United States
                   Environmental Protection
Risk Reduction
Engineering Laboratory
Cincinnati OH 45268
                   Research and Development
EPA/600/S2-89/027 Feb. 1990
£EPA          Project  Summary
                    Point-of-Entry  Drinking  Water
                    Treatment Systems for
                    Superfund Applications

                    Catherine D. Chambers and Thomas A. Janszen
                     The U.S. Environmental Protection
                   Agency (EPA) and State Superfund
                   agencies need a technical assistance
                   manual to assist their  personnel in
                   the selection of an effective drinking
                   water treatment system  for individual
                   households in areas  where  the
                   drinking water  has  been adversely
                   affected  by Superfund site con-
                   taminants and no other alternative
                   water supply is available or feasible.
                   Commercially available  water treat-
                   ment systems for Individual house-
                   holds are of two basic types: point-of-
                   use (POU) and polnt-of-entry (POE). A
                   POU  device consists of  equipment
                   applied to  selected water taps to
                   reduce contaminants at each tap. A
                   POE device consists of  equipment to
                   reduce the contaminants in the water
                   distributed throughout that structure.
                     This study was Initiated to collect
                   monitoring, operation  and mainte-
                   nance, performance, and design data
                   on existing Superfund POE  water
                   treatment systems. Evaluation of the
                   collected  data showed  that existing
                   data are  not sufficient  for  the
                   preparation of a technical assistance
                   document to meet the  objectives of
                   EPA and State Superfund personnel.
                     There is a need for additional study
                   to develop  a technical assistance
                   document.  Because most of  the
                   existing  data  and field experience
                   related to POE  water  treatment is
                   concerned  with granular activated
                   carbon filters and air strippers for the
                   treatment of organic contaminants,
                   the authors recommend that further
                   detailed study center around  these
                   two technologies.
  This Project Summary was devel-
oped by EPA's Risk Reduction En-
gineering Laboratory, Cincinnati, ON,
to announce key  findings of the re-
search project that Is  fully  docu-
mented In a separate report of the
same  title (see Project Report or-
dering information at back).

  Point-of-entry (POE) systems can take
a variety of forms,  entail the use of
various technologies, and be used either
singularly or in combination to address
numerous water quality  problems. Gen-
erally, the three contaminant categories
of concern are organic  compounds,
inorganic compounds,  and  microbio-
logical agents. The most common POE
systems for removal of organic chemicals
involve  the use of granular  activated
carbon  (GAC)  and/or aeration.  Those
used for removal of  inorganic contam-
inants can involve reverse osmosis (RO)
or deionization  (Dl).  Systems used to
eliminate microbiological agents may in-
clude filtration (through  ceramic  filters),
chemical disinfection, and ultraviolet (UV)
  When properly selected, operated, and
maintained, POE systems  can be both
effective and safe.  Often, the  operation
and maintenance of  installed units is
critical to health protection.  For example,
GAC filters can act as a growth medium
for bacteria. In some cases, water being
treated with GAC may also  require some
type of disinfection (e.g., UV irradiation).
  Superfund-financed  POE water  treat-
ment systems have been  installed  on
individual household wells  in which the
well water has been  contaminated with

