Knowing what, when, and where to monitor by drinking water systems can be a daunting task. Groundwater and surface water sources within a utility may include weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, triennial, and even 9-year schedules at each source location. Additional monitoring rules such as UCMR, LT2ESWTR (LT2-Microbial), etc. may further increase sample collection at these sites for a period of one or more years. If a regulated analyte is detected during routine sampling, increase monitoring is often trigger by regulation. For example, a detected VOC analyte (such as tetrachlorethylene), will increase sampling to quarterly if the source was previously on annual monitoring.
Water system who apply for SOC and/or VOC State waivers may have some sources approved for reduced monitoring while more vulnerable sources being denied waivers. Waivers may cover three-year compliance periods or may be issued for the entire nine-year compliance cycle. Dates for waiver reapplication can easily be forgotten resulting in missed monitoring violations issued by States.
To further complicate matters, distribution-monitoring schedules can vary from daily Revised TCR sampling; to quarterly Stage 2 D/DBP monitoring; to triennial Lead & Copper sampling. Utilities having 20-30 groundwater sources and several surface water treatment plants can have very complex monitoring schedules – often kept on calendars, in files, on spreadsheets, notebooks, or other written formats that are only understood by “the person having the most sampling experience” at the utility.
Staff turnover along with the retirement of baby boomers have left many utilities struggling to maintain compliance with complex monitoring schedules. Many States have limited resources to help utilities. The Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) available through most states provides some data on monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that water systems provide safe water to their customers. However, downloading SDWIS monitoring data is limited and can be tedious and difficult to use.
SAMSWater was developed to address these issue and provides its users with resources to manage monitoring schedules – from simple to complex. Sample sites are defined in the software along with monitoring projects detailing ‘what’ and ‘when’ to sample. SAMS Criticality algorithms send E-mails to key staff to remind them of upcoming (monthly, quarterly, etc) monitoring requirements. Once samples are collected from a given site and monitoring requirements have been met, SAMS tracks completion of lab data and verifies all analytical results have been obtained from the laboratory(s). Data is checked for exceedances, and alerts staff when issues have been detected. Missing lab data, defined by the Project, is tracked by Criticality until completed. E-mail reminders are escalated to senior level staff as needed until all monitoring requirements defined in the Project are met.
SAMSWater eliminates the need for manually tracking cumbersome monitoring schedules by using old, antiquated methods noted above. Monitoring new sites or adding new monitoring projects to a source is very simple and requires very little upkeep. Let us know how we can improve your monitoring plan. Our experience staff can demonstrate how your complicated monitoring schedules can be simplified by using SAMSWater. Call (602) 759-1905 today for a demonstration.