INTASA, INC. in association with HYDROCOMP,
in consultation with JOE E. MOORE, Jr.
Contract No. 68-01 -5033

    1030 CURTIS STREET  •  MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA 94025  •  (415) 323-9011
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
    INTASA, INC. in association with HYDROCOMP,
    in consultation with JOE E. MOORE, Jr.

    Contract No. 68-01-5033

This paper was prepared during the first phase of the water
supply-wastewater treatment coordination study. It is intended to
provide the public with background information, including recent data
and data sources, on study-related topics: i.e., availability and use
of the water resource; adequacy of measures to protect and enhance
in-stream and drinking water quality; water and wastewater treatment
requirements and current technologies; and water supply and wastewater
treatment costs.
The public will have the opportunity to influence the course of
this study in several workshops to be held throughout the Nation. Thus
in addition to the background material this paper includes a discussion
of various issues and raises several questions related to the study.
The purpose is to stimulate dialogue and debate with the interested
public rather than to present an exhaustive list of issues/questions
and assign priorities to them at this stage of the study. Workshop
dates and locations are indicated on the following page.

January 17 and 18 EPA Regional Office, Region IX
215 Fremont Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 556-0774
January 24 and 25 EPA Regional Office, Region VI
First International Building
1201 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75270
(214) 749-2106
January 31 and February 1 EPA Regional Office, Region IV
345 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 881-3781
February 7 and 8 EPA Regional Office, Region II
Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NV 10007
(212) 264-1800
February 14 and 15 EPA Regional Office, Region V
230 South Dearborn Street
26th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 353—2151

Overview of This Paper
National Availability
Present and Projected National Use
1. Off-Stream Freshwater Uses
2. In-Stream Freshwater Uses
3. Comparison with Other Projections
Comparison of National Availability and Use
Reciional, Subregional, and Local Availability and
1. Groundwater Depletion
2. Inadequate Water Supplies
3. In-Stream and Off-Stream Uses
4. Conservation
5. Water Consumptive Treatment Technology
6. Institutions
7. Coordinated Planning
B. Legislation 24

Reuse 43
1. Safe Drinking Water Act
2. Federal Water Pollution Control Act/Clean
3. Other Acts
C. Existing Standards
1. Drinking Water Quality Standards
2. In-Stream Water Quality Standards
D. Discussion — Issues/Options
1. Safe Drinking Water Standards
2. Organic Chemicals
3. Groundwater Contamination
4. Nonpoint Source Control
Treatment Requirements and Methods
1. Water Supply Treatment
2. Wastewater Treatment
3. AWT Processes and Systems
4. Land Treatment Processes
C. Discussion — Issues/Options
1. Planning and Implementation Mechanisms
2. Where to Remove Pollutants
3. Clean Water Act 1985 Goal
4. Wastewater Treatment and Discharge Versus
5. Land Treatment Versus AWT
6. Organics Removal in Water Treatment .
Cost of Water
1. Historic Costs of Water Supply
2. Local Costs of the SDWA

C. Costs of Wastewater Treatment 48
D. Discussion — Issues/Options 51
1. Water and Wastewater Treatment Costs 51
2. Water and Wastewater Treatment Coordination 52

Figure 1 A Schematic Representation of Some Impacts of Man’s
Activities on Supplies of Drinking Water . 4
Figure 2 Average Annual Water Cycle for the Conterminous
United States (Natural Conditions in Billions of
Gallons per day) 7
Figure 3 National, Off-Stream, Freshwater Use 10
Figure 4 Subregional Comparison of Available Supplies
and Projected Use 15
Figure 5 Land Treatment Processes . . 39

Table 1 Distribution and Developed Supplies of Freshwater
for the Conterniinous United States 6
Table 2 Comparison of Water Availability and Use in the
Conterminous U.S 12
Table 3 Comparison of Reoional Water Availability and
Projected Use 13
Table 4 Comparison of Water Availability and Projected
Use: Gila River Basin (ASR #1503) 16
Table 5 Primary Drinking Water Qualit3? Standards 28
Table 6 Status of Surveyed Water Supply Systems 29
Table 7 Comparison of Effluent Quality for Conventional,
Land Treatment, and Advanced Wastewater Treatment
Systems 44
Table 8 Guidelines for Access to Land Treatment System Sites . . . . 44
Table 9 Utility Percent Costs by Category 47
Table 10 Increase in Annual Per Capita and Household CQsts
Due to GAC, In 1978 Dollars 49
Table 11 Cost of Granular Activated Carbon Treatment 49
Table 12 1976 EPA Needs Survey Estimates 50

A. Background
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sponsored this study
in response to reporting requirements embodied in the Safe Drinking
Water and Clean Water Acts of 1977. Relevant sections of those Acts
as they pertain to this study are:
“Not later than eighteen months after the date of enactment
of this subsection, the Administrator shall submit a report
to Congress on the present and projected future availability
of an adequate and dependable supply of safe drinking water
to meet present and projected future need. Such report shall
include an analysis of the future demand for drinking water
and other competing uses of water, the availability and use
of methods to conserve water or reduce demand, the adequacy
of present measures to assure adequate and dependable sup-
plies of safe drinking water, and the problems (financial,
legal, or other) which need to be resolved in order to assure
the availability of such supplies for the future. Existing
information and data compiled by the National Water Commission
and others shall be utilized to the extent possible.” (PL 93-
523 Section 1442(c) as amended by PL 95-190 Section 3(3).
“The Administrator, in cooperation with the states, including
water pollution control agencies, and other water pollution
control planning agencies, and water supply and water resources
agencies of the States and the United States shall submit to
Congress, within two years of the date of enactment of this
section, a report with recommendations for legislation on a
program to require coordination between water supply and waste-
water control plans as a condition to grants for construction
of treatment works under this Act. No such report shall be
submitted except after opportunity for public hearings on such
proposed report.” (PL 92-500 Section 516(e) as amended by PL
95-217 Section 72).
Given the obvious relationship between quality and quantity concerns in
both pieces of legislation, EPA decided that an integrated report to
Congress would be the most expedient course of action to follow. The
study was initiated on October 1, 1978 and will terminate on November 1,

This initial phase builds upon recent studies, surveys, and
assessments in order to provide insight into the specific concerns
as expressed by the Congress--i.e., water supply (with emphasis on
drinking water availability) and opportunities to more effectively
achieve national goals by coordinating water supply and wastewater
treatment plans. Recommendations will be sumarized in a final re-
port which EPA will submit to Congress in December of 1979. Prior
to submittal there will be public hearings, as required by the Clean
Water Act.
B. Overview of This Paper
The U.S. Water Resources Council, in association with the prin-
cipal water resource agencies and 21 state and local teams, recently
completed an assessment of water availability and use. Results indi-
cate that the natural water supply from all sources in the conterminous
U.S. on a mean annual basis is about 1,400 bgd. Of this it is estimat-
ed that 106 bgd in 1975 and 134 bgd in 2000--less than 10 percent of
mean annual supply in both cases--will be consumed. Thus on a mean
annual basis there would appear to be sufficient water to meet National
needs now and for into the future. Such a cursory examination masks
the situation in regions such as the semi-arid west and southwest and
certain locations in the east where water shortages have been experienced.
The Assessment reports that severe municipal and rural water shortages
have been identified at the local level within half of the 106 sub-
regions used to disaggregate the national picture. Factors such as
diminishing groundwater resources, increasing competition between uses,
and inadequate water supply systems are expected to aggrevate these
local and regional situations.
Congress also expressed an interest in examining “the availability
and uses of methods to conserve water or reduce demand.” Several con-
servation methods have been recently advanced including improved water
management, revised pricing, public education, and implementation of
various water—saving technologies. Present findings indicate that
successful utilization of such methods varies according to community-
specific circumstances including existing institutional attitudes and
prevailing legal situations.
Depletion of groundwater sources in certain regions and subregions
is a major concern of national scope. The EPA’s Sole Source Aquifer
program is designed to protect only large regional aquifers providing
more than 50 percent of the public water supply. Is this program ade-
quate to protect the groundwater resource in view of the fact that more
than 25 percent of all groundwater withdrawals constitute mining?
These and related topics are covered in Section II of this report.
The section provides considerable data and information to motivate the
discussion that follows, and it formulates several issues/questions to
initiate discussion.

With passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Congress
explicitly recognized that despite several water pollution control
laws the safety of drinking water supplies is by no means assured.
Figure I shows the magnitude of the problem by providing a schematic
illustration of the various sources of pollutants that have been
created by man’s activities. While most point sources are being
brought under control by the Clean Water Act amendments of 1977,
pollution by nonpoint sources including urban stormwater runoff and
runoff from rural and forested areas can still pose a threat to the
quality of downstream supplies.
Are the present and pending measures to protect and enhance
water quality in general and drinking water supplies in particular
adequate? Section III addresses this question with specific emphasis
on: adequacy of drinking water quality standards; proposed regulations
to control organic chemicals; ability of small water supply systems
to comply with primary standards and proposed regulation requiring
granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment; protection of groundwater;
and several other topics related to in-stream water quality as well
as quality of water supplies. As in Section II, a discussion follows
the presentation of data and information, and issues/questions are
formulated to stimulate discussion.
Section IV examines treatment requirements and available technol-
ogies for both water supply and wastewater as required by the Safe
Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts. Particular emphasi.s is placed
on surfacing opportunities for coordination between water supply and
wastewater treatment planning recognizing the basic difference that
exists between the present prevailing mechanisms for planning and
implementation in the two traditionally separate areas.
Topics covered in Section IV include: organics removal in water
treatment; land treatment versus AWT; reuse versus treatment and dis-
charge; reuse and water rights; in-stream water quality and treatment
requirements; the SWDA and the 1985 goal of eliminatinr of pol1utan s;
and several areas in which treatment coordi .a;i ’n opportunities and
problems exist. Similar to the previous sections, several issues/
questions are formulated that address the Congressional concerns as
expressed in Section 516(e) of the 1977 amendments.
There is considerable debate going on about the level of capital
investment required to meet the goals of the Safe Drinking Water and
Clean Water Acts. Similarly, the debate goes on to cover costs assoc-
iated with operation, maintenance, monitoring and administration of
upgraded and new facilities. Major cost concerns associated with SDWA
relate to upgrading municipal water supply systems to meet the primary
standards and to comply with the proposed regulations on TI-IM’s and GAC
treatment. Requirements of the Clean Water Act continue to cause
public controversy and stimulate debate over the Nation’s ability to

Storm runoff
dust & dirt, animal
wastes, litter, automobile
exhaust pollutants
(Drinking water supply)
Chemicals, solid waste,
containers, packaging
.4. .
(Bod, coliforms, nutrients, toxics)
0 )
4 . .
0 ,

fulfill the financial obligations of the Act as well as the wisdom of
treating nonpoint source pollutants at exhorbitant costs.
Section V deals with water supply costs and costs associated with
implementing the SDWA in terms of the primary drinking water standards
and proposed requirements for GAC treatment. Wastewater treatment costs
share in importance. Several issues are raised which may merit further
examination including present methods of financing both water supply and
wastewater treatment costs, alleviation of O&M cost burdens by providing
additional incentives to construct revenue producing wastewater treat-
ment facilities, and possible cost benefits associated with coordinating
water and wastewater treatment planning.

A. National Availability
Precipitation in its various forms establishes the overall water sup-
ply. For the conterminous U.S. average annual precipitation amounts to 30
inches or 4,200 billion gallons per day (bgd). As Figure 2 illustrates,
subtracting evaporation and transpiration from indigenous vegetation leaves
about 1,400 bgd as the mean annual supply. This supply is then counter-
balanced by losses such as streamflow to the ocean or across the nation’s
boundaries, seepage from groundwaters to the oceans, reservoir evaporation
and domestic, agricultural or industrial consumptive uses. Table 1 com-
pares the distribution of the 1,400 bgd under natural and 1975 conditions.
In the interim, the water may have infiltrated and replenished groundwater
supplies, emerged from groundwater as spring or base streamflows, accumu-
lated in surface reservoirs, been withdrawn from surface or groundwater
sources and used for one or more purposes, or proceeded directly to the
ocean as a flood (Table 1).
Table 1
(in billion gallons per day, for average annual conditions)
Distribution Natural Conditions 1975 Conditions
• Streamfiow to Oceans 1,300 1,200
• Streamfiow to Canada 6 6
Streamfiow to Mexico 2÷ 2
• Subsurface Flow to Oceans 92- 82-
• Reservoir Evaporation 0 10
Consumptive Use 0 100
Total 1,400 1,400
Developed Supply (Withdrawals)
Surface Waters 250
• Groundwater (Replenished) 60
• Groundwater (Mined) 20
Total 330
1) An additional 60 bgd of saline water from the oceans, estuaries and in-
land saline sources is also used, mostly for cooling.
Source: References 1 and 2.

