ICR a Howling Success...
                                                                            - Wiley Coyote
                                                                        ICR Update
                                                                     Jim Walasek, Editor
                                                                  Technical Support Center
                                                                            June 1999
Auxiliary  1  Database  Close!


ICR Update ISSUe Number 18 - This information sheet, the ICR Update, is
the eighteenth 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: Six months of ICR validated data have been extracted to the Auxiliary 1 (AUX1)
Database and are due to be released in June 1999 (we're shooting for June 7).  The ICR data will
support the development of the Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection By-Products Rule (D/DBP) and the
Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR).  (Whew...that 's a mouthful)
A CD-ROM that will be produced will be used by the Technical Working Group (TWG) and others
for data analysis. For more details on the reaching of this important ICR milestone, read the article,
Just the FACA, Ma'am, in this issue.

    If you have received your latest ICR Utility Data Validation Package by now you should have
noticed a change in the way it was packaged. Instead of one large package containing several months
worth of VA1 and VU reports, the new validation package is now actually three separate packages -
one for each month. (Assuming, of course,  you submitted your data transfer diskettes for the
sampling period before the "drop dead" date.) Other improvements include a new envelope design
with a see-through window for the address, a new computer generated packing list, and VA1 reports
for all of the labs that you used (even if there were no QC rejections). Remember, we are still
uploading three months of data at a time for validation. The current set of reports that you
received were for January, February, and March 1998. Once again, you will only have one
opportunity to review the three months of data and resubmit diskettes (if needed). The deadline for
resubmitting diskettes for this review cycle is July 2,1999. The next set of diskettes to be uploaded
will be for the April, May, and June 1998 sampling periods. Therefore, it is very important that all
utilities send in their diskettes now to continue to stay ahead of the upload process.  By the way, the
validation review packages that the labs receive will also have the new slimmer look with separate

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 envelopes for each month of the quarter (Jan., Feb., and Mar. '98) containing VA1 and VL4 reports
 plus another envelope containing the VL4 reports for April 1998.

      As we near the end of the ICR project, I have noticed that there have been personnel changes,
 reorganizations, moves, area code changes, and, yes, even deaths that have affected the information
 we have in the "official" ICR files here in Cincinnati. Therefore, I want to remind the utilities and
 labs out there to update their ICR contact and address (and phone/fax) information when it changes.
 We, here at EPA, want to keep our records up to date, so if you have such a change, drop us a note on
 your letterhead and send it to U.S. EPA, Technical Support Center (MS 140), 26 W. Martin Luther
 King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268 to the attention of the ICR Utility Coordinator. Besides, who 
 knows, it may speed up the arrival of the next ICR Update. Finally, I want to reiterate that utility
 validation reports are sent to the name and address listed on the data transfer diskette.  So, even if
 you send in your contact person changes, we can't guarantee that the validation reports will be sent
 to the new contact and/or address unless the correct information was on the "last" transfer diskette
 that was loaded into the system.  (This is not a problem for labs because TSC controls the addresses
 that are used by ICR-FED.)


 99  % pure, well actually slightly better -AS near as we can tdi,

 of more than 5700 diskettes uploaded to ICR-Fed, fewer than 30 diskettes failed to upload. This
 works out to be better than the purity of Ivory Snow (made right here in Cincinnati by P & G).  Of
 course, the number of diskettes uploaded is constantly changing, but the percentage of diskettes
 successfully uploaded is fairly constant. Of the 5700 plus diskettes in ICR-Fed, over 3300 are
 monthly utility data transfer diskettes, almost 1700 are chemistry laboratory diskettes, 300+ are
 protozoa diskettes, 121 are virus diskettes, and don't forget the 296 Initial Sampling Plan diskettes.
 The point of all of this? We're making progress!


 Jb U JxAJv- Final Utility Reports Are Ready for sampling periods 03 through 06 (September '97
 through December '97) and you should be receiving them any day now. We received quite a few
 calls after the last set of final utility reports were sent out due to some printing problems. For
 example, there was an overprint problem on the VU6 report that caused the column headers to
 overlap by one column while the actual results were in the proper location. By studying  the report, it
 was possible to "figure out" what was happening, but many utilities wanted the report to look right.
 They contacted the ICR Utility Coordinator who arranged to have new reports printed and sent out to
 the affected utility. We're hopeful that this particular problem has been corrected and will  not happen
 again.  However, if you do spot something on your final reports that may require a new report, please
 contact the ICR DMS Hotline directly at 703-292-6170 to report the problem. Again, we  don't
 anticipate any problems.


 Backup  Diskettes  Still  Needed! - A letter was sent (March 19,1999) to the
 ICR utilities requesting that they create a backup diskette(s) of their ICR Utility Database System
 and send it to the ICR Data Center. The purpose of the backup is so EPA can capture all the
comments in the Analyte comment field. Currently, when utilities enter a QA comment in a

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 "Comment" field at the analyte level without entering a QA comment in the comment field at the
 sample level, the utility system does not have the capability to retrieve the comments at the analyte
 level.  Therefore, it does not appear on your utility data transfer diskette. Well, to date we have only
 received little more than half of the backup diskettes that we were expecting. Therefore, if you
 haven't already sent in a backup diskette, please create one and send it in as soon as possible.

