDARDS GOVERNING DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS
RULE §290.122Public Notification

    (H) failure of a public water system to maintain any assessment form, regardless of who conducts the assessment, and documentation of corrective actions completed as a result of those assessments, or documentation of corrective actions required but not yet complete, or other available summary documentation of the sanitary defects and corrective actions taken under §290.109 of this title;

    (I) failure of a public water system to maintain a record of any repeat sample taken that meets the criteria for an extension of the 24-hour period for collecting repeat samples under §290.109 of this title;

    (J) other violations or situations deemed by the executive director to pose an acute risk to human health or with significant potential to have serious adverse effects on human health as a result of short-term exposure may require a Tier 1 public notice as described in subsection (a)(2) of this section;

    (K) other violations or situations at the, discretion of the executive director, may require a Tier 2 public notice as described in subsection (b)(2) of this section; and

    (L) failure to maintain records for seasonal start-up procedures and seasonal start-up procedures certification form(s) as required by §290.109 of this title.

  (2) The initial Tier 3 public notice issued pursuant to this section shall be issued no later than one year after the public water system learns of the violation or situation or begins operating under a variance or exemption. Following the initial notice, the public water system shall repeat the notice annually for as long as the violation, variance, exemption, or other situation persists. If the public notice is posted, the notice shall remain in place for as long as the violation, variance, exemption, or other situation persists, but in no case less than seven days even if the violation or situation is resolved. The initial public notice shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a community water system shall issue the notice by mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections. The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system shall issue the notice by either posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the distribution system frequented by persons served by the system, or by mail or direct delivery to each customer and service connection. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

    (B) The owner or operator of any public water system shall also notify the public using another method reasonably calculated to reach other persons regularly served by the system, if they would not normally be reached by the notice required in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Such persons may include people 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.). These other methods may include publication in a local newspaper; delivery of multiple copies for distribution by customers that provide their drinking water to others (e.g., apartment building owners or large private employers); posting in public places or on the Internet; or delivery to community organizations. Other methods of delivery may include electronic delivery or alert systems (e.g., reverse 911).

    (C) For community public water systems, the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) as required under Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Consumer Confidence Reports) may be used for delivering the initial Tier 3 public notice and all required repeat notices, under the following conditions.

      (i) The CCR is provided to persons served no later than 12 months after the public water system learns of the violation or situation as described under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

      (ii) The Tier 3 notice contained in the CCR follows the content requirements under §290.272 of this title (relating to Content of the Report).

      (iii) The CCR is distributed following the delivery requirements under §290.274 of this title (relating to Report Delivery and Recordkeeping).

    (D) If notice is provided by posting, the posting must remain in place for as long as the violation exists or seven days, whichever is longer.

  (3) The owner or operator of a system required to issue an initial violation notice shall issue additional notices. The additional notices shall be issued in the following manner.

    (A) The owner or operator of a community water system shall issue repeat notices at least once every 12 months by mail delivery (by direct mail or with the water bill) or by hand delivery, for as long as the violation exists or variance or exemption remains in effect. Repeat public notice may be included as part of the CCR as described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

    (B) If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by continuously posting the notice, the posting must continue for as long as the violation exists, and in no case less than seven days. If the owner or operator of a noncommunity water system issued the initial notice by direct delivery, notice by direct delivery must be repeated at least every 12 months for as long as the violation exists.

(d) Each public notice must conform to the following general requirements.

  (1) The notice must contain a clear and readily understandable explanation of the violation, significant deficiency, or situation that led to the notification. The notice must not contain very small print, unduly technical language, formatting, or other items that frustrate or defeat the purpose of the notice.

  (2) If the notice is required for a specific event or significant deficiency, it must state when the event occurred or the date the significant deficiency was identified by the executive director.

  (3) For notices required under subsections (a), (b), or (c)(1)(A) of this section, the notice must describe potential adverse health effects.

    (A) For MCL, MRDL, or treatment technique violations or situations (including uncorrected significant deficiencies), the notice must contain the mandatory federal contaminant-specific language contained in 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart Q, Appendix B, in addition to any language required by the executive director. For violations of the condition of a variance or exemption, the notice must contain the health effects information and include the items and schedule milestones of the variance or exemption.

