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Surface Water Filtration

Drinking Water Regulations
The link is a portal for public water system operators and other parties interested in drinking water regulations.

Partnership For Safe Water
The Partnership for Safe Water is a voluntary effort that encourages public water systems to survey their facilities, treatment processes, operating and maintenance procedures, and management oversight practices. It is geared toward filter plants that obtain source water from reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams.

Filter Plant Performance Evaluation
FPPE is a method of determining the effectiveness of a drinking water treatment plant in removing disease-causing organisms from the incoming raw water.

Filter Plant Optimization Trends
A statewide summary report that contains information on the benefits and outcomes of the FPPE program and Partnership for Safe Water Program.

Revised SDWA-5 Form and Instruction (Safe Drinking Water Act SDWA-5 Monthly Filter Plant Performance)

All filtered drinking water suppliers using surface water sources or sources under the direct influence of surface water must use the new version of the SDWA-5 form starting in January 2005. Revisions to the form are based on requirements contained in the Interim and Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rules. Click one of the links below to obtain the file format of your choice and then save the file to your computer.

NOTE: A link to the draft technical guidance on how to complete the SDWA-5 form will be posted here soon.

Surface Water Supply Monthly Turbidity Information and Tools

All filtered surface water suppliers should use these tools to reduce the chances of a waterborne disease outbreak, determine whether long-term plant performance is improving or degrading, assess the need for assistance, and prepare for future regulations.

The Web Optimization Assessment Software (WebOAS) application
WebOAS allows staff in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to acquire monthly turbidity data from raw water, sedimentation basin effluent, and combined filter effluent samples taken at surface water treatment plants. The data will allow DEP staff to review 12-month trend graphs and summaries on turbidity from treatment plants. It will also allow DEP to prioritize state assistance efforts. In return, systems can, at any time, download data that includes turbidity trend graphs and other information for each plant. The data can be uploaded or entered using screen entry forms. The data is available for review and update until March 31 of the following year. WebOAS is not a substitute for submitting compliance monitoring data as required by Safe Drinking Water Regulations. Compliance monitoring data must be submitted using DWELR or paper SDWA forms.

Optimization Assessment Software, Excel Spreadsheet File
This Microsoft Excel program, which is custom tailored for filtered surface water suppliers, allows you to enter turbidity information and assess the performance of sedimentation processes, individual filters, and the combined filter effluent. Here is an example output (PDF)from the spreadsheet. To assist you in using the program, instructions are available on the spreadsheet file.

Source Water Quality Report (Form and Instructions)

The Source Water Quality Report form allows public drinking water suppliers that use filtered surface water sources to assess and improve source water quality. The form provides a formal mechanism for suppliers to routinely collect source water data on total coliforms and nitrate-nitrite. DEP staff will use the data to determine if the water quality standards in surface water sources are being met and the public water supply use is being protected. Water suppliers may obtain additional information in the instructions that accompany the form.

Visit the following websites for more information on source water assessment and protection:

D/DBP Small Systems Study (PDF) (354KB file)

Starting in 2004, staff at small filter plants will need to collect samples for the Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts Rule. With the help of summer interns, the Department initiated a study called, "Investigation of Disinfection Byproducts in Small Surface Water Filtration Plants in Pennsylvania." The study was conducted at about 160 small filter plants to determine levels of Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids since very little data is currently available.

-- Reprinted from Proceedings of 2002 AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, by permission. © 2002, American Water Works Association. To obtain complete document, contact AWWA at 800-926-7337 or visit

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