Highlights from United Water’s Environmental Health and Safety Conference

Every year at United Water, we host an “Environmental Health and Safety Conference (EHS),” which is attended by many of our employees and prominent leaders as featured speakers. This year’s EHS Conference was hosted by Brent Fewell, Senior Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety, in Washington D.C. We were honored to have several guest speakers, including Peter Grevatt, Ph.D, director of the U.S. EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water; Richard E. Fairfax, CIH, deputy assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and Jonathan Neubauer, EHS manager for EnPro, two time winner of “America’s Safest Company” award. This year, key topics and discussion points for the conference included EHS priorities for 2013, leveraging greater employee engagement and refining our tools to accelerate improvements in safety and environmental performance. Much of the offsite focus was on deploying best practices across the company, including the use of e-CCRs. During the conference, Peter Gravatt emphasized to United Water managers EPA’s CCR policy change, which allows public water providers to use electronic transmission of CCRs. He further discussed how important it is for the public to have access to drinking water quality information 365 days a year. United Water customers who do not have computer access or do not wish to receive electronic version of the report, paper copies of CCRs will remain a viable source of water quality information. Richard Fairfax shared with the participants OSHA’s enforcement priorities and promoted the Agency’s voluntary protection program as a way to help improve the safety of...

Water Compliance and Why it’s Important

    Drinking water systems are critical to public health, economy and have a huge impact on our quality of life. Americans all across the country depend on their water systems for safe and clean water. To make sure that the water we drink and use is safe and clean, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established national safety standards for drinking water. These regulations are regularly updated as new scientific and health related information becomes available. The safety of water is determined by levels of certain chemicals or microorganisms present in drinking water. The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and Action Level (AL) are the health standards established by the USEPA that all public water systems should adhere to. The MCL or AL is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. Between 1976 and 2002, EPA established 14 major rules in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). These rules have resulted in the regulation of 90 contaminants. Each regulation addresses one of two major categories of risk: microbial contaminants, or chemical/radiological contaminants. Most of these EPA regulations set a maximum contaminant level or required treatment technique for a contaminants that water suppliers need to adhere to along with ongoing contaminants monitoring and reporting requirements. You can learn more about water compliance and EPA guidelines here. While the USEPA and state governments set and enforce drinking water standards, at United Water we believe that it’s our direct responsibility to ensure that the drinking water we provide always meets or exceeds all state and federal health standards. With a history of almost...