Special Edition
           NEWS
                                     'ICR Reporting, read all about it!'
                                  ICR Update
 Special  Edition!
                                                                 Jim Walasek, Editor
                                                             Technical Support Center
                                                                    September 1997
 ICR Update ISSUe Number 5 - This information sheet, the ICR Update, is
 a special edition and the fifth one to be issued by the Technical Support Center (TSC) of the
 Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW). Future issues will be distributed as
 needed to maintain information flow related to the ICR.


 Monitoring Continues, Reporting Begins  -ICRmonitoring
 began in July and will continue for 18 months. Reporting of data to EPA will begin when plants
 receive all of the monthly data back from the ICR approved laboratories for a particular sampling
 period. In other words, even though you may enter results for a monthly sampling period as soon
 as they received from the lab, you must not send EPA the monthly reporting package until you
 have entered all of the required results for the sampling period. See Chapter 7 of the ICR Water
 Utility Database System Users' Guide for details concerning the entry of monthly sampling
 results. This issue of the ICR Update looks at some emerging issues related to the reporting of
 ICR data.


 Revised  MRLS - The DBP/ICR Analytical Methods Manual lists the Minimum
 Reporting Levels (MRLs) for the aldehydes as 2.0 ug/L for formaldehyde and 1.0 ug/1 for all of
fthe remaining compounds. Due to problems associated with obtaining clean blank water, we are
 forced to revise those MRLs to 5.0 ug/L for all of the aldehydes analyzed. Also, please note that
 the low concentration continuing calibration check standard will be analyzed at 5.0 ug/L.

      To enter data into the ICR Utility Data Entry System, utilities are requested to press the
 "< MRL" button for all aldehyde results below 5.0 ug/L. Only results equaling 5.0 ug/L or
 above should be entered as a numerical value. It is anticipated that the data entry screens will be
 modified to reflect this change in MRLs in a January 1998 revision of the data entry software. If
 you have questions concerning entering aldehyde results, please contact the ICR DMS Hotline at
 (703)908-2155.

-------
                                -By now, all chemistry and microbiology laboratories that are
 reporting QC information to EPA via the ICR Laboratory QC Database software should have
 received an update to the software.  The updated version is called Version 1.1 in the written
 documentation (and on the diskettes) and Version l.OB within the software.  The update was
 sent to microbiology laboratories in July and to chemistry laboratories in August. Laboratories
 that are conducting both microbiology and chemistry analysis received two copies of the same
 software update.
              DOWn - Laboratory analysts and utility personnel have been telling us that
 they often do not receive copies of the information we send to our "official" mailing contacts.
 That includes letters as well as this publication (the ICR Update).  It is extremely important that
 all of this information be shared with the personnel who are affected by it.  Therefore, please
 make an effort to copy this publication and the letters we send you and share them with the
 appropriate personnel. Thanks.

. Check DigltltiS - This malady seems to be affecting utility personnel at water
 treatment plants. Many laboratories have complained that utilities have not been providing the
 check digit with their sample information. Without the check digit, the laboratories cannot enter
 their quality control and sample batch information.  Therefore, this is causing them to be late in
 submitting their disks to the ICR Federal Database. Laboratories which are late are in jeopardy
 of losing their laboratory approval. If laboratories  lose approval,  utilities will have to go around
 "hunting" for a new laboratory. This is not a nice scenario. Therefore, EPA recommends that
 laboratories require the utilities to submit a copy of their D.I Report (Monthly Sample
 Allocation to Laboratories), which contains the check digit, with their samples. This requirement
 is noted on page 146 of the ICR Water Utility Database System Users ' Guide. (Also see the ICR
 Update for June '97 under the item, Reader Tip.) If this report is  missing, the laboratory is not
 required to accept the sample.  Laboratories should work with their clients to enhance
 compliance with this requirement.
                   Glitch    - If your analyses for ammonia or chlorine residuals indicate
 that the concentrations are lower than your minimum reporting levels (MRLs), the current system
 does not give you an opportunity to report a "0" or 
-------
Lab  QC Data Disk Due DateS -Protozoa quality control data are due two
weeks from the end of the month in which the sample analyses were completed.  Virus data are
due two months from the end of the month in which the analyses were begun.  Chemistry quality
control data are due two months from the end of the month in which the analyses were
completed. For example, chemistry QC data from all batches completed in September must be
received by EPA no later than the last day of the following November.

       After laboratory QC diskettes (and utility diskettes) have been received, logged in and
successfully posted to the ICR Federal Database, a postcard will be sent to the laboratory (utility)
notifying them that the data for the sampling period has been successfully uploaded to the ICR
Federal Database System.

VirUS QC and Sample  Data - The value to be entered into the "Fortified"
amount for the virus positive QC sample is 200 PFU. Detection limits and upper confidence
limits for samples which are negative for virus should be calculated by entering one positive
flask in the MPNV program. This result will be provided to the utilities by their laboratories.
Lower confidence limits for samples negative for virus should always be entered as zero (0).
Laboratories should refer to the letter dated August 25, 1997 from the ICR Microbiology
Coordinator.
               QC  Samples - Analysts must count the entire concentrate for the QC
samples. Also, when calculating the results, do not multiply by 2.5 to correct for the fact that
you spiked into only 40 L, simply report the total amount found as though you had spiked into
100 L. Please report the "Fortified" amount as the amount determined and reported to you by
Tim Straub, Region 10's ESAT contractor.