      Judging by the number of calls I received about the creation of the backup diskette, I guess I
 wasn't as clear in my explanation (in the letter) as I thought.  (Probably shouldn't have stated backup
 diskette(s) plural.)  Most utilities should be able to backup their system on a single diskette. The
 backup diskette should be created by using the "Back Up Data" function in the System          
 Administration segment of the ICR Water Utility Database System. For those utilities that haven't yet
 sent in a backup diskette to EPA, try to create the backup after making any necessary corrections to
 the first nine months of data in your system.  Therefore, send in the backup diskette(s) at the same
 time you send in resubmission diskettes (if required) for sampling periods 07, 08, and 09 (January,
 February, and March 1998). Refer to the letter for details, including special labeling instructions for
 the disks. (The current deadline for submitting the resubmission diskettes is July 2, 1999.)


 Some ICR  Utility Data Diskettes Missing - AS mentioned in the
 Editor's Note, there are a few utilities that have still not submitted all of their data transfer diskettes
 for the 18 months of ICR sampling. In some cases the diskette may have been sent in, but for one
 reason or another it is not showing up on the latest utility diskette inventory.  TSC staff have been
 reviewing the diskette inventory information weekly and contacting the utilities to encourage them to
 send in the missing diskettes or a replacement diskette.  If you haven't yet sent in all of the required
 diskettes, please send them in as soon as possible. Remember, we're now uploading diskettes for
 sampling periods 10, 11, and 12 as well as resubmission diskettes for sampling periods 07, 08, and
 09. We will continue to upload diskettes by ICR quarters, so the next uploads will be for sampling
 periods 13, 14, and 15, followed by the last quarter of ICR sampling (sampling periods 16, 17, and
 18).


 JUSt the FACA, Ma'am - The Stage 2 D/DBP/L^ESWTR stakeholders chartered
 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) agreed to develop recommendations for Stage 2
 Disinfection Byproducts and Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rules. Why is this
 important (important enough for the ICR Update), you ask? Because, the ICR data you collected is
 the data that will be analyzed to support the development of the regulatory options used during the
 negotiations.  Of course, other data will supplement the ICR data, but the ICR data is the most
 comprehensive data set we have.  Your efforts in ensuring that these data are of good quality and
 accurately represent your plants have made this possible. Thanks!

     The FACA committee meetings will continue throughout 1999 (and are already scheduled
through April 2000). Topics of the meetings include discussion of health risks from DBPs and
microbial contaminants, results from ICR data and other data sources,  followed by development and
negotiation of rule options. A Data Analysis Team Technical Working Group (TWO) has been
created and has been meeting for over a year and will continue to meet to support the FACA.  This
TWO is the group responsible for analyzing the ICR data and will present ICR occurrence data to the

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 FACA during September and October, 1999. ICR data will continue to be analyzed and presented
 into early 2000 to capture all eighteen validated months of data.

       The ICR data will be extracted from ICRFED into a more manageable Microsoft Access
 database called AUX1. To facilitate data analysis and to focus on individual issues, seven other
 auxiliary databases are being developed for ease of data management. For example, databases are
 being developed to deal with CT and disinfectant decay (AUX2), with TOC removal throughout the
 plant (AUX3) and AUX6 will permit data analysts to follow the fate of the DBFs throughout the
 distribution system.  Only the data necessary to answer the questions that will directly support the
 regulatory development process will be extracted from ICRFED into AUX1. For example, street*
 addresses and quality control data will not be extracted into AUX1. The quality control data are
 being analyzed by a separate team to further understand the quality of the ICR data and to support the
 methods and monitoring aspects of the rule development.

      The ICR data will be used throughout the rest of this year to support regulatory impact analysis
 and to validate the enhanced water treatment plant model (WTP). The WTP model predicts water
 quality based on influent parameters, treatment plant configuration and operating conditions.

      The FACA needs to start reviewing the results of some preliminary ICR data analysis to
 begin discussions (before all 18 months of ICR data are validated in December of this year).
 Therefore, the TWG's strategy is to work with batches of validated ICR data beginning with the first
 six months of ICR data. These data will be used to develop the data analysis tools that will be used
 during the FACA process in the Fall (of 1999).  The TWO plans to use ICR validated data after six,
 twelve, and eighteen months because of the availability of these data relative to the auxiliary
 databases, models, data analysis tools,  and FACA schedule.

     By the time you receive this ICR Update, six months of validated ICR data will be on its way
 to a CD-ROM that will be used by the TWO and others for data analysis. EPA plans to inform you
 by letter how you will be able to obtain a copy of the validated data for your use as soon as possible.

     Finally, we reached another major milestone for the ICR.  Six months of validated data can
 now be extracted to auxiliary databases for data analysis. Congratulations, you made this feat
 possible.  Keep up the good work in reviewing your data for this important database.


