2022 is moving quickly already, but we wanted to take a moment to share a few important environmental services updates and a reminder about our schedule at EAI this month.
Regulatory & Technical Updates
Manganese in Drinking Water
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau is proposing to establish procedures for administering an enforceable standard of 0.3 mg/L for manganese in drinking water. The new rules are expected to be adopted and would go into effect on July 1, 2022.
Low Level Nitrogen
We’ve known for some time that high nitrogen concentrations negatively impact the quality and health of streams, rivers, estuaries, watersheds and ponds. Efforts to minimize high nitrogen concentrations in our waterways is an ongoing effort in New Hampshire. One such effort is The Great Bay Total Nitrogen General Permit, which regulates total nitrogen at lower levels in the Great Bay watershed, including the levels of nitrogen discharged from wastewater treatment facilities.
Eastern Analytical, Inc. provides low level nitrogen testing for several wastewater treatment facilities*, including those discharging under The Great Bay Total Nitrogen General Permit. The Total Nitrogen concentration is calculated from the sum of Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) and nitrate + nitrite analyses of collected samples. Our normal reporting limit for Total Nitrogen is 0.5 mg/L. As Nitrogen concentrations approach the 0.5 mg/L, samples are then analyzed to the lower limit of 0.25 mg/L to meet the permit need. However, EAI analyzes the concentrations for each parameter to the required lower minimum level (ML) less than or equal to 0.25 mg/L.
*As a reminder, Region 1 Final Small Wastewater Treatment Facilities General Permit became effective December 1, 2021.
Radon in Drinking Water
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that can be found in the air and water of homes throughout the US. It is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths for non-smokers, and New Hampshire residents have a greater potential for exposure due to the granite bedrock in the state.
The US EPA has not set enforceable regulatory limits for radon in drinking water. Radon testing is only required for initial water quality of new wells for drinking water systems. However, the US EPA recommends private well owners test their drinking water for common contaminants, including radon, every 3-5 years. The EPA recommends treatment if levels exceed 4,000 picocurie per liter (pCi/L). New Hampshire DES recommends treatment for levels above 10,000 pCi/L, Maine and Vermont above 4,000 pCi/L and Massachusetts above 10,000 pCi/L.
Reminder: Upcoming Holiday Closure
We will be closed on Monday, February 21 in honor of President’s Day! Please call us at 1-800-287-0525 or email us if you have any questions or need to make special arrangements.