Skip to content

Drinking Water Monitoring
Action Level Exceedance Information

Has your water system exceeded the lead and/or copper action level in the most recent round of sampling? If so, this exceedance is not a violation. However, following an exceedance a water system is required to take several actions within certain timeframes. Failure to take those actions or meet the required timeframes does constitute a violation of the State Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Those actions and the associated timeframes are listed below. Please note, each action requires that documentation be submitted to the Department.

I. Public Education (PE)
(Lead Action Level Exceedance Only)

Community Water Systems - R61-58.11.G(1)(b)
Non-Transient Non-Community Water System – R61-58.11.G(3)(d)

Public Education (PE) is a formal notice to each user of the water that lead was detected in the last round of monitoring. The PE document provides information on where lead can be found, how lead can enter drinking water supplies, and ways to reduce one’s exposure to lead in drinking water. The Public Education document must contain mandatory health effects language. A copy must be provided to each customer served by the water system. Within sixty (60) days of receipt of notification of exceedance, a copy of the public education document must also be returned to DHEC, along with certification stating how the information was delivered to all water system customers.

II.Source and Distribution Water Quality Parameters (WQPs)

WQPs are samples collected at each source and at various points in the distribution system of a water system. The samples are then analyzed for the following parameters: pH, alkalinity, calcium, conductivity and temperature. This information provides the Department a better look at the infrastructure of the quality of water for a particular water system.

Samples must be collected and analyzed by a Certified Laboratory. Your initial Water Quality Parameters (WPQ) are due within thirty (30) days upon receipt of notification of the exceedance. WQP results must be submitted on DHEC Form 1920.

Failure to submit your results via DHEC form 1920 results in a violation.

III. Source Water Monitoring (SOWT)

Source Water Monitoring entails collecting samples at each source for a water system. These samples are then analyzed for lead and copper. These samples tell whether or not lead and/or copper is coming directly from the aquifer or surface water source.

Bottles will be provided by a contract laboratory. Samples must be collected and returned to the laboratory within six (6) months of action level exceedance.

IV. Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment (OCCT) Evaluation

The OCCT Evaluation or Recommendation is the system’s plan of action to correct whatever problem that may have caused the lead and/or copper ALE. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists the following as approvable OCCT Recommendations:

1. Flushing - This option requires the whole system to be flushed for five (5), ten (10) or fifteen (15) minutes at a time on a weekly, biweekly or even monthly basis. Flushing records must be keep on hand because any exceedances following the implementation of this recommendation will prompt the Department to request these records.
2. Chemical treatment of the water source - State Regulation requires the addition of chlorine with the addition of any chemical treatment. This option also requires daily visits from a certified operator.
3. Tying into another water system - This option may require that your system tie onto the new system as a whole, or in the instance of a subdivision, each residence may be held responsible for their own connection to the new system.

This must be submitted to DHEC with six (6) months of the action level exceedance via DHEC Form 2134.

Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us