The Pieces are Starting to Fit Together.
                                                                              ICR Update
                                                                          Jim Walasek, Editor
                                                                       Technical Support Center
                                                                               August 1998
             Data Validation Underway!

             ICR Update ISSUe Number 13 - This informationsheet, the ICR Update,
             is the thirteenth 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.

            Editor's Note: Last month I mentioned that everything in the ICR was getting to be pretty
            routine with the exception of dam validation by EPA, but now I'm happy to report that even data
            validation is starting to fit together.  I'm sure when you started collecting and analyzing ICR
            samples over a year ago (time flies when you're having fun) there were "bugs" that needed to be
            worked out, so it was with the data validation program. Now we're to the point where we have
            most of the bugs corrected and can begin dealing with the backlog of data. Thanks again for
            your patience and understanding.                 :

            Deadline Extended - By now, ICR utilities have probably received their first set
            of ICR validation reports. The cover letter that accompanied the validation report package (dated
            August 6, 1998) stated a deadline date of August 31,1998  for resubmitting a July  1997 monthly
            data diskette. However, since the report package was delayed an additional week in getting to
            the utilities, the deadline for resubmission has been extended to Wednesday, September 9,
                                      |                 .,     .-.-•.'•   .-:"  <..         '

            Utility "Help" Package on the Way - ICR utilities should have aiso
            received a "help" package-about the same time as then- first data validation package (for the first
            month of ICR sampling, July 1997). The ICR validation report package contains: a "checksum"
            report for July 1997, and  VA1 and VU reports also for July 1997. The help package is a set of
            materials which includes: a brief description of the validation reports, "hints" for reviewing the
            VA1 report (plus an example VA1 report with explanatory notes), and a list of validation reject
            reasons which may appear on the VA1  report along with a brief explanation for each reason.

      The checksum report that you received indicates that your diskette was received and
  successfully uploaded to the ICR Federal database (ICRFED). The set of VA1 reports (called
  the Monthly Analyte Results Failed by EPA) are generated for each laboratory to which you sent
." samples which had QC failures. The VU reports (Monthly Sampling Verification Report) have
  the same format as the series "B" and "F" reports that are printed by your ICR Water Utility Data
  System. The only exception is that QC failures indicated in the VA1 reports appear (as an "R")
  in the VU5 through VU10 reports.  These reports are used to review the accuracy of the
  information in the ICRFED. If after reviewing these reports you find that you need to make
  corrections to your database, please submit a corrected diskette for July 1997 by the new
  deadline ofSeptember 9,1998. Thanks and good luck!

  Mbnthly Operational Data - When inputting the monthly operational data
  on the Edit Treatment Plant screen be sure to enter the Percent Solids in Sludge as a percent
  value and not as a decimal. (First select the Treatment Plants button on the Monthly Sampling
  menu, then select plant and click the button labeled "Basic Plant Information".) For example, if
  the percent solids in the sludge is 2 percent, enter it as 2.00 on the data, input screen. This may be
  a non-problem, but I wanted to clarify it so if it had been entered improperly it could be corrected
  in time for resubrnission. Thanks.

  ICR Data  Analysis Update - A Joint Application Design (JAD) meeting
  was he|d (June 15 - 17,1998) in Washington, DC. The objective of the meeting was to finalize
  the design of the Primary Auxiliary database (Auxiliary 1) that will house the ICR data to be
  extracted from ICRFED. The meeting was a follow-up to a series of Joint Requirement Planning
  (JRP) meetings that defined all the requirements for this database.  Another JAD meeting for the
  design of the other auxiliary databases and the query tool is planned for August 17 - 19,1998.

      A beta test planning meeting took place at the A WWA headquarters in Denver on July 16-
  17,1998. The beta test is a quality assurance step in the data extraction effort. The objectives of
  the meeting were to plan for testing the Auxiliary 1 database after its completion.  The
  participants of the meeting identified the elements that would need to fee tested to ensure that the
  data extraction from ICRFED proceeded according to the specified requirements.  The
  participants also identified the need for different testers. Some would have the background
  knowledge of the JRPs and JAD, others from the technical workgroups who are not as familiar
  with the design, and utility participation. A significant contribution to the beta test is based on
  utility participation, similar to the utility involvement in the beta test for the Utility Software that
  took place in 1995.