G7 J1DNS PER flkY).
4200 bgd
Aquiferdischarge to Sea
100 bgd±
Streamf low
to the sea
1300 bgd
N suppl ’
))) all soui
J 11 1400

Surface and groundwaters are part of the same system, although they
are frequently managed as if they were separate and unrelated. Where aq—
uifers are intersected by surface streams, groundwater discharges to the
streams. This groundwater contribution reaches the stream as a low con-
tinuing baseflow which is the main source of streamflow during protracted
dry periods. It constitutes approximately 30 percent of the nation’s mean
annual streamflow.
Of the 80 bgd of groundwater pumped, about 60 bgd are estimated to
come from aquifers which are replenished in comparable quantities and about
20 bgd are “mined”. The term “mined” refers to groundwater which is with-
drawn and not replaced; where mining is occurring the groundwater in stor-
age from past centuries is being depleted. In semi—arid reaions, ground-
water replenishment may be on the order of one inch per year or less while
withdrawals may amount to two or three feet per year.
Because of the high seasonal and annual variability in precipitation
and the resulting variation in supply, the entire 1,200 bgd of streamfiow
is not available for use on a continuing basis. In 19 years out of 20, a
level of reliability often used for municipal water supply, the streamflGw
which can be counted on is 680 bqd. By storina some of the water in wet
years it is possible to draw upon this reserve during dry periods to make
more water available than the actual streamflow. Thus the available stream-
flow depends on man’s ability to regulate the streamflow through storage.
Obviously, the figure of 680 bgd is not an absolute limit but the massive
water projects that would be needed to significantly alter this figure are
unlikely. It is also unlikely that a level of reliability significantly
different than the 95 percent exceedence will be adopted for widespread
B. Present and Projected National Use
The recently released draft of the Second National Water Assessment
by the Water Resources Council (WRC) contains two projections of future
water use (Refs. 1-il). The one adopted here as a baseline for comparison
is WRC’s “National Future” projection. It was chosen because it is consis-
tent with the Series E population projection and it was developed using a
nationally consistent set of assumptions. The WRC divided the Nation as a
whole into 21 regions, 18 of which are in the conterminous United States;
these regions were further subdivided into 105 Aggregated Subregions (ASR5),
99 of which are in the conterminous U.S.
The most important assumptions behind WRC’s National Future projec-
tion are as follows:
• National population growth is assumed to be the U.S. Bureau of the
Census Series E.
Domestic withdrawals for central systems are assumed to be constant
on a per capita basis.

• Water use per irrigated acre is estimated based on crop require-
ments and assumed changes in on-farm efficiencies, off-farm effi-
ciencies, incidental consumptive losses, etc.
Electricity loads are based on OBERS-E, a shift to electricity
from gas and oil, and projected trends in energy per capita and
per unit product.
• Manufacturing production is based on OBERS-E.
• Manufacturing is assumed to achieve best available treatment econ-
omically achievable and zero discharge of toxic pollutants and,
in conjunction with this requirement, to increase recirculation so
consumption equals 75 percent of withdrawal.
Assumptions of secondary importance are:
Population is allocated to the regions based on OBERS-E.
Domestic, central-system consumption is a constant percentage of
Steam—electric utilities implement wet cooling towers or cooling
Manufacturing water consumption per unit production is assumed to
increase due to changes in coolinq technology.
1. Off-Stream Freshwater Uses
Figure 3 presents the National Future projection for major off-stream
uses in terms of both freshwater withdrawals and consumption. The following
is observed:
• The 28 percent increases in domestic and commercial withdrawal and
consumption correspond to the population increase (24 percent leaving
per capita use approximately the same.
Even though irrigation withdrawal is projected to decrease slight-
ly, irrigation consumption is expected to increase 7 percent. This
increase is three times the actual increase in domestic and commer-
cial consumption.
Significant decreases in withdrawals are projected for steam elec-
tric power and manufacturing. In contrast, major increases in con-
sumption are projected for these uses--i.e., 644 percent for steam
electric and 143 percent for manufacturing.

C -,
Source: References 2 and 3.
1955 1960 1965 1910 1915 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

2. In-Stream Freshwater Uses
The Second National Assessment also addresses in-stream uses of fresh
water, although these uses are oenerally both more difficult to character-
ize and have less extensive data bases. Four main in-stream uses are con-
si dered:
Recreation : The projected increases in activity occasions, water
surface use and stream use are slightly greater than the antici-
pated population increase.
Hydropower : Only a six percent increase in hydroelectric genera-
tion is projected for year 2000, indicating that most of the avail-
able, dependable flow and developable head for hydroelectic pur-
poses is already being utilized. Water flow through turbines is
estimated to be 805 bgd in 1975 and anticipated to be 907 bgd in
2000. With turbine flows equal to three quarters of mean annual
streamflow, it is obvious that this water is reused both for flow
through several turbines and for other purposes as it flows down-
Navigation : The in-stream needs for navigation are estimated to
be on the order of 141 bgd of outflow from the conterminous United
States, or about 12 percent of average annual streamflow.
Fish and Wildlife : Estimates for in—stream fish and wildlife needs
are obtained based on monthly and average annual outflows from each
ASR. On a preliminary basis the Assessment estimates that the needed
aggregate outflow for the conterminous U.S. is on the order of 1,000
3. Comparison with Other Projections
WRC’s National Future (NF) projection was made at the national level.
A State/Regional Future (SRF) projection was also made by teams in the 21
regions comprised of state and regional personnel. These two projections
together with projections taken from WRC’s First Assessment (Ref. 12) were
compared. Based on this comparison the following is observed:
The most significant difference among the projections is the much
larger withdrawals which the First Assessment projected for steam
electric and manufacturing based on an assumption of continued
once-through cooling and limited recirculation. The SRF projec-
tion teams anticipated difficulty in achieving the intensive re-
circulation assumed by the NF projection for the manufacturing
The SRF anticipates significantly greater increases in agricultural
withdrawals and consumption than either of the other projections.

• The SRF anticipates a significant increase in per capita domestic
and commercial withdrawals, and both the SRF and the First Assess-
ment project higher per capita domestic and commercial consumption
than the NF.
C. Comparison of National Availability and Use
As a first step in assessing the adequacy and dependability of drink-
ing water supplies, the national resource is compared to present and Na-
tional Future projected use (Table 2). This comparison indicates that, on
a nationwide basis, streamfiow and interactive groundwaters represent more
than twice the total withdrawals estimated for either 1975 or 2000 and over
five times the estimated consumption.
If attention is focused upon domestic and commercial uses, in line
with this study’s primary concern for the adequacy and dependability of
drinking water supplies, it is seen that anticipated withdrawals in 2000
are only about 5 percent of the once—in-20-year drought streamflow. Such
a comparison does not show an imminent nationwide shortage of drinking
water; instead, it tends to highlight an apparent national richness in
Table 2
(in bgd)
Availability 1975 2000
Streamfiow (Average Year) 1,200
Streamflow (Once-in -20-year drought) 680
Total 0ff-Stream Freshwater Use
Withdrawal 335 304
Consumption 106 134
Domestic and Coniiiercial Use
Withdrawal 28 36
Consumption 7 9
.0. Regional, Subregional, and Local Availability and Use
The national perspective masks the regional variability in both avail-
able supply and expected use; these must be examined to determine whether
regional deficiencies exist. Table 3 compares the mean natural supply and
the once-in-20—year drought streamfiow with projected year 2000 water with-
drawals and consumption for the 21 WRC regions. Also listed are projected
domestic and conui iercial withdrawals and consumption.

Table 3
Source: References 1 (pg. 17) and 3
(in bgd)
Year 2000
Total Off-
Year 2000 Domestic
Coniiiercial Water
New England
South Atlantic-Gulf
Great Lakes
Upper Mississippi
Lower Mississippi
Rio Grande
O.4 -
Upper Colorado
Lower Colorado
Great Basin
Pacific Northwest
4l.3 -

Water supplies are most dependable in the Northwest, Northeast and
Southeast because the drought flows are a high percentage, on the order of
50-70 percent, of the mean annual supply. The greatest variations, and
least dependable supplies, occur in the semi-arid Southwest and South-
Central regions where low flows are a small percentage, less than 40 per-
cent of the mean supply. However, even in the humid regions of the country
serious drought conditions can result from a series of dry years as evi-
denced by the 1961-65 drought in the Northeast. Thus, specific considera-
tion of drought conditions and their frequency of occurrence is an impor-
tant aspect of water availability throughout the country.
In comparing projected withdrawal and consumption with the once-in-
20-years streanflow, the arrows in Table 3 indicate potential limitations
of supply in the Missouri, Texas-Gulf, Rio Grande, Upper and Lower Colorado,
Great Basin arid California regions. It is noted that the Arkansas—White-
Red region also experiences shortages, but these are masked by the dryness
of the upper basins as compared with the relative wetness of the lower ba-
sins. Thus it is apparent that the geographic and temporal variations in
water availability combine to make water supply a major concern in the
Southwest and South-Central portions of the country.
In comparing projected regional domestic and commercial water use
with the once—in—20-year streamflow as an indication of the adequacy and
dependability of drinking water supplies, the Rio Grande Region is the only
one which indicates a significant imbalance.
A detailed subregional comparison of available supplies and projected
use is presented in Figure 4. Distinction is made between subregions which
may be water-short during an average year and others which may have prob-
lems during dry years based on the once-in-five—year streamflow level. In
general these 20 subregions are the ones that have intensive water develop-
ments withdrawing a large percentage of available supplies and also making
extensive use of water for irrigation. More severe droughts, such as the
once-in-20-year occurrence, result in shortages in other subregions scat-
tered throughout the U.S.
The water—short subregions shown in Figure 4 are also those which de-
pend most strongly on groundwater for supplies and, indeed, some regions
are seriously depleting this resource by mining. Groundwater depletion is
widespread in the Texas-Gulf, Rio Grande, Arkansas-1!hite-Red, Lower Color-
ado and California regions, plus portions of the Upper and Lower Mississippi
and the South Atlantic Gulf regions. Continuation of mining could ulti-
mately exhaust local supplies and create severe shortages.
The Gila River Basin in the southern two-thirds of Arizona and western
New exico is an instructive example of a water-short subregion, particu-
larly groundwater problems. This basin encompasses an extensive agricul-
tural area with irrigation representing 90 percent of total water with-
drawals. Since surface water outflow from the basin is negligible, except
in infrequent flood years, the expanding economy of the region is supported


by mining groundwater. Table 4 compares overall water use with the avail-
able supply for the Gila Basin. Total supply in 1975 and 2000 is only 61
percent and 70 percent, respectively, of the total withdrawal indicating
extensive reuse of the withdrawn but unconsumed water. Groundwater
mining represents more than 55 percent of the total supply in 1975. If
mining were to cease by 1985, as assumed by the Second Assessment, water
supply and use would need to be balanced by either a reduction in use or
an increase in supply. Since agriculture is the primary user, reducing
irrigation use would require a 63 percent reduction in land area irrigated
in 1975, or about 600,000 acres (Ref. 7). If groundwater levels continue
to decline, economic pressures could bring about the same result since ir-
rigated agriculture would be less profitable due to increasing pumping costs.
In terms of drinking water, which would be less than the domestic and com-
mercial use shown in Table 4, the existing groundwater resources without
mining are more than adequate to satisfy the projected use. However, the
competition among uses, in conjunction with the extensive mining occurring
in the basin, poses a threat to all water uses.
Table 4
(in bgd)
Availability 1975 2000
Total Supply (with nining) 3.8 NA
• Total Supply (without mining) 1.7 1.8
- Surface Water Negligible Negligible
- Net Imports Negligible 0.1
- Net Reservoir Evaporation (0.2) (0.2)
- Groundwater 1.9 1.9
• Groundwater mining 2.1 NA
1975 2000
Use W’drwl. Consump. W’drwl. Consump .
• Total Use 6.3 3.5 5.7 3.4
• Domestic & Con ercial Use 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.3
Source: Reference 7.
Even the WRC subregions do not show the spectrum of problems involv-
ing adequacy and dependability of water supplies. Severe municipal and
rural domestic shortages have been identified from a local point of view
in half of the ASRs (Ref. 2, p. 35). Any community in the country is sub-
ject to the risk of drought. Generally speaking it is difficult and cost-
ly to provide a system which can cope with all possible droughts. Those