    (B) For fluoride SCL violations, the notice must contain the mandatory federal contaminant-specific language contained in 40 CFR §141.208, in addition to any language required by the executive director.

    (C) For failure to perform any three months of raw surface water monitoring or request bin classification from the executive director, the notice must contain the mandatory federal contaminant specific language contained in 40 CFR §141.211(d)(1) and (2), respectively, in addition to any language required by the executive director.

    (D) The notice must describe the population at risk, especially subpopulations particularly vulnerable if exposed to the given contaminant.

  (4) The notice must state what actions the water system is taking to correct the violation or situation, and when the water system expects to return to compliance. For groundwater systems with significant deficiencies, the notice must contain the executive director-approved plan and schedule for correction of the significant deficiency, including interim measures, progress to date, and any interim measures completed.

  (5) The notice must state whether alternative drinking water sources should be used, and what other actions consumers should take, including when they should seek medical help, if known.

  (6) Each notice must contain the name, business address and telephone number at which consumers may contact the owner, operator, or designee of the public water system for additional information concerning the notice.

  (7) Where appropriate, the notice must be multilingual. The multilingual notice must explain the importance of the notice or provide 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.

  (8) The notice shall include a statement to encourage the notice recipient to distribute the public notice to the other persons served. Public water systems must include in their notice the following language: Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

  (9) Systems with variances or exemptions must notify in accordance with 40 CFR §141.205(b).

  (10) Systems must notify customers at sampled taps of the results of any required lead or copper analyses and certify completion of the notification to the executive director.

(e) Notice to new billing units. The owner or operator of a community water system must give a copy of the most recent public notice for any outstanding violation of any MCL, or any treatment technique requirement, or any variance or exemption schedule to all new billing units or new hookups prior to or at the time service begins. The owner or operator of a noncommunity water system must continuously post the public notice in conspicuous locations in order to inform new consumers of any continuing violation, variance or exemption, or other situation requiring a public notice for as long as the violation, variance, exemption, or other situation persists.

(f) Proof of public notification. A copy of any public notice required under this section must be submitted to the executive director within ten days of its distribution as proof of public notification. The copies must be mailed to the Water Supply Division, MC 155, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or other method of submission as specified by the executive director. Each proof of public notification must be accompanied with a signed Certificate of Delivery.

(g) Notice to consecutive systems. All public water systems shall provide public notice to persons served by the public water system in accordance with this section. All public water systems that are required to issue public notice to persons in accordance with this section, and that sell or otherwise provide drinking water to other public water systems (i.e., consecutive systems), shall provide public notice to the owner or operator of the consecutive system. The consecutive system is responsible for and shall provide public notice to the persons it serves in accordance with this section.

(h) Notices given by the executive director. The executive director may give the notice required by this section on behalf of the owner and operator of the public water system following the requirements of this section. The owner or operator of the public water system remains responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this section are met.

(i) If a public water system has a violation in a portion of the distribution system that is physically or hydraulically isolated from other parts of the distribution system, the executive director may allow the system to limit distribution of the public notice to only persons served by that portion of the system which is out of compliance. Permission by the executive director for limiting distribution of the notice must be granted in writing.

(j) The owner or operator of a public water system that furnishes for public or private use drinking water containing added fluoride may not permanently terminate the fluoridation of drinking water unless the owner or operator provides written notice to persons served by the public water system and to the executive director of the termination of fluoridation at least 60 days before the termination. The public notice to persons served by the public water system pursuant to this section shall be issued using the delivery methods described in subsection (c)(2)(A) of this section. Proof of public notification issued pursuant to this subsection shall be submitted in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §290.122 adopted to be effective September 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 8880; amended to be effective May 16, 2002, 27 TexReg 4127; amended to be effective May 16, 2002, 27 TexReg 4127; amended to be effective February 19, 2004, 29 TexReg 1373; amended to be effective January 9, 2008, 33 TexReg 198; amended to be effective May 15, 2011, 36 TexReg 2860; amended to be effective November 8, 2012, 37 TexReg 8849; amended to be effective March 30, 2017, 42 TexReg 1466; amended to be effective September 17, 2020, 45 TexReg 6375

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