      Planning for actual data analysis by the technical workgroups is also underway.  The
  analysis will start once the uploaded validated data is extracted into Auxiliary 1 data base,
  following its beta testing.  We will keep you informed of the progress of this part of the ICR in
  future ICR Updates.

 AMWA Offers  ICR D^ta Release Handbook - in the coming
 months, many water supply agencies that havejbeen collecting data for the Information
 Collection Rule (ICR) will  be interested in providing their consumers with the results of
 monitoring data prior to the release of such data by EPA or third-parties. According to Diane
 VanDe Hei, Executive Director of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) a
 nonprofit organization made up of the nation's largest drinking water suppliers, releasing the data
 early allows agencies to explain to their own consumers what the data means.  Earlier this year,
 AMWA members gathered in Tampa to develop a step-by-step strategy for water utilities to use
 in releasing their data. The strategy is accompanied by other useful tools, such as:

     • a sample press release
     • cautionary language for consumers,
     • consumer fact sheets on every contaminant covered by the ICR rule,
     • CDC/EPA Guidance for People with Severely Weakened Immune Systems,
     • a Partnership For Safe Water fact sheet, and
     • a summary of the ICR for the public.

 Water utilities interested in  obtaining a copy of the Strategy may e-mail Diane VanDe Hei at
 vandehei(@.amwa-water.org. or call Eugenia Cadena at 202/331 -2820.

 Reporting ICR  Treatment Study Results- AS described in the
 ICR Treatment Studies Data Collection Spreadsheets User's Guide, the results from your ICR •
 treatment study must be  reported, in the Data Collection Spreadsheets and a Summary Report.
 Together, these two items constitute the Final Treatment Study Report. When submitting the
 Final Treatment Study Report to EPA, it is necessary to include hard copies and electronic copies
 of both the Data Collection  Spreadsheets and the Summary Report. Please be sure to include
 two (2) hard-copies of both the spreadsheets and the Summary Report. The corresponding
 electronic files can be submitted on standard 3.5" floppy diskettes or on zip diskettes.  If 3.5"
 floppy diskettes are used, if will be necessary to compress the files using PKZIP software.

    The electronic format for the Data Collection Spreadsheets is standardized (i.e., MS Excel,
 and in some cases Lotus); however, the electronic format for the Summary Report is not
 specified.  This provides flexibility with respect to the software applications that can be used to
 generate the Summary Report. Although you are free to |use any software application, we do
 request that you limit the number of files mat comprise your Summary Report. For example, if
 the text of the document  is in MS Word, tables are in MS Excel, and graphics are in MS Power
 Point, it is very easy to merge all of these files into a single MS Word file.

    EPA plans to convert all Summary Report files to a Portable Document Format (PDF),
 which can be viewed using a standard Acrobat Reader. By submitting the smallest number of
 files possible,  you will facilitate Ihe process of converting all Treatment Study Summary Reports
to a standard electronic format. Ifhank you in advance for your cooperation in this effort.

 JN O thing tO Report? - During the course of a treatment study, there will be times
 when it will be impossible to report a numeric value for a sample, e.g., if the result is below the
* minimum reporting level. The ICR Treatment Studies Data Collection Spreadsheets User's
 Guide lists three situations in which it is necessary to enter codes instead of values: below the
 minimum reporting level (BMRL); not analyzed (NA); and not reported (NR). The ICR
 Treatment Studies Data Collection Spreadsheets treats alpha characters as "no data entry" and
 ignores these entries when performing calculations. Example: Assuming the following data are
 entered into the spreadsheet, 1,2,3, BMRL, and NA, the spreadsheet: will calculate the average
 as 2 and the sum as 6.