toxic compounds from a Superfund site.
These installations have been made on a
case-by-case basis depending on  the
ability and resourcefulness of the persons
  This report presents the findings of the
study to evaluate POE water treatment
systems  for Superfund applications.  It
involved an assessment of the status of
currently  operating  POE  systems  at
Superfund or comparable sites  and the
collection and  evaluation  of  available
operating, performance, and design data
for these  systems.  Based  on this
assessment, recommendations are made
concerning  the development  of  a
technical assistance manual.
  Data collection consisted of contacting
EPA Regional  Superfund  offices  to
identify  sites where  POE treatment is
being used.  Several State and local
agencies also  were contacted  to  obtain
information related to State-supervised
POE system installations. The available
information consisted of monitoring data,
system  descriptions,  some  system  de-
sign details, and operation  and  main-
tenance  practices.  Several suppliers/
manufacturers  of  the  POE  treatment
systems  also were  contacted  to  obtain
information on the design and  operation
of their systems. Data on GAG filter sys-
tems and aeration systems were obtained
from these sources.
  Data collection activities resulted in the
following general findings:
  •  Existing Superfund applications of
     POE treatment systems are  pri-
     marily located in EPA Regions 2, 3,
     and 5.
  •  State and local agencies in Florida,
     Maine,  New York, and New Jersey
     are also applying  POE  water treat-
     ment at sites with types and levels
     of contaminants  similar to  those
     found as a  result  of Superfund site
  •  The  application of POE treatment
     has  occurred  primarily at sites
     where  organic  contamination  (i.e.,
     chlorinated solvents, pesticides, and
     petroleum  products) has affected
     drinking water supplies.
  •  Granular-activated-carbon  (GAG)
     filters and  air stripping  are the two
     most common  POE technologies
     used   for  treating  organic
  •  The use of GAG filters, either single
     units or two  units in  series, is
     successful in   treating  water
     contaminated with  chlorinated  sol-
     vents and pesticides.
  •  Air  stripping,  either  diffused or
     packed-tower aeration,  is more
     effective than GAG for treating water
     contaminated  with   petroleum
  •  In some cases, air stripping is used
     to  pretreat  water with  elevated
     levels  of solvents before the water
     passes through a GAG filter. This is
     done to extend the effective life of
     the carbon filter.
  •  On individual wells in  which radon
     contamination is a problem, POE
     treatment by air stripping  is being
  Most of the existing Superfund appli-
cations of  POE  water treatment  were
identified during this phase  of the study.
Some information relative to system de-
sign and operation  was identified; how-
ever, the level of  detail of the design in-
formation (i.e., unit  specifications)  is
somewhat lacking. System suppliers and
designers have  been  either reluctant  or
unable to provide  the type of information
  In most cases,  no quality control (QC)
data on the analytical  data obtained  dur-
ing Phase I were  available, including test
methods, protocols,  and QC  samples.
Some samples  were  analyzed  by field
gas  chromatographs  to determine  the
presence or absence of contaminants.
Although  these data are  useful for deter-
mining contaminant exposure, they may
not provide the  level of confidence  re-
quired for the development of a technical
assistance document.
  Although the POE systems being ap-
plied  at Superfund  or comparable sites
are capable of effective treatment of the
contaminants of concern, the design, de-
velopment, operation, maintenance, and
monitoring of these systems varies from
site to site. There is a need for additional
study to develop a technical assistance
document. Because most of the  existing
data and field experience related  to POE
water treatment are concerned with GAG
filters and air strippers for treatment  of
organic  contaminants, it is recommended
that further detailed study  center around
these two technologies for treatment  of
  The document user may  need  specific
guidance  on the  following  technical
  •  Design  flow  requirements for
     operating the POE system.
  •  Sampling points  of interest for t
     POE treatment systems.
  •  Design life  of  activated  carbon  1
     the contaminants of concern.
  •  Effect of contaminant mixtures  i
     carbon life.
  •  Cost-effectiveness of changing a
     tivated carbon frequently  versi
     sampling and analysis to  monitor f
  •  Design  considerations  for spac
     restrictions  in  homeowner
  •  Minimum contact time for raw wati
     with GAG or air stripping  systems.
  •  Properties of activated carbon cril
     cal to designing a POE treatmei
     system  (e.g.,  pore  size,  carbo
     mass, particle size).
  •  Ground-water constituents that  a
     feet GAG filter or air stripper effec
     tiveness  or operation   (e.g., dis
     solved solids,  pH, heavy  metal;
  •  Spent carbon disposal practices.

  The full report was submitted in fulfill
ment of Contract No. 68-03-3413 by PE
Associates, Inc., under sponsorship of th<
U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency.

  Catherine D. Chambers and Thomas A. Janszen are with PEI Associates, Inc.,
        Cincinnati, OH 45246.
  tH?ry K. Stlnson is the EPA Project Officer (see below).
  The complete report, entitled "Point-of-Entry Drinking Water Treatment Systems
        for Superfund Applications," (Order No. PB 89-195 010/AS; Cost: $15.95,
        subject to change) will be available only from:
           National Technical Information Service
           5285 Port Royal Road
           Springfield, VA 22161
           Telephone: 703-487-4650
  The EPA Project Officer can be contacted at:
           Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory
           U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
           Cincinnati, OH 45268
United States
Environmental Protection
Center for Environmental Research
Cincinnati OH 45268
   PERMIT No. G-35
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

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