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An Experienced Leader In UCMR Sampling & Analysis

Pace® has analyzed upwards of 100,000 drinking water samples under EPA UCMR 3 and UCMR 4 programs, and our water quality experts are regular presenters at water utility conferences across the country. In addition to EPA-approval for UCMR 5, Pace® is certified by every state and US territory for the analysis of drinking water samples for compliance monitoring of regulated contaminants. In some states, this includes PFAS and 1,4-Dioxane.

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What Is UCMR 5?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) is designed to collect data on contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water but that do not yet have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). A revised list of up to 30 contaminants is selected every five years. UCMR 5 is the fifth UCMR round to be implemented and includes testing requirements for 29 PFAS plus lithium.

Get The Details On UCMR 5

Sampling for UCMR 5 will take place between 2023 and 2025, so most water systems are well into their planning and execution. However, our team is still fielding questions, especially from water systems new to the program.

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Does My Water System Need To Comply?

All public water systems serving 3300 or more people and 800 smaller systems, randomly selected by the EPA, are required to comply with UCMR 5. This more than doubles the number of water systems required to participate in previous rounds of UCMR.

What Do We Need To Sample?

For UCMR 5, sampling is only required at the entry point to each distribution system and does not include distribution system locations. Sampling of source water is not required in UCMR 5; however, the sampling schedule can be influenced by drinking water sources. For example, groundwater systems are required to sample semi-annually, once every 6 months during the assigned 12-month sampling schedule. Surface water and Groundwater Under the Direct Influence (GWUDI) of surface water systems are required to sample quarterly.

Public water system operators should always check their EPA-assigned schedule and sampling requirements to ensure full compliance with UCMR 5.

Which Test Methods Are Required?
To analyze for all 30 contaminants, UCMR 5 requires three EPA validated test methods. Both EPA Test Methods 537.1 and 533 are required to analyze for the 29 PFAS compounds. EPA Test Method 200.7 is required to analyze for lithium. Pace® is approved by the EPA for all three methods.
Do I Need To Use A UCMR 5 Lab?

Since the UCMR contaminants vary cycle to cycle, the EPA approves UCMR testing laboratories for each new round of UCMR. All UCMR 5 testing must be done by an EPA UCMR approved laboratory.

Are Private Wells Included In UCMR 5?

No. UCMR 5 only covers public water systems. However, in locations where elevated levels of PFAS have been found, many private well owners have begun voluntarily testing for PFAS. Some states have set aside budgetary support for these private well owners, and federal dollars are available through grants to the states for disadvantaged communities.

How Much Does Testing Cost?

The EPA has estimated the cost of UCMR 5 testing to be around $950 per sample. Large public water systems will be required to cover the cost of testing themselves. The EPA will cover the costs of laboratory testing for smaller systems. Pace® experts are available to help estimate overall costs.

A Nationally Recognized Leader In UCMR 5 Testing

The Pace® UCMR team is nationally recognized and is often invited to present at water utility conferences across the country. In addition to being approved for UCMR 5, Pace® maintains all required certifications in every state and US territory for the analysis of drinking water and compliance monitoring of regulated contaminants. Pace® can also assist water systems in setting up their Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System (SDWARS) accounts.

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