communities using groundwater as a source are usually in the most favor-
able position since the supply does not usually decrease rapidly and can
be augmented fairly quickly through construction of a new well. The ex-
ception to this generalization is source aquifer depletion by mining but,
even in this case, droucihts should not interrupt the community’s supply
until the aquifer is depleted to the point where it is no longer a feasible
Communities depending on surface streamflow can always expect a drought
period in which available supplies present serious problems. Such an occur-
rence is more likely to happen in the regions where current use is a sub-
stantial fraction of available supply but it can happen in any part of the
country. Local problems are sometimes accentuated by failure of the com-
munity to keep its system expansion on a par with increasing demand or by
its failure to discourage growth if supplies cannot be increased. Such was
the case in the water shortage for New York City during the early 60’s.
While shortages created by drought are annoying, they do not usually
create insurmountable problems for most communities. Emergency supplies
and public education leading to reduced use have seen many communities
through relatively severe drought without serious consequences.
E. Discussion—IssuesL9p ions
Problems of national significance regarding availability of the water
resource and its various uses have been previously identified by others
and are apparent from the foregoing section. These problems occur on a
regional, subregional, or local basis as opposed to being of national scope.
The national significance is that major regions of the country are using
water in excess of their presently sustainable supplies. Some areas are
entirely dependent on groundwater mining. Other areas, where surface wa-
ters are used, have been able to satisfy growing demands by means of the
relatively high yields from normal and wet-year streamfiows. When droughts
occur, however, it is often found that increases in demand have eliminated
the drought protection which the system was designed to provide. As a re-
sult of these droughts, or when groundwater mining evolves into dwindling of
the available supplies, severe economic, social, and political repercus-
sions are often cited as the basis for national intervention to rescue af-
fected areas. In effect, national taxpayers are called upon to subsidize
state and local governments who failed to plan satisfactorily for an ade-
quate and dependable water supply. To avoid such occurrences is a nation-
al concern.
On the use side the problem is increasing competition among uses for
the limited supplies within various regions and subregions. Although this
competition is most intense in water-short subregions of the Southwest and
South—Central U.S. , it also occurs in the water-rich Northeast where grow-
ing metropolitan areas compete for the upstream supplies which are prefer-
red as drinking water sources. Thus competition for water is a nation-
wide phenomenon.

1. Groundwater Depletion
Mining of groundwater is no more inherently wrong than mining of min-
eral resources such as coal, petroleum, or iron. Where mining occurs on a
continuing basis, however, it will eventually lead to shortages and cur-
tailment of uses unless another water source can be found. The shortages
do not usually occur suddenly; instead groundwater levels decline progres-
sively while large withdrawals are still economical. All users, including
local communities and rural households, have to periodically deepen their
wells until well—lowering and higher-lift pumping are economically infeas-
ible. A more devasting effect can occur when a large user pumps so rapidly
that he draws low—quality water into the aquifer and degrades the source
for everyone. Other adverse impacts which are often associated with ground-
water mining are greater energy requirements, damage from subsidence and
fissures, lower aquifer water capacity, and salt water intrusion. If min-
ing is to be acceptable, specific evaluation of these effects is necessary
considering the aquifer and all its users as a whole.
Comprehensive groundwater management and conjunctive groundwater/sur-
face water management have been recommended frequently in response to
groundwater depletion; however, they are not yet widely practiced. The
goal of such management would be to prevent unwise use or premature deple-
tion by mining, to promote integrated use of ground and surface waters and
to allocate the groundwater resource in an environmentally and economically
sound manner. Water rights, well and pumping permits, groundwater manage-
ment districts, quota systems, and pump taxes are some of the specific
techniques which deserve further attention. Clearly, one approach cannot
be expected to solve the depletion problem everywhere it occurs since aqui-
fer characteristics, state laws, surface sources, uses and so forth vary.
Still, there is an urgent need to take actions which move toward long—term
protection of groundwater sources for important ongoing and future uses.
2. Inadequate Water Sypplies
This situation is probably best characterized as “intense competition
among uses for limited supplies on a subregional and local basis”. Thus,
both the available supply and the projected uses must be examined in an ef-
fort to bring them into balance. Opportunities for augmenting supplies are
discussed here while opportunities for more efficient use are discussed in
subsequent subsections. Extensive background studies have been performed
on a variety of alternatives for auqmenting availability of supplies. The
most promisino approaches are reuse and improved management of the supplies
already developed.
a. Reuse
A second use of water discarded by a first user is defined as re-
use. It may occur either indirectly, after water has been discharged to a
natural water course, or directly when the first user’s effluent is piped
directly to the second user. Reuse is distinguished from recirculation,
which involves reuse of effluent by the first user, and from conservation

which involves a decrease in either gross water use or consumption. A re-
cent assessment of reuse potential indicated that about 173 bgd of waste—
water is presently available for reuse and that the total of present uses
which could accept wastewater as a supply is 331 bgd (Ref. 13). However
less than one bgd is presently being directly reused. These figures do
not account for indirect reuse—-i.e., where water withdrawn from the stream
has been used before-—which can account for as much as one gallon out of
five withdrawn for municipal water supply (Ref. 14).
Although indirect reuse has evolved without major effort, there
are significant impediments to direct reuse. The impediments vary depend-
ing on the use anticipated; for example, direct reuse of municipal waste-
water as the source for a potable supply involves many uncertainties from
a public health viewpoint and is currently unacceptable. Water reuse for
landscape and agricultural irrigation and for industrial purposes has more
immediate promise. Even in these cases, however, there are significant
Public health . Potential for disease transmission from waste—
water use on human food crops, on landscaping, or in industri-
al processes with direct bodily contact still exists.
• Economics . The cost of adequately treating and delivering
water to the point of use may be more costly than alterna-
tive sources.
Water law . A new consumption occurs in the second use and as
a result it encroaches on downstream water rights.
• Aesthetics . Many people object to “sewage”, even if it is
treated, on their golf course or on the park lawn where chil-
dren play.
Governmental Incentives/Disincentives . Federal assistance is
available for wa tewater treatment and discharge to the ocean,
and for major water supply reservoirs in conjunction with
flood control and irrigation. Federal assistance is not avail-
able to further treat the effluent for a specific use even if
it turns out to be the least expensive alternative.
b. Water Management
Improved water resource system management involving joint opera-
tion of existing reservoirs or conjunctive use of surface and groundwater
supplies is analogous to the groundwater management answer to depletion.
It may provide opportunities to increase dependable supplies in specific
circumstances. Of course the important supply numbers are those which per-
tain to droughts. It is difficult to generalize on this potential, because
seriously water-short regions may not have extensive systems of reservoirs
and thus the potential for joint operation or conjunctive use may be limited.
Marginal regions where periodic drought is an increasing threat, and where
extensive systems for water management have been developed, may offer oppor-
tunities for more efficient management.

In addition to the above opportunities, further development of
the existing resource is a possibility. However, this will frequently re-
quire expensive and lengthy transmission facilities for interbasin trans-
fers. Such projects will be increasingly resisted to protect in-stream
uses, to reserve undeveloped water for in-basin use and for environmental
There are other potential means for augmenting supplies includ-
ing desalination,watershed vegetation management, weather modification and
so forth. These techniques are still in the research/pilot project stage
and must overcome significant technical, cost, and environmental and legal
questions before they are of major significance even in specific sites fa-
vorable to their application.
3. In—Stream and Off-Stream Uses
The recent recognition of, and increased public commitment to, in-
stream fish and wildlife water needs could involve more Of the Nation’s
water supply than all other uses combined, thus creating intensive compe-
tition between in-stream and off—stream uses. Since this in-stream use
did not receive significant attention during the past 75 years, disagree-
ment on how much water each use deserves is large and finding an appropri-
ate balance will be difficult. Even when reliable estimates of in-stream
fish and wildlife needs are available, there will be a major problem of
finding an equitable means for allocating water to this use. For example,
in its present deliberation of needed changes in water law, California is
considering the purchase of water rights in order to provide in-stream
flows. Although other in-stream uses such as recreatio i, navigation and
hydropower are also important, fish and wildlife requirements will be sub-
stantial in most cases and will be most difficult to reconcile. Even
though these are not consumptive uses, conflicts will occur because off—
stream consumption usually lessens downstream flows and because return
flows usually re—enter t e stream a significant distance below the point
of withdrawal, often resulting in great reductions of streamfiows between
the two points.
4. Conservation
Conservation offers an opportunity to all users to alleviate competi-
tion for limited supplies. The timing is ideal for wider adoption of rea-
sonable conservation measures not only because of the recent attitudinal
changes stemming from environmental awareness, but also because additional
developable supplies are increasingly expensive. More and more frequently
conservation is likely to be recognized as one of the most economical near-
term means for satisfying water needs associated with increased population
or production. The main issue with conservation is not whether it should
occur but instead hc i much is desirable and what mechanisms should be used
to encourage it. Following are observations on opportunities for conserva-
tion by various groups of users:

• Domestic in-house use might be reduced to between 50 and 70 per-
cent of present average values with the use of pressure-reducing
valves, flow-limiting shower heads and dual-cycle toilets. Such
changes could be achieved in new and remodelled homes (Ref. l ).
Metering of domestic central supplies may reduce outdoor uses at
presently unmetered houses by 60 to 80 percent (Ref. 15).
Additional conservation measures oriented toward sprinkling should
be able to realize-a 10 percent reduction in yard use with no sig-
nificant sacrifice in landscaping (Ref. 15).
Conservation on the part of commercial and industrial users of
municipal supplies could achieve a 5 percent reduction simply
based on good housekeeping. Adoption of additional measures such
as water conserving toilets, chanaes in production processes and
recycling should provide substantial water savings.
Irrigation use is a prime candidate for conservation because of
the relatively large quantities of water involved and the possi-
bility for releasing conserved water to other uses such as domestic.
However, agricultural practices are very sensitive to cost changes
and the increased efficiencies projected by the Second Assessment
will require intensive efforts. In general, it may be more impor-
tant for agriculture to lessen consumptive losses rather than to
decrease overall withdrawals but new consumption reducing tech-
nology is expensive.
The benefits of conservation vary. In coastal locations where water
supply diverted from mountain streams is used only once and then discarded
to the ocean, any savings in withdrawal is important since it makes water
available for a different use, or perhaps a whole sequence of uses. On
the other hand, with inland users, savings in water consumption are more
important than water withdrawn since it is only consumed water which is
unavailable for downstream uses. An important aspect of any conservation
strategy may be to not go too far. For example, normal-year sprinkling use
may provide a crucial buffer which allows domestic users to reduce their
demands during drought periods enabling reduced municipal supplies to sat-
isfy the vital uses.
Industrial recirculation provides an opportunity to reduce competi-
tion for water supplies in some localized settings. To the extent that
headwaters or qroundwater withdrawals are not developed by industry, they
can be made available to other users. Recirculation is now being extensively
implemented as a result of water quality reoulations. The additional pos-
sibility of industrial conservation through process changes which decrease
consumption may be helpful in special local situations and should not be
overlooked. Such measures were not considered in the Second Assessment.

5. Water Consumptive Treatment Technology
A consideration which may present problems in specific locations is
the extent to which regulations based on water quality control require in-
creased consumptive use with possible adverse effects on downstream users.
Three specific examples of this situation are:
• The need for steam electric facilities to use either cooling ponds
or cooling towers to satisfy heat discharge regulations; the es-
timated 50 percent increase in nationwide steam electric consump-
tion may have significant impacts in water-short subregions.
• The need for manufacturing concerns to similarly treat cooling
waters may have similar consequences.
Emphasis on land treatment as a means of eliminating discharge of
pollutants and as an environmentally desirable management tech-
nique may result in significant increases in consumption, or at
least significant decreases in return flows and hence in—stream
6. Institutions
It is clearly Federal policy that the primary authority over water
management, and particularly over water rights, resides with the states.
What is not clear is how the Federal interest to address significant prbb-
lems and opportunities such as groundwater depletion, conservation, and
reuse can be most productively and smoothly interfaced with state and
local authority. Institutional complications arise because: water quality
programs are mandated and financed on the Federal level but are developed
and implemented by state and local authorities; major water resources proj-
ects are developed primarily by the Federal government with state and local
input; and, municipal water supply is primarily the responsibility of local
agencies within public health guidelines issued by Federal authorities.
7. Coordinated Planning
Water supply planning generally occurs in one of three forms: a
local water agency or other user makes a specific plan to develop the sup-
plies it needs; a federal or state agency develops a major project that
also contains the provision of water supply; or a broad, regional multi-
agency, multiobjective, multipurpose plan is developed that also includes
a water supply element. Water quality planning is generally performed on
a totally separate basis, except when there is a water quality element to
the broad, regional plan described above. There is usually no attempt to
coordinate plans for water supply and wastewater facilities on the local
level. The absence of such coordination is becoming more significant as
the water resource becomes intensively developed and the gross insults to
water quality are eliminated. More subtle concerns are now emerging and
are dependent on quantity/quality interactions: the effects of wastewater

treatment technologies on streamfiows; the effects of low streamfiows on
fish and wildlife; and, the reuse of wastewaters as water supplies.
Presently available data bases are also inadequate for addressing the
more subtle coordination problems. Even the water availability and use
data base for the Second Assessment required major upgradfng during the
assessment process and further refinements combined with an ongoing program
of updating are needed. Water quality data and data on other environmental
aspects of the resource such as fish and wildlife flow needs and the pres-
ence and effects of toxic substances are even less adequate.
Based on the foregoing discussion and with a view toward Congressional
interest in present and projected availability of adequate and dependable
volumes of drinking water, and in capturing benefits from coordination of
water supply and wastewater treatment, there follow some initial questions
which merit further discussion:
What Federal initiatives would be helpful in addressing the ground-
water depletion problem?
How much reuse is advisable and how can it be encouraged on the
local level?
What specific contributions to water availability can be made by
comprehensive water system management which includes joint opera-
tion of reservoirs and conjunctive management of surface and ground-
waters and how can such management best be implemented?
• How much conservation is desirable and how can it be encouraged?
• How can the transferability of water rights be improved while still
protecting the interests of all parties involved?
Should wastewater treatment construction grants offer incentives
to encourage reuse and conservation? If so, what should they be?
• How can the water consumptive impacts of land treatment and re-
quired changes in manufacturing and steam electric cooling tech-
nology be coordinated effectively with water supply considerations?
• To what extent should comprehensive water system management for
water supply include management for water quality?
• How should the need to improve the reliability of in-stream flows
for fish and wildlife be reflected in wastewater treatment programs?
• Should water supply and wastewater treatment planning be performed
in tandem on the local level to achieve the needed coordination?

A. Introduction
This section reviews major legislation affecting drinking water
supplies and water pollution control. Present water quality standards
for drinking water supplies and streams are discussed. Specifically,
this section addresses:
• Adequacy of drinking water quality standards;
• Lack of compliance by small water supply systems;
Method of control of organic chemicals;
• Protection of groundwater; and
• Implementation of nonpoint source pollution controls.
B. Legislation
Many acts designed
water supplies have been
Harbors Act of 1899. The
Water Act (PL 93—523) and
Water Act (PL 92-500).
to protect the Nation’s streams and drinking
passed since the first one, the Rivers and
two most recent ones are the Safe Drinking
the Federal Water Pollution Control/Clean
1. Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act delegates the regulation of the
quality of drinking water supplies to the EPA and the states. The
major provisions which relate to the safety of drinking water and
coordinated water supply-wastewater treatment planning include
adoption of national interim primary standards, proposed state
underground injection control program, regulations for designation
of sole source aquifers, proposed regulations for organic chemicals
and research on water quality problems. The Primary Drinking Water
Standards are designed to protect drinking water quality of public
water supply systems and self-supplied public facilities. Suppliers
must monitor water quality at regular intervals and notify the customers
and state enforcement agencies when quality or monitoring violations
tended to
of brines
be used
Underground Injection Control Program of the states is in-
protect groundwater from contamination from all types of
wells. Such facilities include industrial wells, reinjection
from oil and gas operations, drainage wells, and solution
The proposed regulations state that all aquifers which might
as drinking water supplies are to be protected unless prior use,

contamination, or impractical development precludes its use as a
drinking water supply. In most states, aquifers with TDS concentra-
tions below 5,000 mg/l are protected. In water-short areas, aquifers
with TDS concentrations between 5,000 and 10,000 mg/l may also be
protected to insure an adequate supply for the future. The primary
mechanisms for control are proposed regulations covering well con-
struction and operation, a permit system for new wells, and rules
covering new requirements for old wells.
The Sole Source Aquifer designation is a measure designed to
protect large regional aquifers. Guidelines for designation are:
Source for large population, generally covering
several counties, and providing more than 50 per-
cent of the public water supply.
Contamination could result in significant hazard to
public health.
Alternative, acceptable water supply sources are not
If an aquifer is declared a sole-source aquifer, then an Environmental
Impact Statement on groundwater effects following NEPA guidelines
must be prepared for all federally funded projects. Four areas have
been declared sole-source aquifers: the Edwards aquifer in Texas;
the Rathdrum Valley aquifer in Spokane, Washington; the northern
island of Guani;and Nassau, Suffolk County on Long Island, New York.
Areas currently under study include: Biscayne, Florida; Cape
Cod, Massachusetts; Tenniile Creek, Maryland; Twin Cities and the
Karst region of Minnesota; and Fresno and Scott’s Valley near Santa
Cruz in California.
2. Federal Water Pollution Control Act/Clean Water Act
This is the primary legislation covering point and nonpoint
source discharges to surface water. Th Act provides two strategies
for the abatement of current water pollution and the prevention of
new pollution. The desired water quality is defined in terms of ‘water
quality standards.” The second strategy is based on limiting the
amount of pollution discharged into water by individual sources.
These pollution control strategies are enforced under the National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES). NPDES permits issued
by EPA or the state contain conditions designed to assure compliance
with water quality standards and effluent limitations. The NPDES
system requires a permit for all point source discharges to surface
water. The treatment requirement depends on the type of pollutant.
An industrial discharger must use best practicable control technology

(BPT) for all pollutants by July, 1977 which may be extended under
certain conditions. For conventional pollutants defined as bio-
chemical and chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total
phosphorus, oil and grease, the industrial discharger must use best
conventional control technology (BCT). For other pollutants best
available technology economically achievable must be used by July 1,
1984. Publicly-owned treatment works (POTW’s) must use secondary
treatment by July, 1977 or July 1, 1983 for best practicable waste-
water treatment technology (BPWTT).
Water quality management planning on state and areawide levels
is intended to control point and nonpoint sources of pollution. Area-
wide wastewater management planning (Section 208) is designed to
determine the significant pollution problems in an area, to identify
effective control measures and to decide how to implement them. States
are to set up a planning process (Section 303) to coordinate areawide
plans (208) and river basin plans (209), and encourage inter-governmental
cooperation. The states are to develop implementation schedules for ef-
fluent limitations and water quality standards for streams, and pre-
pare an inventory at existing POTW’s and ranking by need for any new
waste treatment works.
The act also establishes a number of programs to provide funds
to control pollution. Two programs are: the Municipal Construction
Grants Program which provides grants for the planning, design, and
construction of publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants; and the
Rural Clean Water Program which provides funds to implement contracts
between rural land operators and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to control nonpoint source pollution.
3. Other Acts
The Toxic Substances Control Act regulates the testing manu-
facture and distribution of toxic chemicals prior to marketing.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act seeks to promote
reuse and recycling and regulate hazardous and solid waste disposal.
A major concern is to minimize the impact of land fill or dump leachate
on groundwater aquifers. The goal is to close or upgrade open dumps by
1983. Guidelines for establishing sanitary landfill sites and types of
waste that should be disposed of in them were developed in February,
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA set national ambient air quality
standards, new source performance standards for new plants, and emission
limits for existing stationary sources. Sludges, a by-product of most
air quality control technology, must be disposed of carefully to avoid
pollution of drinking water supplies.
The National Environmental Policy Act requires that all federal
agencies prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for all major pro-
jects before commencing construction or operation. The impact of the
project on the environment including water supplies would be assessed
and, if necessary, mitigating measures identified.

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act authorizes the
Office of Surface Mining to regulate surface mines based on final re-
gulations to be published in December, 1978. This Act is intended to
reduce pollution from new and existing mines and also sets up an
abandoned mine reclamation fund for use in abating pollution from
abandoned mines.
C. Existing Standards
1. Drinking Water Quality Standards
4s stipulated in the Safe Drinking Water Act, interim drinking
water regulations have been set and became effective on June 24, 1977.
The primary drinkinq water regulations are based on human health con-
siderations and apply to all systems serving more than 24 people or
having 15 service connections. These standards, covering ten inorganic
chemicals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, bacteria, and radionuclides are
presented in Table 5. Secondary standards including factors affecting
taste, odor and the corrosion properties of water were also established
as guidelines for states to enforce (Ref. 17). The primary standards
have been reviewed by the National Academy of Services (Ref. 18)
Specific monitoring requirements including frequency and analyt-
ical techniques were mandated in the primary regulations with some
discretion allowed the states. Actual monitoring is a local responsi-
bility. The analyses must be performed by an EPA or state approved
laboratory. The monitoring is more frequent for systems using surface
water than groundwater sources. There are also differences in monitor-
ing depending on the population served by the system and whether it is
a community or non-community water supply system. If monitoring shows
a violation of a primary drinking water standard then both the state
and the public must be notified. If a significant health hazard exists,
emergency provisions for supply would be made. Permanent correction of
the problem could include a variance or exemption.
2. In-Stream Water Quality Standards
In-stream standards are established to improve the habitat for
fish and aquatic life and protect in-stream recreation and downstream
water withdrawals. For example, better raw water quality results in
improved finished drinking water quality at a lower cost at downstream
communities. Lower suspended solids results in a lower turbidity which
increases the effectiveness of disinfection.
Minimum standards were set for in-stream quality and states may
set more stringent standards if desired. The standards vary depending
on use. The federal standards have only two classes: Class A for
water contact recreation and Class B for protection of fish, wildlife
and other aquatic life. Most states have more use classifications.

“mg/I unless otherwise stated.
*Includes Ra 226 excludes Radon, Uranium.
**If meet snecial requirements.
source: Reference 16
Annual Average
Maximum Daily
Air Temoerature
5 pCi/i
15 pCi/i
4 millirem/year
20,000 pC i/i
8 pCi/i
Table 5
ifl9 9anic Chemicals
Nitrate (as N)
53.7 and below 12.0 and below
53.8 to 58.3 12.1 to 14.6 .
58.4 to 63.8 14.7 to 17.6 .
63.9 to 70.6 17.7 to 21.4 .
70.7 to 79.2 21.5 to 26.2 .
79.3 to 90.5 26.3 to 32,5 .
r’n Hdrocarbons
Endrin (1, 2, 3, 4, 10, i0—hexachloro-6, 7—epoxy-i, 4, 4a, 5,
6, 7, 8, 8a-octahydro-l, 4-endo-5, 8-dimethano naphthalene)
Lindane (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-hexachiorocyclohexane, garrima isomer)
Methoxychior (1, 1, 1-Trichloroethane) 2, 2-bis (p-methoxyphenyl)
Toxaphene (C1 O1-IiüCi 8 -Technical chlorinated camphene, 67-69 percent
Chlorophenoxys: 2,4-D, (2, 4—Dichiorophenoxyacetic acid)
2, 4, 5-TP Silvex (2, 4, 5-Trichiorophenoxy-
propionic acid)
Ij it (for surface water sources)
Coliform Bacteria
Membrane filter technique:
0. 0002
1 ID up to 5 TU*
Fermentation tube with 10 ml portions:
Fermentation tube with 100 ml portions:
1/el mean/month
4/mi in one sample ii <20 samples/month
4/ml in more than 5 if >20 samples/month
no coliforms in >10. of portions/month
no col I forms in >3 portion s/sample if <20 samples/month
no coliforms in >3 portions of 5. of samples If >20 samples/month
no coliform bacteria in >60 . of portions/month
no coliform in 5 portions in one Sample if <5 samples/month
no coliformn in 5 portions in 20 of samples if >5 samples/month
Radioactive Material
Combined radium 226 and radium 228
Gross alpha particle activity**
Beta particle and photon radioactivity from man-made radionuclides
Tritium for total body
Strontium-gO in bone marrow

Maximum criteria and toxicities of selected elements to aquatic life
have been determined (Ref. 19 & 20). In-stream water quality standards
are used in evaluating NPDES permits.
D. Discussion — Issues/Options
1. Safe Drinking Water Standards
The primary control measure for protecting drinking water quality
are the standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The degree of
protection provided depends on the adequacy of the standards themselves
and effectiveness of enforcement.
The National Academy of Sciences reviewed the primary standards
and the literature to identify needs for any new standards (Ref. 18).
Research is being conducted to determine the need for revised or new
maximum contaminant levels (MCL’ S). Enforceme it of the standards is
necessary to insure protection of drinking water quality. The states
are to develop an implementation program which is then reviewed by the
EPA. Forty states had been designated as primary enforcement agencies
by December, 1978.
The standards are enforced at different levels depending on the
size of the system. Small systems are likely to have water quality
problems due to lower levels of treatment, inadequate monitoring of
treatment equipment or badly-maintained distribution systems (Refs. 21
and 22). Table 6 displays results of a survey of water supply systems
which serve varying population levels. Due to high costs, upgrading
treatment may be difficult and there is a shortage of innovative ways
to provide safe drinking water to segments of the population served by
smaller systems. Physical or administrative integration through region-
al planning is one approach that could be considered.
Table 6
Number of Systems : 446 501 22 969 (total)
Population Group Served: <.5 .5—100 >100 18,203
(in thousands)
Evaluation of Systems :
Met standards 50% 67% 73% 59%
Exceeded recommended
limits 26% 23% 27% 25%
Exceeded mandatory
limits 24% 11% 0 16%
Study Population 88 4,652 13.463 18,203
(in thousandsj

2. Organic Chemicals
New standards for organic chemicals were proposed on February 9,
1978 covering trihalomethanes and synthetic organic chemicals. Tn-
halomethanes ( mM), principally chloroform, were isolated from community
water supplies in the US, in 1974. It has been established that the
precursors which react with chlorine during water treatment (disinfection)
are the naturally occurring humates in surface waters (i.e., nonpoint
source input of decayed vegetation and aquatic material) which react
with chlorine to produce haloforms in ugh concentrations. Other organic
compounds in raw water sources are from municipal and industrial point
source discharges and from urban and rural nonpoint sources.
The concern over THM’s in drinking water supplies relates to their
carcinogenicity as identified by the National Institute of Health. Other
organics which have been identified in drinking water in very small
quantities are toxicants, carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens as indicat-
ed by animal bioassay tests conducted at high doses. The full effect on
humans of long-term ingestion of very low levels of organic chemicals in
drinking water is not known. Research, workshops, and symposia have been
studying the health effects of chlorination and other alternatives for
disinfection. Candidates are ozone or chioromine. No final conclusions
can be made yet as to the use of alternatives to chlorine for disinfection.
Only within the last few years has technology produced the instru-
mentation and sophisticated techniques necessary to measure small
quantities of the many types of organic chemicals detected in drinking
water. Even with the aid of analytical techniques such as gas chromato-
graphy and mass spectrometry, most of the specific organic compounds in
drinking water have not been identified and methods of analysis for many
of them have not yet been standardized.
The proposed organic standard is a maximum contaminant level of 0.1
mg/l for THM. The standard was set for 1MM, not just chloroform, since
other halogens can combine with organics. Communities over 75,000 people
or 52 percent of the national population would be required to monitor for
THM’s within three months and comply with the proposed standard within
18 months. Comunities with 10,000 to 75,000 people would begin monitor-
ing within six months. Of the 312 systems affected by the proposed
regulations, 43 systems are estimated to exceed the standard. The re-
gulations propose the use of granular activated carbon (GAC) for all
systems serving over 75,000 people in areas of significant contamination
by synthetic organic chemicals. The EPA estimates that 50 systems will
need to install GAG treatment (Ref. 24).

The position of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) on the
proposed regulations for organics in drinking water is that the EPA should
set an MCL of 0.3 mg/i for chloroform, the primary THM formed after dis-
infection, not all THM’s. Also, the AWWA proposes that the EPA establish
MCL’s for 23 organic contaminants in drinking water rather than require
treatment with GAC. The AWWA feels that the expense of GAC is not war-
ranted given the uncertainties in determining the hazards of low level
exposure, high cost of treatment, and possible side-effects of the treat-
ment itself such as desorption and GAC introduction of substances due to
the regeneration process.
3. Groundwater Contamination
Protection of groundwater is important since approximately 48
percent of the population uses it for drinking water (Ref. 25).
Groundwater pollutants include sanitary waste, toxic chemicals, fertilizers,
and heavy metals (Ref. 26). Pollutants can reach the groundwater through
direct and indirect pathways, making control difficult. Recent legis-
lation and regulations (e.g., Safe Drinking Water Act and Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act) have made significant progress, particularly
for protection of large regional aquifers and control of injection wells.
However, control of all types of waste disposal at the local level is
often spread ãmono several agencies resulting in a lack of comprehensive
Approaches used by the states for waste disposal regulation vary
from permits for waste disposal operations (i.e., lagoons and landfills)
in Montana and Pennsylvania to permits for a waste-generating facility
in Florida and Delaware. California has a waste disposal classification
system which assigns wastes to disposal sites with specified vertical
and lateral liquid permeabilities. The disc arge must be compatible
with the region’s water management plan. On-site waste disposal is
regulated by some states, some counties, or divided among several agencies.
Technical control measures which can protect groundwater aquifers in-
clude minimizing leakage from surface impoundments and wastepiles,
proper well construction, proper siting and operation of septic tanks
and cesspools, irrigation practices to minimize leaching of fertilizers
and pesticides, control of feedlot runoff, careful siting and control
of waste input to landfills and dumps to minimize leaching. Groundwater
management can lessen problems resulting from excessive pumping of
groundwater such as saltwater intrusion. Contamination problems still
occur because the source of pollutants may not be recognized, the appro-
priate control measures are not used, and existing laws are not enforced.
Another problem may be conflicts between the goals of the many acts.
For example, the goal of elimination of discharge of pollutants from
point sources of the Clean Water Act and the air quality standards of the
Clean Air Act may result in land disposal of sludges which can pollute

4. Nonpoint Source Control
Vast regions of the U.S. are dedicated to agriculture, silviculture
and mining. Within these agricultural and silvicultural regions,
pesticides and other chemicals are applied to the land in copious quan-
tities, and combined with urban runoff and mine drainage, constitute a
large proportion of the pollutant loads to drinking water supplies.
The major problems mentioned by the 38 states reporting in the 1975
National Water Quality Inventory (Ref. 27) are as follows:
Agriculture 100%
Urban 97%
Mining 71%
Silviculture 55%
Construction 55%
Hydrologic Modification 24%
Residual Waste Disposal 21%
Salt Water Intrusion 11%
In terms of volume, sediment is generally the major nonpoint source
contaminant. However, the pollutants which are more important with
respect to the deterioration of drinking water supplies are those
which constitute a potential health hazard. Taken in this context,
the major pollutants from nonpoint sources include pesticides, nitrates,
pathogens, organic chemicals, and heavy metals, especially lead. The
impact of a particular pollutant depends on the nature of the contam-
inant, the levels at which it is present, and the effectiveness of
water treatment methods. Some idea of the magnitude of nonpoint
source pollutants can be gained by comparing the export of phosphorus
and nitrogen from selected basins in the Northeast. Mean phosphorus
loading for agricultural areas was highest at 31 kg/km’ /yr with urban
areas only 2 p rcent lower at 30 kg/krn 2 /yr and forested areas the low-
est at 8 kg/km /yr or 28 percent lower (Ref. 27). Nitrogen loading
showed the same general relationship with the highest loading from
agricultural areas (982 kg/km 2 /yr) and the lowest from forest (440
kg/km 2 /yr) (Ref. 27). The relative pollutant contribution of nonpoint
versus point sources will vary from one state to another depending on
land use, geology, climate and other factors. One study in Iowa showed
that over 90 percent of the annual phosphorus and nitrogen loads in most
of the stat&s river basins were from nonpoint sources (Ref. 27).
There are structural controls and management practices to minimize
nonpoint pollution. Management practices to minimize pollutant dis-
charges in urban runoff range from preventive measures such as litter
control and street sweeping to retention and treatment of the stormwater.
The benefits of the preventive measures are cleaner neighborhoods as
well as reduced surface water pollution. The potential benefits of
stormwater retention and treatment in water-scarce areas include reuse
of the water for recreational lakes, groundwater recharge, or water
supply augmentation.

Management practices for agriculture such as minimum tillage, ter-
racing, diversions, stripcropping, contouring, arid grassed waterways are
useful in minimizing erosion. Erosion can remove nutrients and pesticides
with the sediment. These constituents and the topsoil with which they are
usually associated should be retained on—site in the interest of agricul-
tural production and stream water quality.
Successful implementation of management practices will require leg-
islation, ordinances, or education to increase public awareness of the
problem and potential benefits. Some states have passed appropriate leg-
islation such as the Soil Erosion and Sediment Act in Michigan in 1973.
Maryland, Illinois and Virginia have laws to regulate mining and reclama-
tion activities and to control abandoned mines. Other improvements in
nonpoint source problems can be implemented through Federal legislation,
such as the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the Areawide
Wastewater Management Planning (Section 208), and specific EPA enforce-
ment actions. The Surface Mining Act and 208 Plans have not been ade-
quately implemented yet so their effectiveness cannot be judged at this
Another consideration in nonpoint pollution control is the effect
of controlling the activity which is causing the pollution. Examples of
such tradeoffs are loss in food production if less chemical fertilizers
and pesticides are used and lower coal output if strict environmental regu-
lations of coal mines are enforced.
The discussion above leads to some obvious conclusions and questions:
Small water supply systems are less likely to comply with
water quality standards. In 1971 only 50% of surveyed
systems met drinking water quality standards. High costs
make upgrading systems difficult. What policies may be
adopted to improve compliance with standards for small
water supply systems? Can regiorialization help solve
this problem?
Protection of groundwater is divided among federal, state
and local agencies. The Sole Source Aquifer program may
help to protect large, regional aquifers. The Under-
ground Injection Control Program is being developed by
the EPA and states to control direct entry of waste into
aquifers. However, the pathways to groundwater include
other indirect paths from ponds, dumps, and stockpiles.
How can groundwater best be protected and what should
the role of federal, state and local agencies be? What
approach should be taken--legislation, permits, etc.?
Steps to implement nonpoint source controls have been
taken such as the Rural Clean Water Program, the 208
program, and some state legislation. However, more needs
to be done to get the best management practices accepted
and used by the public. How can management practices to

control nonpoint sources be implemented to prevent signif-
icant degradation of raw drinking water sources? Should
regulation be done by state, local, or 208 agencies? Are
more financial incentives needed?
Water supply and wastewater treatment functions have been
separated in most communities. Lack of coordinated regional
or river basin planning has resulted in location of waste
treatment discharges upstream of water supply intakes in-
creasing water treatment costs to the downstream coninunity.
Need for increased water supply in an area may not have been
considered when the types of waste treatment plants were in-
vestigated. What is the relationship between quality of in-
take water and quality of wastewater discharge and ambient
water quality in the stream? How can use of land treatment
or injection of waste be used to maintain or increase water
supplies while still protecting water quality? What regula-
tory framework would allow flexibility to consider local cases
and insure adequate protection? What grant conditions or in-
stitutional arrangements would insure that the water quality
impacts of waste treatment operations or management practices
for nonpoint sources are considered before implementation?

A. Introduction
To date, efforts to satisfy treatment needs for water supply and for
wastewater have followed separate paths. In the case of water supply,
quality requirements and therefore treatment needs are dictated by the
end use (e.g., agricultural, industrial, power oeneration and potable sup-
plies) and the quality of the source. Potable supply quality, furthermore,
is based on the primary standards adopted as a result of the SDWA. Planning
for, and implementation of treatment technologies to meet these standards
are carried out principally at the municipal level.
Wastewater treatment needs alsodepend on the end use or disposition
(e.g., surface or groundwater discharge, land application or other reuse)
and to some extent,wastewater strength and volume. However, treatment of
wastewater depends to a much greater extent on legislation and regulations
establishing water quality criteria and/or effluent standards. To achieve
this, specific treatment goals are established on a national basis as a re-
sult of the FWPCA/CWA. In addition, financial assistance, as well as ex-
tensive guidelines for the planning and implementation of wastewater treat-
ment facilities have been prorriuloated at both the Federal and state levels.
In this discussion of opportunities for coordination between water
supply and wastewater treatment plannino, recognition of this basic dif-
ference between the present planning and implementation framework of the
two areas is important. The discussion highlights areas in which coordina-
tion opportunities or problems may exist. Additionally, issues are raised
for discussion of how such coordination is facilitated or hindered by the
present framework. In effect, this section addresses the concerns of Sec-
tion 516(e) of the 1977 amendments.
B. Treatment Requirements and Methods
1. Water Supply Treatment
Conventional water treatment methods such as coagulation, sedimenta-
tion, filtration, and disinfection are effective in removing suspended sol-
ids (as measured by turbidity) and bacteria, two constituents prescribed
in the primary drinking water standards. These conventional processes can
also be effective in reducing the levels of some heavy metals and radio-
nuclides (Refs. 28, 29, 30, 31).
Other non—conventional treatment processes that have been used or
studied to remove various inorganic constituents regulated by the primary
standards include ion exchange for nitrate and fluoride removal (Ref. 32)

and reverse osmosis, which is effective in significantly reducing the levels
of most dissolved solids (Ref. 31, 32). Such non—conventional treatment
processes are relatively expensive and have not been used extensively.
This is primarily because it is frequently more cost effective to develop
an alternative source of water supply than to remove inorganic constituents
which exceed the standards.
While the primary drinking water standards are not substantially dif-
ferent from those established by the United States Public Health Service
and various states, the mandatory application of these standards to virtu-
ally all public water supply systems requires upgrading of many treatment
facilities with improved or additional treatment processes.
Treatment for the removal of organic chemicals is directly related
to proposed regulations under the SDWA as already discussed. Under these
proposed regulations, granular activated carbon (GAC) absorption could be-
come required treatment for systems serving more than 75,000 people and
using a surface water supply. Estimates of the number of systems that
would require GAC vary widely between EPA’s original estimates of 61 sys-
tems and AWWA’s estimates of 391 systems (Refs. 33, 34). Other potential
treatment methods for organics removal presently practiced or currently
under investigation include the followinq: ozonation or ozonation in com-
bination with activated carbon as practiced in Europe (Ref. 35), powdered
activated carbon, and ion exchange resins. An alternative to additional
treatment which may be acceptable in some systems is to change the sequence
of treatment operations, particularly disinfection, to reduce the potential
for trihalomethane formation.
2. Wastewater Treatment
The underlying goal of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act is to
eliminate the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters by 1985. Spe-
cific objectives relating to wastewater treatment include: a minimum of
secondary treatment for all publicly owned treatment works, or a higher
degree of treatment where discharge is to water quality limited (WQL) stream
segments, by July 1, 1977. Extensions to July 1, 1983 may be granted on a
case-by-case basis under the 1977 amendments. Requirements for point source
discharqes other than POTW’s (e.g., industrial) and nonpoint sources are
discussed in the previous section.
To meet these requirements, EPA has provided grant funding for munici-
pal wastewater treatment and industrial wastewater discharged to municipal
sewers. Of the 25,400 million gallons per day of wastewater treated by pub-
lically owned treatment works, 95 percent is discharged to surface waters
(i.e., 14 percent to oceans, 17 percent to estuaries, 64 percent to rivers
and lakes). The remaining 5 percent is evaporated from lagoons or applied
to the land. Thus, over 30 percent of the treated wastewater going to
oceans or estuaries is currently unavailable for direct or indirect reuse
without major changes in collection and discharge systems. As of 1978, it
is estimated that 84 percent of the 25,400 TIGD receives at least secondary

treatment or will receive such treatment based on treatment works in the
design/construction stage. Constituents remaining in secondary effluent
include suspended solids, degradable organics, nondegradable organics,
nutrients, and some heavy metals. Approximately 13 percent of the total
flow receives treatment beyond secondary for discharge into water quality
limited surface waters. For most of this flow, the advanced wastewater
treatment (AWT) processes used are filtration and coagulation-flocculation
to remove suspended solids and phosphorus. Synthetic organic materials
are not significantly removed by the conventional treatment methods used
in municipal plants. Only by applying non-conventional treatment processes
such as activated carbon absorption to wastewater treatment processes can
such constituents be removed (Refs. 36, 37, 38).
Control measures for nonpoint source discharges include structural
controls such as treatment of combined sewer overflows and urban stormwater.
Treatment methods to meet these needs are generally conventional methods
for removal of suspended solids, BOD, and bacteria. NonDoint sources were
considered in the 208 wastewater management plans for the designated areas
but specific federal funding programs have not been developed except for
agricultural nonpoint source control as provided in the 1977 amendments.
Wastewater treatment has been aimed mainly at protecting recreational
uses, aesthetics, and fish and wildlife. From the viewpoint of downstream
users of the water as a potable supply some improvement occurs indirectly
from dilution and the regenerative capacity of the watercourse. Present
regulations for point sources rarely require removal of specific organic
and inorganic substances to protect drinking water supplies. A major prob-
lem in assessing treatment needs to maintain or enhance water quality is
identification of the significant sources of pollution in a particular area.
For example, organics can be discharged into waters in urban runoff, rural
and agricultural runoff, industrial wastewater discharges, and municipal
wastewater discharges. Organics can also be released in streams or lakes
by decaying plant life which form complexes of pannic, fulvic and huniic
acids that can be converted to chloroform during chlorination.
Because wastewater treatment has been tied to in-stream beneficial
uses, the requirement of treatment beyond secondary or BPT has been estab-
lished for WQL seciments of surface waters. In other non-WQL surface waters,
secondary treatment is all that is required by the NPDES permit. Additional
treatment or reuse in this case is not required and EPA is not proposing to
fund any related costs.
For WQL segments, the principal options are AWT, land treatment, or
reuse. In the case of irrigation with wastewater, the options of land
treatment and reuse can be combined. In other types of reuse, such as
groundwater recharge or industrial reuse, recreational reuse, or ultimately
direct municipal reuse, appropriate AWT and reuse could be combined. For
example, to reuse municipal effluent in a recreational lake, the nitrogen
and phosphorus content would generally have to be reduced using AWl.

3. AWT Processes and Systems
AWT processes include fil tration, ni tn fi cation, denitrification,
chemical precipitation, ion exchange, and carbon absorption. These unit
processes can be added to a secondary treatment plant in any combination
to form an AWT system. While the individual processes are quite selective
in their removals, the combined AWl system can remove a wide variety of
constituents. For example, biological denitrification removes nitrate-
nitrogen but has little effect on other constituents. An AWT system, how-
ever, of chemical precipitation, nitrification, denitrification, and fil-
tration can remove BOD, suspended solids, nitrogen, and phosphorus down
to very low levels.
AWT systems have been used in this country to provide water for re-
use in several dual water systems including Irvine Ranch Water District,
California, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Grand Canyon Village, Arizona.
These reuse systems also accomplish conservation of potable water supplies.
One instance where direct reuse for potable purposes has been planned and
accomplished is at Windhoek, Namibia. The AWT system employed at Windhoek
includes the processes that follow secondary treatment; specifically, pol-
ishing ponds, pH adjustment, algae flotation with alum, foam fractionation,
lime flocculation, breakpoint chlorination, sedimentation, rapid sand fil-
tration, activated carbon absorption, and chlorination. The reclaimed
water is then blended with the normal potable supply.
The principal problems associated with AWT are high cost of construc-
tion and operation, increased complexity of operation and resulting skilled
personnel requirements, large requirements for resources such as energy and
chemicals, and increased amounts of wastewater sludge for disposal.
4. Land Treatment Processes
Land treatment processes can result in either a percolation of treated
effluent to groundwaters or a discharge to surface waters. The three prin-
cipal processes -- slow rate, rapid infiltration, and overland flow -- are
illustrated in Figure 5 and defined as follows:
• Slow rate is the application of wastewater to croplands, forest
lands, or landscaped areas for treatment or reuse by irrigation.
Treated water percolates to groundwater or it may be collected in
underdrains for surface discharge such as at Muskegon County,
• Ra pid infiltration is the application of wastewater to permeable
soils for treatment as it passes through the soil. Treated water
usually percolates to groundwater or is indirectly discharged to
surface water by lateral flow and seepages. Wells or underdrains
may be used to recover the water for surface water discharge or

(a) Slow rate or irrigation. Examples:
Pleasantori and Bakersfield, Ca., and
Lubbock, Tex.
(h) Rapid infiltration. Examples: Phoenix,
Ariz., Ft. Devens, Mass., and Lake Georce, N.Y.
Appi ed _— Grass and vegetahan htter
waste*atec /
Evapo transpira Aon
2—8% 1
Pe co a Aon
Overland flow. Examples:
Paris, Tex., and Utica, !iss.
Pauls Valley, Okia.,

• Overland flow is the application of wastewater to relatively im-
permeable soils for treatment as it flows in a thin sheet down
vegetated slopes. Treated water is collected at the bottom of
the slopes and discharged to surface waters.
The main problems with land treatment are its lack of wide acceptance in
the technical community and by the public, land acquisition and control,
and institutional and legal contraints such as water rights and treatment
requirements prior to application.
a. Acceptance of Land Treatment
Land treatment was used in the past but gradually its use de-
clined. Part of the problem is accepting a technology with natural or non-
structural components that can generally match AWT technology in level of
treatment efficiency. Questions have been raised with respect to land
treatment including potential health risks from viruses, nitrate contamina-
tion of groundwater, the ability of the land treatment system to operate
efficiently over many years, and the loss of water as return flows for in-
stream uses. The EPA has conducted extensive research in many of these
areas but results have not yet been widely disseminated for public debate
and resolution. Indications are, however, that the relative health risks
from land treatment versus conventional treatment are essentially the same
(Ref. 39). The long-term effects studies that are completed indicate no
significant adverse environmental effects. These studies were conducted
at sites where land treatment has been practiced from 15 to 45 years (Refs.
40, 41).
b. Land Acquisition
Land acquisition is a problem that starts with land use planning
and site selection and involves lease options, purchase, or contracts with
landowners to take the wastewater. If local governments must purchase the
land for land treatment, the cost of that land can be raised by the land-
owner to the point where the land treatment alternative is no longer cost
c. Water Rights
Water rights laws consist of two main types: the Ripariari Doc-
trine which may pose problems for implementing land treatment processes in
states east of the Mississippi, and the Appropriative Doctrine in states
west of the Mississippi.
According to the Riparian Doctrine, anyone owning land adjacent
to, or underlying, a natural watercourse has the right to use, but not to
consume, the water. Within this theory have arisen two subtheories--”nat-
ural flow allocation” and “reasonable use” that affect the manner in which
a riparian right can be exercised. In natural flow, the landowner can di-
minish neither the quantity nor the quality of the water before returning

it to the watercourse. Beyond minimum consumptive uses, such as drinking,
bathing, or cooking, this right is very restrictive and gave rise to the
reasonable use theory. Water under natural flow can be withdrawn for a
“natural,’ riparian, or nonriparian use. Reasonable use requires that
the water be used for a legal and beneficial purpose. Because the water
under riparian theory is closely aligned with the concept of land owner-
ship, the rights to water ownership pass with sale of the land (Ref. 42).
Appropriative rights have been established in state constitutions
and implemented by statute and defined in the courts, often on a case-
by-case basis. As a result, wide variations exist among the western
states that recognize such rights. In general, the basic principles of
appropriative rights theory are first in time, first in right for the
water, and subsequent appropriations cannot diminish the quantity or
quality of a senior right. Usually, permits are required to establish
the right to appropriative water; water thus appropriated must also be
put to beneficial use. To protect the right to a specified quantity,
;he user must show a continuous use of the permitted amount. Rights to
appropriated water are not connected with land ownership. They may be
bought, sold, exchanged, or transferred as regulated by specific state
limitations (Ref. 42).
Problems posed by water rights relate to quantity and location of
discharge rather than quality. For land treatment, the main problem arises
in western states where the existing effluent discharge upstream is
claimed by an appropriative water right downstream. To remove the pre-
viously discharged effluent from the stream, subject it to land treatment,
and use a large portion of it consumptively, as in irrigation of cropland
can result in litigation. The problem can be overcome by (1) exchanging
water rights; (2) purchasing a new water supply to replace that formerly
withdrawn from the stream such as from groundwater; or (3) in some cases,
using a land treatment system that returns the treated water to the river
or stream such as overland flow or underdrains in slow rate or rapid
infiltration systems.
C. Discussion - Issues/Options
1. Planning and Implementation Mechanisms
The proposed requirement for GAC treatment is essentially the only
specific treatment requirement mandated for water supply by proposed regu-
lations. In all other cases, the decisions taken by a water supply
utility or agency to iRsur( compliance with drinking water standards as
well as the financial responsibility to carry them through are basically
local. For example, a utility could choose to develop an alternative
supply source rather than upgrade treatment processes. On the other
hand, the supply agency has no effective control of the raw water quality
as affected by other users/dischargers.

Planning and implementation of POTW’s, however, is to a large
extent financed by the Federal Government. As a consequence, the process
is greatly controlled by guidelines established under the Construction
Grants Program.
2. Where to Remove Pollutants
One interaction between wastewater treatment plans and water supply
plans is in deciding on the degree of treatment required for each. For
the case of an upstream wastewater discharge and a downstream water supply
intake, the question arises as to how much additional wastewater treat-
ment is cost effective to protect the downstream use.
With current EPA grants for the wastewater management program the
argument could be made that industrial pretreatment followed by AWT at
the municipal wastewater treatment facility should produce a high quality
effluent that, after dilution, should not require downstream users to
employ new and expensive water treatment methods. On the other hand the
contribution of pollutants from nonpoint sources may still necessitate
intensive treatment at the water supply intake prior to municipal use.
In this case, the nation’s citizens would be paying for organics removal
twice, once at the wastewater treatment plant upstream and again at the
water treatment plant downstream. Other unresolved questions are the
effectiveness and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for
nonpoint source control, the degree of industrial pretreatment and the in-
stream regenerative and dilution capabilities.
In addition to the implied example of an “upstream” wastewater
discharger and a “downstream” water user with treatment at each point,
other conditions may prevail. En general, either the water intake or
the wastewater discharge point could be relocated, trading off additional
treatment facilities for additional conveyance facilities.
3. Clean Water Act 1985 Goal
The 1985 goal to “eliminate the discharge of pollutants” has yet
not been clearly defined. In reality, treatment levels and water quality
criteria have been established which reduce the discharge of pollutants
to acceptable levels for various beneficial uses, but do not, in fact,
“eliminate” the discharge of pollutants. With the advent of national
drinking water standards in the SDWA, and the establishment of water
quality limited segments and associated criteria, the basic intent of
the goal may need to be reexamined.

4. Wastewater T atrnent and Discharge Versus Reuse
In arid or water scarce areas of the country, substitution of re-
claimed water for potable water, currently used for certain nonpotable
uses such as irrigation, could be beneficial. Benefits could include
improved water quality for municipal supply, reduced costs, and energy
savings. Large suppliers of irrigation water of a quantity sufficient
for potable supply (with conventional treatment if necessary), such as
the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, could provide water supply for munici-
palities. In return, the treated effluent from the iunicipal wastewater
treatment plant could be distributed as the irrigation supply. For
example, the system at Northglenn, Colorado, involves this source sub-
stitution. There are several potential benefits from this type of reuse
scheme: the development of a new water supply by a municipality could be
avoided; nutrients in wastewater could be recycled to the land; and in
many cases, energy savings could be realized. Institutional and legal
complexities, however, may become iflsurmountable.
5. Land Treatment Versus AWT
Alternatives to meet treatment needs for discharge to WQL segments
of receiving waters usually include land treatment or AWT systems. More-
over, when the 1985 goal of elimination of the discharge of pollutants
is addressed by EPA, these alternatives will face most municipal dis-
chargers. Table 7 shows a comparison of conventional, land treatment,
and AWT systems in terms of effluent quality. The benefits and risks
involved in both technologies must be evaluated at the specific site,
considering the total environment and taking into account the natural
treatment capacities of soils and streams.
For land treatment, as discussed previously, the risks are equally
low for properly designed and managed systems. The benefits, however,
can include nutrient recycling, and savings in Costs and energy. The
savings depend on low operation costs and the potential for revenue from
crop sales. Additional savings in capital costs can be realized if the
degree of pretreatment prior to land application is reduced. The EPA
has formulated guidance on this subject based on the degree of public
access and contact with the site as shown in Table 8.
6. Organics Removal in Water Treatment
Because organics removal for other than taste and odor control
is rarely practiced in current United States water treatment facilities,
the applicability of various alternatives and their design criteria
need definition. As previously discussed, GAC treatment is the leading
candidate for widespread use, but design variables such as contact time and
frequency of carbon regeneration need further study to optimize the
process and minimize costs. Other alternative processes also require
further study. A fundamental question as yet not fully resolved is the
extent to which GAC treatment should be required.

Table 7
Effluent constituent, mg/L
System Type
Conventional treatment
- Aerated lagoon
- Activated sludge
Land treatment
- Slow rate
- Overland flow
- Rapid infiltration
Advanced wastewater treatment
- Biological nitrification
- Biological nitrification-
- Tertiary, 2-stage lime
coagulation & filtration
- Tertiary, 2—stage lime
coagulation, filtration
& selective ion exchange
35 40 10
20 25 20
Slow Rate
Site isolation
and public access
• Isolated site, restricted
public access, nonfood crops
• Agricultural site, restrict-
ed to crops that are not
eaten raw
• Landscape irrigation with
public access
preapplication treatment
Primary treatment
Biological treatment &
disinfection 1,000
Biological treatment &
Rapid infiltration
• Isolated site, restricted
public access
• Urban locations, controlled
public access
Primary treatment
Biological treatment
Overland flow
• Isolated site, no public
• Urban locations, no public
Screening or comminution
Screening or comminution
& aeration to control
odors during storage or
N0$ Total N P
20 30 8
10 30 8
2.5 3 0.1
2.5 3 5
10 10 2
29 30 8
3 8
10 30 0.5
3 0.5
1 1 0.5
5 5 0.5
5 1
12 15 1
15 16
5 5 20
5 5
Table 8

The preceding paragraphs lead to the following initial questions
that may warrant further consideration and discussion:
• Should the SDWA be expanded to include federal financial
aid and coordination with POTW’s?
• Should the construction grants program for POTW’s be
broadened so that it can be used as a vehicle to
achieve greater coordination?
• Are there any incentives within the present planning
framework to encourage joint planning of facilities or
tighter coordination? If not, what type of incentives
are needed?
• How might the goals of the Clean Water Act be restated
to reflect the national concern over trade-offs between
levels of wastewater treatment and water quality criteria
based on various water uses including, but not limited to
drinking water supplies?
• If reclamation and reuse, including land treatment, are
to be encouraged how can their impact on in-stream flows
and appropriate water rights be mitigated? Should all
streams have minimum flow requirements?
• What is the role of the SDWA and proposed regulations for
organic chemicals, if any, in the debate of AWT versus
land treatment.
• What mechanisms can be used to encourage wastewater re-
use or substitution given the complexity of the existing
institutional framework?
Should water users be encouraged to seek unclaimed waste-
water as an alternative source? What incentives can be
• Should GAC treatment be specifically linked with other
wastewater planning activities and treatment require-
ments such as industrial treatment/pretreatment and
nonpoint source control?

A. Introduction
Preceedina sections have highlighted numerous issues that arise from
efforts to implement the goals of water and wastewater treatment policy
and legislation. Every implementation action or lack of action necessarily
carries a price tag. Full compliance with specific objectives will require
expenditures of capital now, and additional operation, maintenance, mon-
itoring and administrative costs indefinitely into the future. Impacts
such as increased energy and resource utilization are also associated with
such actions. On the other hand, failure to protect water quality may
force development of a new water supply to replace a polluted source at
considerable expense. There may also be impacts that are less amenable to
quantification such as decreasing in-stream water quality detrimental to
fish and wildlife, or increasing health risks from an inadequately treated
potable water supply.
The purpose of this section is to provide a framework for discussing
the monetary costs associated with implementing policies embodied in the
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and Clean Water Act (CWA). In particular,
emphasis is given to areas of cost overlap between water and wastewater
programs. Some of the issues that arise, however, necessarily merge non-
monetary impacts with the monetary price tags associated with various ac-
The discussion that follows is an initial attempt to assemble cost
estimates and projections from a variety of sources in an orderly fashion.
The nature of available cost information is such that an extremely diverse
data base exists. In most cases it is only possible to discuss relative
cost impacts because of the danger of comparing ‘apples and oranges” from
available data.
B. Cost of Water
1. Historic Costs of Water Supply
The water supply industry is a major utility in the U.S., comprising
35,000 community water systems that served approximately 192 million cus-
tomers in 1976. The industry is characterized by many small and few large
systems: 80 percent of the systems serve eight percent of the population
and eight percent serve 80 percent of the population (Ref. 43). In 1975,
the annual revenues were $4.9 billion.
Although all water systems produce a similar product and incorporate
similar types of production and distribution processes, economies of scale

favor the larger systems. A recent investigation of 12 large and 30 small
water suppliers reported that the average total cost for small systems is
more than twice that for the large systems (Ref. 44). Similar economies
of scale were also shown in the results of a survey of 984 community water
systems (Ref. 43). Obviously, costs will vary in specific localities with
the type and accessibility of the source, the extent of treatment required,
and the topography and extent of the service area.
Table 9 indicates the relative distribution of 0 & M and capital
cost among the principal functions in water supply systems (Ref. 45). Two
thirds of capital investment is for the transmission and distribution sys-
tem while treatment facilities account for only 10 percent. Treatment
costs account for about 12 percent of the 0 & M costs. These figures are
for relatively large plants and will vary widely for smaller systems. An-
other study shows the percentage of treatment costs to be as high as 22
percent of total costs (Ref. 46).
Historic expenditures for municipal and industrial water supply
treatment and distribution through 1971 totalled about $94 billion; 83
percent of these expenditures were made by state and local agencies, 10
percent by private sources and only seven percent by the Federal govern-
ment (Ref. 14).
Table 9
Support Power & Transmission &
Type of Cost Services Acquisition Treatment f p na Distribution
Operating 31 22 12 16 19
Capital 10 13 10 -- 67
Source: Reference 45.
2. Local Costs of the SDWA
Primary standards established by the SDWA require upgrading of the
level of water treatment, and therefore an increase in the cost of treat-
ment for a large number of public systems. As discussed in the preceeding
section, upgrading essentially falls into two major categories: treatment
to meet current primary drinking water standards, and to meet the proposed
organic contaminant renulations. Not included are costs to rehabilitate or
extend distribution systems or to repair or replace antiquated treatment
The major source of data for examining the cost implications of the
primary drinking water standards is an economic evaluation of the primary
drinking water regulations prepared for EPA (Ref.47 ). The study suggests
that total national capital costs will range from $1.1 to $1.8 billion to

