Coronavirus Resources for Public Water and Wastewater Utilities, Public-Serving Pools, and Spas
In an effort to provide South Carolina’s water professionals with the most current information and guidance about COVID-19, the Bureau of Water has compiled a listing of guidance and advice for water and wastewater professionals. The links below provide insight going forward as more details and guidance about COVID-19 are shared by EPA, CDC, and water research professionals.
Governor McMaster requests that providers of utility services proceed with developing and implementing plans for phasing in normal business operations, while also working with their customers and ratepayers who need assistance to refer them to local organizations or arrange payment plans that will avoid or minimize penalties and service interruptions.
USEPA has just released drinking water flushing guidance for buildings that have been closed due to the COVID-19 event and are planned to be re-opened.
On May 11, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster announced that public or commercial pools will be able to open in a limited capacity Monday, May 18. Please see the suggested guidelines for public swimming pool reopening as set by DHEC and accelerateSC.
The Governor's order 2020-28 on April 21, 2020 has allowed public beach access points and parking lots to open for recreational purposes. Any governmental entity in the state owning, operating, managing, or otherwise having jurisdiction and control over any such public beach access points may close those points as necessary for the protection of public health. Please check with your local controlling body to determine if your respective beach access points have limited access. Gov. Henry McMaster's Office has issued a revision to Executive Order 2020-16, Section 1(C) that reopens public boat landings and ramps in South Carolina for the purpose of launching or retrieving a boat beginning at 12 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020. Visit DNR's webpage for more information.
Regulatory Compliance Assistance
The Water Programs continue focus on protecting the public and the environment during this national and state emergency. However, we are also aware that this an extraordinary time. Consequently, as part of the overall approach of the Office of Environmental Affairs, the Water Programs will consider actions that may be taken to bring some degree of certainty to our permittees during this very impactful and uncertain period. The overview of this initiative can be found here and includes an e-mail address to submit requests for regulatory relief consideration due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Request for relief must be clearly and directly related to the COVID-19 event. The justification submitted should conform to and will be evaluated using the guidance issued by USEPA.
USEPA has set a termination date of August 31, 2020, for their temporary policy on enforcement discretion during the COVID-19 emergency. This termination applies only to USEPA; it does not affect State policies that may be in-place. The June 29 USEPA termination memo can be found here.
Water Regulatory Relief
- The due date for all NPDES/ND wastewater permits (including renewal applications, required testing and reports) to be submitted electronically is December 22, 2022. However, we are encouraging electronic submittals now to avoid the last minute rush in December 2022.
- Signed wastewater forms can be submitted via email (followed-up by a hard copy with a wet-ink signature) until the facility is set up to submit via ePermitting. (Note deadline was May 31, 2020 to be set up in ePermitting.)
- Signed ePermitting Certifier Agreements for NPDES/ND facilities can be submitted via email (followed-up by a hard copy with a wet-ink signature).
- The Stormwater Permitting Program is allowing for email submittals of NOIs for coverage under the NPDES Construction General Permit
USEPA & CDC Water Guidance
- EPA - Guidance for Waste & Wastewater - COVID-19
- CDC - Water Transmission and COVID-19
- EPA - Releases List of Disinfectants to Use Against COVID-19
- EPA Expands COVID-19 Disinfectant List
- CDC - Information for Sanitation & Wastewater Workers on COVID-19
- CDC - Waste Management QAs
- OSHA - COVID -19
Other Water Information
- Clemson - Water Systems Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Water Environment Federation – Water Professional’s Guide to COVID-19
- Water Environment Federation – Q&A: COVID-19
- University of Arizona – Survival of Coronaviruses in Water and Wastewater
- WHO - Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Waste Management for COVID-19
Regulatory Compliance Assistance
- EPA - COVID-19 Implications for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program Memo
- EPA - Temporary Advisory for NPDES Reporting in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Memo
- Essential Infrastructure Workforce - Homeland Security
- EPA - Letter to Governors re: Essential Infrastructure Function
- CDC - Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers