What Role Does Your Business
Have in Protecting Drinking
Water Sources?
                April 2000 EPA-901-F-00-001

           What Affects Your Drinking Water?
Communities across New England, from small rural villages to major met-
ropolitan areas, depend on lakes, reservoirs, rivers and ground water wells
for their sources of drinking water. If existing or new sources of pollution
make the water undrinkable,  a community may have to decide between
building a  new or expanded treatment system, or finding an entirely new
drinking water source.  Both choices  can be very  expensive and  these
costs are often passed on to consumers.  These costs may be avoided
through protecting a community's drinking water source in the first place.
   O Citizens, federal, state  and local governments, water suppliers, and
   businesses each have a role in keeping their drinking water safe.
    O Many commercial or industrial  activities involve materials, such as
   chemicals or fuel, that if  mishandled can  pollute drinking water. The
   sites where these activities occur are potential sources of drinking wa-
   ter contamination.
   O Good management practices (see "Common Sense lips" 1st) by
   businesses reduce the risk that contaminants could get into sources
   of drinkmg water through spws, floor drains, septic systems, and rain-
   water ranoff.

    What Is The New Program To Protect Drinking Water?
               Hie Source Water Assessment Program
In  1996, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was revised to  encourage
protection of drinking water sources by increasing local awareness of drink-
ing water needs. Your state is now working  with  local water  suppliers to
assess how  susceptible drinking water sources are to  contamination and
will soon share this information with each community.  In cooperation with
public advisory committees, your state developed a plan for carrying out
its  assessment, which includes these four steps:

   1 Determine where the public water system gets its water and identify
   the land area that if polluted, could affect the water source.

   2 Inventory  potential sources of contaminants within that land area
   using existing data and when possible, collecting more information as
   needed  from the water supplier, community groups, municipal boards,
   and businesses.

3 Use geographic conditions and the potential sources of contami-
nation identified, to determine how susceptible the drinking water source
is to being contaminated in the future.

4 Provide a written assessment (and usually a map) describing poten-
tial sources of contamination for each drinking  water system to the
water supplier, municipal officials, and the public.
  How Do These Assessments Relate To Your Business?
O The assessments will provide essential information to communities,
and be used to make decisions on how to protect drinking water sources.

O Businesses that are  located within a drinking  water protection area
may be identified, directly or indirectly, in the assessments as potential
sources  of contamination. Your state and water supplier will explain the
difference between a potential source of contamination and a known
source of contamination.

O You  can demonstrate  your business's  commitment to the
community's safe drinking water  by carrying out practices that mini-
mize the risk of contamination.  Many businesses, such as restaurants,
motels,  and trailer parks, maintain public water systems, so they will
want to be doubly sure that  they are protecting their own sources of
drinking  water.

O Check to see if your business is located in a  drinking water protec-
tion area and whether it's a potential source of  pollution.  If so, talk to
your local  water supplier to be sure you  are taking all precautions to
protect the drinking water.  As the assessments are released, you can
let your customers know what you are doing to protect their water.

  Common Sense lips To Protect Drinking Water Sources

                          Ihe Basics
O Train employees to reduce use of toxic chemicals.
O Use the least hazardous chemicals available.
O Inspect vehicles regularly. Watch for oil or antifreeze leaks.
O Use as few lawn chemicals as possible.
O Pump your septic system regularly.
O Store potentially harmful substances on a paved surface.  Use  sec-
ondary containment structures around  storage containers for  extra pro-
tection. Label containers clearly and visibly. Inspect storage areas and
tanks weekly.
O Cover containers stored outside. Secure storage areas against unau-
thorized  entry.
O Keep aboveground and underground storage tanks in good working

                Chemical Handing and Disposal
O Keep containers closed  and  sealed.
O Use drip pans under spigots,  valves, and pumps.
O Have spill control and containment equipment  readily available.
O Use funnels and drip pans when transferring harmful substances.
O Recycle chemicals instead of discharging them.
O Do not discharge harmful substances or waste products  into  floor
drains or work sinks that lead into or onto the ground.

                     Accident Preparedness
O Post information on what to do in the event of a spill. Also, coordinate
with and post phone numbers for your fire chief, hazardous spill response
hotline and water supplier.

O Inspect your vehicles regularly to be sure that they aren't leaking fluids
like oil or antifreeze.

Did You Know That Your Business May Be Eligible To Receive
                          An Award?
Since 1996, the  EPA-New England Office and New England Water Works
Association  have been working with state drinking water programs and
water suppliers to recognize businesses that are protecting drinking water
sources. Many types of businesses, including manufacturers, retail stores,
farmers, a golf course, and a nursery, have already received awards. For
more information, contact Ted Lavery at
617-918-1683 or lavery.ted@epa.gov
           Special Incentives For Smal Businesses
Your small  business can avoid costly penalties while protecting  drinking
water by identifying, promptly reporting  and correcting any environmen-
tal  violation found during on-site compliance  assistance or a self-audit.
For  more information, contact Dwight Peavey at
617-918-1829 or peavey.dwight@epa.gov
                    For More Information:
     Call your state's drinking water source protection coordinator:
                     Robert Must  (860-424-3718)
                   Andrews Tolman (207-287-6196)
                     Ken  Pelletier (617-348-4014)
                    Sarah Pillsbury (603-271-1168)
                           Rhode Island
                          Clay Commons
                       (401-222-6867  x2237)
                    Elizabeth Hunt (802-241-3409)
                    Or contact EPA-New England:
                         MaryJo Feuerbach

Is Your Business Connected To A Municipal Sewer ?
     If Not, You May Need To Know Your Role In
          Injection Wei (Class V) Regulations
     Find Out More About Class V Injection Wells And
                 If Your Business Has One:

 Class V Wells are commonly called "Shallow Subsurface Wastewa-
 ter Disposal Systems". If your business's wastewater disposal system
 is not connected to a municipal sewer or a holding tank, or does not
 discharge to a surface water or land surface, you may have one.
 These disposal systems include: septic systems serving more than
 20 people per day, leach fields, leaching pits and trenches, drywells,
 cesspools and disposal wells. Fluid waste disposal is below the land
 surface and common waste fluids discharged include: liquid waste,
 process wastewater,  non-contact cooling  water,  melt water,
 washwater, boilerwater, sewage  and storm water. Waste streams
 usually contain  non-hazardous waste; however, waste streams are
 often susceptible to contamination  by hazardous wastes and haz-
 ardous  materials.

          What Are You Required By Law To Do?

   O Call your  state if you do not have permission to discharge
   commercial or industrial wastewater to your business' subsurface
   disposal system.

   O Federal and state law prohibit discharge of  hazardous wastes
   to a subsurface disposal  system.

   O As of April 2000, federal law prohibits discharge of sewage to
   cesspools that have the capacity to serve 20 or more people per

   O As of April 2000, federal law prohibits the construction of new
   subsurface disposal systems used to discharge motor vehicle

   O Report any hazardous substances discharged to your subsur-
   face wastewater disposal system.

           Why Are Class V Injection Wells A New England
                     Drinking Water Concern?
   These disposal systems pose potential risk to New England sources
   of drinking water because:
      O They are often located near public and private drinking water
      O They are sometimes used to dispose of a wide range of non-
      hazardous and hazardous wastes.
      O Fluid wastes discharged underground  can contaminate drink-
      ing water sources.

     Who Regulates Ihese Systems And Who Should You Contact?
   Each New England state is authorized to regulate subsurface  waste-
   water disposal systems. State contacts are:
     O CT DEP: Richard  Mason 860-424-3018
     O ME DEP:  Tammy Gould 207-287-7814
     O MA DEP:  Andrew Durham  617-574-6855
     O NH DES: Mitch  Locker 603-271-2858
     O Rl DEM: Terry Simpson 401-222-2680 ext.  7602
     O VT DEC: Allison Lowry 802-241-4455
V ~    I ^
. •siTiV L .MjTliltlU 1 Congress Street, Suite 1100 Boston, MA 02203