implement the requlations. Total annual costs, including amortization of
investment, range between $426 and $545 million. This is the most compre-
hensive economic study which has been made.
The cost of complying with proposed regulations for organic contani—
inants is currently under debate. An economic impact analysis of the
regulations, prepared for EPA in July 1978 (Ref. 48), indicates that the
total national capital cost to install granular activated carbon (GAC)
treatment would be in the range of $616 million to $831 million dollars.
This is in sharp contrast to water supply industry estimates of $4 billion
to $5 billion (Ref. 49). The major difference between the two estimates
is apparently the number of systems assumed to require carbon absorption;
the industry estimate assumes that essentially all 390 systems serving
greater than 75,000 persons would be required to install carbon treatment
while the EPA estimate assumes that 61 systems will be affected.
Estimates of the individual system costs for GAC treatment also differ
widely. The average per capita or per household costs for the various sys-
tem sizes used in the EPA economic impact analysis are shown in Table 10.
These costs are comparable to estimates by the Environmental Defense Fund
of $10.00 - $15.00 per family per year for GAC (Ref. 50) but much lower
than the costs reported by several major utilities. (See Table 11). The
treatment plant capacities for each population range shown in Table 10 are
20.0 mgd, 60.0 mgd, and 300.0 mgd, respectively.
The costs for adding GAC vary widely depending on assumptions as to
contact time, carbon make—up, regeneration frequency, and site specific
difficulties. For treatment plants of less than 1 mgd capacity, a major
factor in GAC treatment cost is the cost of on-site carbon regeneration.
The cost of GAC could be reduced considerably if a central carbon regenera-
tion facility was available within reasonable travel distances (Ref. 43).
Pilot plant operations to define operating parameters for individual cases
could help refine the estimates.
The foregoing discussion dealt solely with the use of GAC to cope with
organic chemicals in drinking water. Systems affected only by the MCL for
THM can employ alternatives to GAC such as alternative disinfectants, or
moving the point of chlorine application which will often prove less costly
than GAC treatment (Refs. 14 and 52).
C. Costs of Wastewater Treatment
In contrast to the cost picture presented for water supply, histor-
ical data on national costs for aggregate spending on wastewater treatment
facilities is not readily available. The current basis for estimating na-
tional costs to implement the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for pub-
licly owned wastewater treatment facilities is the 1976 EPA Needs Survey
(Ref. 53). The costs are those required to meet the 1983 interim goal of
the act using population projections through 1990.

Table 10
Population Served
75,000 100,000 Over
100,000 1 Million 1 Million
Annual Cost Per Capita
Standard cost, without site
specific additional costs:
• 9 minute contact time $10.80 $ 7.00 $5.40
.18 minute contact time $15.30 $10.00 $8.50
Annual Cost Per Household 2)
Standard cost, without site
specific additional costs:
• 9 minute contact time $16.20 $10.50 $7.10
.18 minute contact time $23.00 $15.00 $11.40
1) Assuming costs allocated only to residential customers
2) For a family of three, assuming that non-residential customers pick up
the same proportion of GAC costs that they do of other system costs.
Source: Reference 48.
Table 11
(S Per Household Per Year)
Treat. Pit. Cost of Present Cost
1) Capacity GAC Cost with %
City ( mgd) Treatm’t w/o GAC GAC Incr .
Philadelphia PA 26 45 71 58
Washington Suburban 2)
Sanitary Commission MD 240 6.50-12.20 -— -- --
Cincinnati OH --- 25 40 65 63
Indianapolis IDA)’ 190 80-85 120 200-205 65—70
Kansas City MO 100 24 72 96 33
1) Values shown for Philadelphia and Cincinnati are from Reference 50 and
for other cities from Reference 51.
2) Based on 4 persons per household for 1,020,000 population served by a
240 mgd water treatment plant.
3) Post—contractor GAC columns, on-site carbon regeneration furnace, re-
generation every 6 weeks and 18 minute contact time.
4) City estimate for post—contractor GAC columns, off-site regeneration 6
times per year.

Costs in the 1976 Needs Survey are presented in eight categories as
shown in Table 12. The “secondary treatment” category refers to those
facilities for which only secondary treatment is required to meet the 1983
goals, i.e., those not discharging to water quality limited segments.
Costs shown in the “more stringent treatment” category are based on esti-
mates by individual states of the need for treatment beyond secondary
level. This cost definition essentially meets the objectives of the Act
promulgated to date, but does not achieve “zero discharge of pollutants’ t ,
and actual cost may be much higher (Ref. 54).
The next four categories in the Needs Survey, as depicted in Table
12, relate to collection system costs and only indirectly affect treatment
capabilities. For example, reduction of infiltration/inflow decreases the
hydraulic loading on treatment facilities. From the table it can be seen
that the costs for construction and upgrading of collection systems are
larger than those for wastewater treatment.
Table 12
Need cost, $ billions Subtotals
Secondary treatment 13.0 ). 34.3
More stringent treatment 21.3 i
Reduction of infiltration!
inflow to sewers 3.0
• Sewer replacement and/or
rehabilitation 5.5 43.4
New collector sewers 17.0
• New interceptor sewers 17.9
• Control of combined sewer
overflows 1) 18.3 1>
• Urban stormwater control 54.1 J 62.4
Total 150.0
1) The 1977 amendments removed this category from those elements eligible
for Federal funding.
Source: Reference 53.
Over 40 percent of the total capital needs are associated with the re-
maining two categories, combined sewer overflow and storniwater control.
The cost for stormwater control was based on treating all discharges from
separate stormwater collection systems for solids, BOD, and bacteria for
the 80th percentile storm.
In contrast to water supply systems wherein capital as well as 0 & M
costs are borne by the utility and ultimately passed on to the user,

wastewater system financing is affected greatly by grant funding. With
the exception of control and treatment of storim’iater, the capital costs
presented in the Needs Survey are those eligible for Federal and, in some
cases, state grant funds. Operation and maintenance costs of wastewater
management systems are funded by the local entity, with state assistance
is some states.
D. Discussion - Issues/Options
1. Water and Wastewater Treatment Costs
Based on the above it can be observed that estimates of national costs
to bring all potable water supply systems in full compliance with the pri-
mary drinking water standards are considerably less than the cost needs for
water pollution control facilities. Even using the maximum figure (capital
cost of $1.8 billion) for meeting the current primary standards and the high
industry estimate of about $5 billion to fully implement GAC treatment, the
total is less than five percent of the $150 billion identified as needed for
wastewater management and treatment. Nevertheless, it is still a signifi-
cant number. Any one specific water supplier may find the cost to upgrade
to be very large. Because the increased capital, operating and monitoring
costs must be funded by the local agency, the impact on individual consumers
will be directly related to the level of treatment and will be highly visi-
bi e.
Further clarification of ‘zero discharge of pollutants” may be re-
quired in order to provide a better cost picture associated with that goal.
For example, indications are that estimated costs to remove nitrogen and
phosphorus from all wastewater discharges are more than twice the current
“more stringent treatment than secondary” needs (Ref. 54). It has also
been estimated that cost of removing the last one percent of impurities is
twice the cost of removing the first 99 percent (Ref. 55).
-Historically, capital costs have been of principal concern to com-
munities because of the need to provide substantial amounts of local fund-
ing. With the construction grant assistance program, the problem of local
funding has been alleviated to a large extent, and many communities have
proceeded with elaborate wastewater treatment plants. Because the capital
costs of new secondary treatment plants are similar to those of land appli-
cation systems, there has been little incentive to select land application
systems. However, land treatment systems provide a higher level of treat-
ment than secondary treatment plants. The CWA encourages “innovative” tech-
nologies such as land treatment and reuse by authorizing 10 percent addi-
tional grant money.
Currently the important element of the local cost burden is operation
and maintenance cost. Because there is no grant assistance for operating
costs, these costs have a full local impact. Operation and maintenance
costs may be substantially less for reuse systems than for conventional
treatment and discharge-to-surface waters. This is particularly true in

the case of land treatment systems for wastewater, and to a lesser dearee,
it is true for systems where sludge is applied to land. Thus municipal-
ities may find reduced 0 & M costs to be an incentive for implementing
land treatment systems. In addition, some land treatment systems can also
produce crop revenues such as is the case in Muskegon County, Michigan.
The above discussion raises several questions. Some of the obvious
ones are:
The highest available cost estimate for meeting the primary stan-
dards of the SDWA and for implementing GAC treatment is less than
10 percent of that for wastewater management and treatment. Are
the present methods of financing water and wastewater equitable
or should Federal supportbe considered for upgrading water treat-
men t?
Nutrient removal or removal of the last one percent of impurities
could easily double the cost reported in the 1976 Needs Survey.
Should in—stream water quality be enhanced beyond that achievable
under the 1983 interim goal at such a cost?
Benefits from reuse of wastewater include (1) savings in capital
and operating costs of treatment, (2) decreased production of
sludge, (3) reduced consumption of energy and resources, (4) ag-
ricultural enhancement and reclamation of underutilized lands,
and (5) production of added revenue to municipalities to offset
high 0 & M costs. How should Federal participation through the
grants program be modified to further encourage municipalities
to capture a wider range of these benefits? Are the potential
benefits sufficient to warrant the legal, institutional and polit-
ical complications to be encountered? If so, how can the grants
process be modified without increasing the inherent complexity?
2. Water and Wastewater Treatment Coordination
The question of the stage in the water use cycle at which to remove
pollutants is addressed in the previous section. An evaluation of relative
costs was recently prepared for the EPA (Ref. 56). It included a detailed
analysis of the unit costs for various wastewater and water treatment pro-
cesses in order to determine the relative cost effectiveness of providing
AWT for wastewater or ( AC for water treatment to produce a high quality
finished drinking water supply.
For each of the plant capacity assumptions made, the use of GAC in
water treatment yielded a water of higher quality at less cost than did
use of AWl on upstream wastewater discharge. The cost advantage depends
on the magnitude of the wastewater stream as compared with the water supply
stream. The comparison was based only on the removal of organics, measured
as BOD, COD, or TOC. Nevertheless, it seems apparent that it is more cost
effective to remove organic chemicals at the water treatment plant than to

attempt to do so at the wastewater treatment plant. This approach does
not necessarily protect the quality of the streamflow; thus treatment of
the wastewater beyond secondary levels may still be necessary to protect
stream quality. Furthermore, this example ignores industrial discharges
and nonpoint sources as possible contributors of organic contaminants.
For such discharges, source control and treatment may be more cost effec-
tive than relying on downstream water treatment.
Section 516(e) of the Clean Water Act specifically calls for recom-
mendations for legislation on a program to require coordination between
water supply and wastewater control plans as a condition to grants for
construction of treatment works under the Act.
Issues surrounding the congressional request are complex as the mone-
tary and non-monetary benefits will vary from location to location. Some
of the more obvious conclusions and questions follow:
If the 1985 goal of “zero discharge of pollutants” remains in ef-
fect and, subsequently, the Nation will continue to strive for
achieving it, the type of planning coordination suggested by 516(e)
will have little benefit since most tangible treatment related
tradeoffs will cease to exist. Consolidation of administrative
services may remain as the only source of substantial benefits.
Therefore, an important question is whether the Nation should
continue to strive for this goal, particularly in light of the
In general, it appears less costly to remove pollutants at the
point of use vis-a-vis the point of discharge, if one considers
only the cost of securing pure water and ignores in-stream water
quality. Does this cost saving alone warrant modification of the
grants process or should the issue be broadened to include increased
incentives for reuse?
Most localities discharge their waste downstream of their intake
for water supply. It thus follows that coordination of water
supply and wastewater treatment plans must be on some kind of
regional or watershed basis. Watershed-wide coordination can prob-
ably achieve bigger cost savings by concentrating funds on critical
pollutant discharges. At the same time institutional, legal and
political complexities also increase. If coordination is desirable,
how can it be best achieved? Through creation of watershed agen-
cies responsible for planning and management? Through broadening
the planning and implementation scope of Section 208? Through the
addition of other conditions in the grants program that will re-
quire a grantee to coordinate with other affected municipalities?

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assured wastewater treatment facilities - 1976. Needs Survey.

54. Metcalf & Eddy, Inc. October 1978. Current and potential utilization
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—58— (jpØ 972.253