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Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR)

The Total Coliform Rule was revised to further protect human health. The rule went into effect on 4/1/2016 for all public water systems. All systems are required to submit sample siting plans prior to 4/1/16. Sample siting plan templates and instructions are available below.

PA RTCR Regulation Published

RTCR Webinar for Systems, Operators, and Consultants

You can view a recording of the October 19, 2016 webinar by choosing one of the following options:


One of the aspects of the RTCR is assessments. Public water systems may need to conduct a Level 1 or Level 2 Assessment depending on microbial sampling results. This document (PDF) has information on how an assessment is triggered. If an assessment is required, the water system must use the appropriate DEP form:

Systems should use the EPA Guidance Manual called RTCR Assessments and Corrective Actions Guidance Manual (PDF)

Transient non-community systems, which generally do not require a certified operator for daily operation will need to find a certified operator to conduct a Level 2 assessment when triggered. Therefore, PA DEP maintains a list of certified operators willing to conduct Level 2 Assessments for public water systems that do not have a certified operator. This list can be used by public water systems that have triggered a Level 2 Assessment under the Revised Total Coliform Rule to locate and hire a certified operator to conduct the assessment. If you are a certified operator that is interested in being on this list, please complete the new RTCR Level 2 Assessment Operator Survey. Note: This is a new survey. If you completed a Level 2 Assessor survey prior to December 2022, please complete this new survey.

Finding an Assessor for Systems without Certified Operators

Use the first document below to find available operators by county (there is a list for all 67 counties). The second link is a companion document that helps you understand what type of certified operator you will need to conduct an assessment at your water system. As you will notice in the certified operator lists, the last column has all of the individual’s certifications (class and subclasses) listed.

  1. Available Assessment Operators by County (PDF)
  2. Operator Class and Subclass Definitions (PDF)


Classroom training is not currently being scheduled. Please use one of the resources below:

Questions on other training available? Email:

Sample Siting Plans and Tutorial

There are four forms available depending on your system size and the number of sampling locations.

Seasonal Water Systems

In addition to a sample siting plan, seasonal systems are required to submit start-up procedures for DEP approval prior to 4/1/16.  The following form and instructions provide a template and recommended start-up steps.