UPS Strike Disrupts ICR -What was it that Robert Burns said about the best
laid plans [schemes] of mice and men? Just as the ICR sampling was starting to roll, United
Parcel Service (UPS) teamsters went out on strike causing some minor disruptions. A few
samples were delayed in their arrival at the labs. The most critical chemical samples were the
ones with maximum holding times denoted as ASAP in Table 4-3 of the ICR Sampling Manual.
These are, UV 254, aldehydes, and cyanogen chloride. During the strike, one plant located
within a couple of hundred miles of the Cincinnati EPA lab actually drove the samples down to
our lab and had them here by 9 o'clock in the morning. Now that's dedication!  Other samples,
if not iced down with a sufficient amount of ice, could also be compromised. Therefore, samples
not arriving in a chilled  condition must not be analyzed. Several  microbial samples arrived late
at a few labs. While they were still analyzed, the results will be reported qualitatively instead of
quantitatively.  Fortunately, the UPS strike only lasted a little over two weeks and other courier
services were available, such as Fed Ex. However, with the absence of UPS from the scene, and
the large volume of packages, FedEx could not promise delivery the next morning.  Some of the
Fed Ex locations even stopped accepting parcels 2 or 3 hours earlier than the end of their normal
business hours or wouldn't accept new clients, period! Now that the strike is over maybe things
will go more smoothly.  Pop Quiz: If FedEx merged with UPS what would they be called?
Fed UPS, of course!

-------
                Data Entry TipS -Some laboratories accustomed to testing only
 finished waters for collforms have reported problems with the source waters being tested for the
 ICR. Source waters, unless they are very clean, may require several dilutions to arrive at a
 quantitative number (which is needed for the ICR). Therefore, a laboratory may have to change
 their initial coliform method to a different ICR approved coliform method if the source water is
 too turbid or contains background bacterial growth that interferes with the coliform growth. If
 you change methods or have any questions about ICR coliform methods you may call Lois
 Shadix (513-569-7864)

       If your total coliform, fecal coliform, or E. coli number of colonies per 100 mL is "too
 numerous too count" (TNTC) or is greater than (>) the MPN (or MF) number, report that fact in
 the ICR Water Utility Database System on the Edit Coliform Analyses window in the Analytical
 Result section (under QA Code) by selecting the letter "R" (for rejected). The QA comment
 window will then open so you can enter TNTC or your > number/100 mL. Next month, make
 the appropriate dilutions in the source water, so a quantitative number can be reported. If the
 laboratory has found no coliforms in 100 mL, report your data in the database as <1.  (Type the
 number 1  in the Colonies/100 mL box and click on the 

-------
 advanced precursor removal process to characterize the removal of SDS-DBP precursor across
 the process.
 QA Code WordS - Two types of QA codes are used in the ICR, Sample QA Codes
 and Sample Analytical Result QA Codes. The first summarizes the utility's assessment of the
 quality of the sample. It is entered into the software when the sample is collected. The second
 code is provided by the laboratory for each result. The utility may accept the laboratory's
 assessment and record the code in the software or may downgrade the code. The utility may not
 upgrade the Result QA Code determined by the laboratory. The following table explains the
 different QA codes used for samples and sample results.
Type
Sample QA Code
Result QA Code
QA
Code
A
Q
R
L
N
A
Q
R
Code
Definition
Acceptable
Questionable
Rejected
Lost
No Sample
Collected
Acceptable
Questionable
Rejected
Comment
Required?
Optional
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Optional
Yes
Yes
Example Comment

May not be representative
Holding time exceeded
Sample bottle broken during
shipment to lab
Sample could not be collected
during 3 day window

Atypical result for our system
- (downgraded from "A" by utility)
Method blank exceeded one-
half the MRL for chloroform
       The handling of reporting for samples that were never analyzed can be confusing.  If
there was a problem either in the collection or shipment of a sample which resulted in an invalid
sample PRIOR to the lab's analysis, then the sample QA code should indicate "L" for lost.
However, if the lab started processing the sample, but no data were reported due to a problem at
the lab, then the Sample QA Code should indicate "R" for rejected. Here are some examples of
when to use the "L" Sample QA Code versus the "R" code:

       f  Sample bottle arrived at lab after the holding time had expired due to the UPS strike.
         ' Sample QA Code = L
       *  Lab extracted sample, but the freezer quit working, so the extract became warm and
          was, therefore, not analyzed.  Sample QA Code = R
       4  Sample was supposed to be chilled to 4 C, but it arrived at the lab without any ice or
          frozen ice packs. Sample QA Code = L
       4  Sample arrived at the lab in good condition, but the lab didn't analyze it within the
          appropriate holding time. Sample QA Code = R

-------
              *  Sample was supposed to have a pH of <2, but it arrived at the lab with a pH of 4.5 .
                 Sample QA Code = L

              On the "micro" side, the lab should notify the utility if any of the "flag" conditions listed
       on page IV-6 of the ICR Microbial Laboratory Manual are identified. The utility will then enter
       a Sample QA Code of "R" (which will automatically change the Result QA Code to a "R").  In
       the case of protozoa samples, if the Result QA Code is "R" indicate whether the sample is
       positive (P) or negative (N) for each indicated analyte by using the pick list under the heading
       "Qualitative Result Code."  For virus samples with a Result QA Code of "R" follow the same
       procedure as for the protozoa samples by entering the proper Qualitative Result Code.

              See the ICR Water Utility Database System Users ' Guide (p. 121 - 123) for additional.
       details. The ICR Update will delve more deeply into the QA Codes topic in the next issue.
                 Up! - For all you Internet surfers, be sure to visit the Office of Ground Water and
       Drinking Water (OGWDW) Home Page on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW. Click
       on the Regulations and Guidance button and look for the Information Collection Rule listing.
       For direct access to the Regulations and Guidance page, set a bookmark for
       http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/regs.htrnl.
United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
Cincinnati, OH  45268
     BULK  RATE
POSTAGE & FEES PAID
         EPA
                                                                                PERMIT No G-35
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use
$300

EPA815-N-97-005

-------