 JllSt in the Nick Of Time! - The Treatment Study Help Packet for preparation of
 the Final Treatment Study Report was mailed to utilities conducting studies on April 9th. If you would
 like a copy of the Help Packet, but have not received one, visit our web-site at
 http:/Avww.epa.gov/OGWDW/icr/helppckt.html, or call the treatment study coordinator at 513-569-
 7131.

     The Help Packet is full of useful information that will facilitate preparation of the final report,
 including example checklists that will be used by EPA to review the data from your study. You can
 use these example spreadsheets to conduct a preliminary review of your data before submitting it to
EPA. But what do you do if you come  across data that are accurately reported but may trigger a flag

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 during the review?  Simple, just document these data anomalies in a memo submitted along with the
 data. In fact, you can list missing information, data outliers, or any other item that would trigger a
 flag during review.  The reviewers will use this information to identify flags triggered by anomalies
 that you have already identified, and we won't ask you to verify data that you have already checked.
 Our goal is to make the review of these final reports as painless as possible.
              JrrOgFJini - A preliminary statistical analysis has been completed for the
 Giardia/Crypto Lab Spiking Study.  The analysis utilized only spiked sample results, as results from
 unspiked samples have not yet completed the data validation process. The ICR method appears to
 have similar performance in different months and in different laboratories. With one minor
 exception, no significant differences between labs or between months were detected for mean
 recovery or for recovery's variability. The mean recoveries of Cryptosporidium and Giardia aren't
 much greater than expected. Mean recovery of the target spiked values, not taking natural
 background levels into account, was lower for Cryptosporidium (about 12%) than for Giardia (about
 26%) with Cryptosporidium showing the greater relative variability. Reported concentrations ranged
 from zero to 65% of the target value for Cryptosporidium and ranged from zero to 83% of the target
 value for Giardia.  Recovery's Coefficient of Variation was estimated as 76% for Cryptosporidium
 and 65% for Giardia.  Recovery doesn't appear related to volume analyzed or turbidity, but volume
 analyzed appeared to decrease with increasing turbidity.
     These results will be important in understanding and interpreting the ICR Supplemental
 Survey's protozoan data. To that end, the TWO will be focusing on how to characterize the
 occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in the nation's drinking water sources.  Those
 interested in working on this issue or have questions about the lab spiking study statistical analyses
 should contact Michael Messner at 202-260-8107, or at messner.michael@epa.gov.


 ICR Supplemental Surveys -    The Large and Medium System
 Supplemental Surveys have been underway for the past 3 months. EPA appreciates the support and
 the perseverence of the 87 utilities that are participating in the surveys. In addition, the Agency is
 grateful for the utilities' cooperation with the coliform reporting requirements. The preliminary
 results of the weekly single-blind ongoing precision and recovery (OPR) and the matrix spike sample
 analyses indicate that Method 1622 is meeting and exceeding the anticipated performance. Routine
 recoveries, on average, are greater than 50%, despite spike doses of between 80 and 150 oocysts.

     The Small System Survey has taken off!  The survey began in April 1999.  There are 40
 utilities that are participating in this 12-month data collection effort.


 JVletnOCl  1623 - No, there is no typographical error . . . Method 1623 is a protozoan
 analytical method that will soon be used in the Supplemental Surveys to test for both
 Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Up until this point, the Supplemental Surveys have included testing
for Cryptosporidium only, using Method 1622.  Method 1622 was validated in 1998 for the purpose
of exclusively collecting Cryptosporidium data because the immunomagnetic separation (IMS)
reagents for Giardia were not yet available. However, since the combined Cryptosporidium and
 Giardia IMS kits are now available and round robin validation has been completed, we anticipate

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        incorporating Method 1623 into the supplemental surveys in June 1999.
             xs-The final procedure for Method 1622 (EPA-821-R-99-001, Jan 1999) is available.
             &The final procedure for Method 1623 (EPA-821-R-99-006, Apr 1999) is available.
             For electronic versions of the above methods go to http://www.epa. gov/microbes/

        For further information regarding the supplemental surveys or Method 1623, please contact Crystal
        Rodgers at 202-260-0676, rodgers.crvstal@epamail.epa.gov.


        PE Sample Program - In the February ICR Update it was announced that EPA *
        would be willing to provide Performance Evaluation (PE) samples for Giaridia and Cryptosporidium
        to interested laboratories. Ten laboratories applied for the program and samples were sent out in May.
        A summary report is available by faxing your request to Mary Ann Feige, 513-569-7191. Seven
        additional laboratories have since applied for the program and will receive samples in August. In
        order to receive a copy of the results for an individual laboratory, you must contact that laboratory
        directly.
       A New Perspective...- congratulations
       to Michella Stultz and Brian Bohl, Oak Ridge Institute
       of Science and Education (ORISE) interns working on
       projects associated with the ICR at the EPA's Technical
       Suppport Center who recently successfully defended
       their Masters projects through Miami (of Ohio)
       University's Institute of Environmental Science. Brian,
       pictured at right, says working on the ICR has given him
       a whole new perspective on life.
United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MS-140)
Cincinnati, OH 45268
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use
$300
    BULK RATE
POSTAGE & FEES PAID
       EPA
  PERMIT No G-35
EPA815-N-99-001C

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