UCMR 5 sampling is scheduled to take place from January 2023 to December 2025.

In anticipation of this event, the Pace team started preparations in 2019.

The timeline:

1/19/21 – EPA announces its intent to issue the UCMR 5 proposal for public comment.

1/21/21 – The incoming administration issues a freeze on the proposal to give the new EPA administrators a chance to review it.

2/22/21 – EPA announces its intent to move forward with UCMR 5 as proposed.

3/11/21 – EPA publishes the UCMR 5 proposal in the Federal Register, triggering the 60-day public comment period.

5/10/21 – Deadline for public comment submission.

9/30/21 – Pace Analytical receives EPA Provisional Approval for all methods required for UCMR 5.

Late 2021 – EPA is expected to issue the final proposal.

2023 – Sampling is expected to begin.

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Key elements of the current proposal:

  • All public water systems (PWS) serving 3,300 or more customers will be required to sample each entry point to the distribution system. UCMR 4 only required PWS serving 10,000 people or more to sample.
  • The EPA will select several hundred smaller PWS to participate as well.
  • The list of 30 contaminants includes 29 PFAS plus Lithium.

Changes we’re watching:

The UCMR program is limited to studying 30 contaminants. However, a clause in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stipulates that unregulated PFAS included in UCMR 5 shall not count toward the limit. Therefore, UCMR 5 could include up to 59 contaminants: the 29 PFAS for which the EPA has validated a drinking water method plus up to 30 other non-PFAS compounds.


PFAS Regulatory Status and UCMR 5 Proposal Updates for Water Systems

Choosing a UCMR 5 Approved Lab

UCMR 5 requires that all labs providing UCMR 5 testing services be approved by EPA. Having analyzed upwards of 100,000 samples under EPA UCMR 3 and 4 programs, the Pace UCMR team is nationally recognized; and its members are regular presenters at the nation’s water utility conferences. In anticipation of this event, the Pace team started preparing for EPA’s rigorous approval process for UCMR 5 in 2019.

While sampling for UCMR 5 isn’t set to begin until 2023, we’re already working with clients to help them develop a plan and budget for the pending UCMR 5 requirements. Reach out to us with your questions or to schedule a virtual presentation for your organization.