     The spreadsheets also calculate THM4, HAAS and HAA6 sums automatically. If one or
 more of the species for THMs or HAAs is reported as BMRL, the spreadsheet will treat BMRL
 as "no data entry" (i.e., essentially treating it as zero in the summation) and correctly compute
 the sum. For example, if bromoform is reported as BMRL, the spreadsheet will compute a
 correct sum for THM4.  Similarly, if one or more of the individual species was not analyzed
 (NA) or not reported (NR), the spreadsheet will treat these alpha characters as "no data entry"
 (i.e.,  essentially treating it as zero hi the summation). However, in the case where one or more
 individual DBF species is reported as NA or NR, the sum for the corresponding DBF group
 calculated by the spreadsheet will be incorrect. For example, if CHC13 is not reported (NR) due
 to a QC failure, the summation of BDCM, DBCM and CHBr3 would not be an accurate value for
 THM4. If an individual DBF species is reported as NA or NR, then the user should overwrite
 the equation in the spreadsheet and report NR for the corresponding DBF sum.

 Reporting Flow and Population Data- m 1996 EPA requested that
 public water systems report flow and population data for plants subject to the ICR requirements.
 Plants participating in the ICR Treatment Studies should provide updated (i.e., 1998) flow and
 population data as part of the Summary Report. A simple table such as that shown below is all
 mat is required.

        1998 Annual Average Flows and Population Served for Plant
Flow (mgd)
Population Served
Surface Water

Ground Water

Purchased Water


Spiking Program and Supplemental Surveys - Much work
has been done since the last ICR Update to keep things moving in the spiking program and
supplemental surveys. Read on for more details.
Spiking Program - The ICR Lab Spiking Program is progressing well. More than half of the
utilities participating in the program have completed their first sampling event; 51 utilities have

 collected water samples for the months of May, June and July. EPA has received data summary-
 reports for samples analyzed in the month of May. The.spiking program will end at the close of
 the ICR 18-month monitoring in December 1998, Thanks to all lab spiking program
• participants.

 Method 1622 - The round-robiin validation process for Method 1622 has resumed for
 Cryptosporidium only. The process was halted due to technical .issues concerning a decrease in
 the recovery rates. Due to deficiencies in the Dynal IMS procedure and the Gelman capsule
 filters, the average recovery of the method was significantly lower during the round-robin
 validation than the recoveries achieved during single laboratory validation studies. These
 probfems have been rectified and things are now back on track. EPA expects that the
 Cryptosporidium validation process will be completed by early October.

     The Dynal prototype combined Cryptosporidium and Giardia IMS kits are undergoing peer
 review. Two laboratories have tested the kits in reagent water and are currently testing them in
 raw water. Once the peer review process is complete the round-robin validation process for the
 Giardia portion of Method 1622: will begin. EPA anticipates having the Giardia portion of the
 method available when surveys begin.

 ICR Supplemental Surveys - Recruitment letters for the Large and Medium System Surveys
 were sent out in early August.  So far, quite a number of systems have expressed interest hi
 participating in the surveys. EPA needs 47 large, 40 medium and 40 small plants to collect
 source water samples twice a month for 12  months (November 1998 through October  1999).
 Surveys will provide data on protozoa, bacteria, and DBP precursors. September 4,1998 is the
 deadline for submitting reply foims.

    Recruitment for the small systems is forthcoming. The comment period for the Information
 Collection Request for small systems will close on August 24. Recruitment letters are scheduled
 to be sent out in mid-September.

    Details of Method 1622 validation and survey progress, and additional information
regarding recruitment will be provided in upcoming issues of the ICR Update. If you have
questions regarding the survey, please contact Heather Shank-Givens at 202-260-0063 or email
to grvens.heather@epamaiLepii.gov.  For questions concerning Method 1622, please contact
Crystal Rodgers at 202-260-0676 or email to rodgers.crystal@epamaiLepa.gov.

United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MS-140)
Cincinnati, OH  45268

Official Business
Penalty for Private Us»

   PERMIT No G-35