The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed 28 chemicals and two viruses that 6000 public water systems will monitor from 2013 to 2015.
According to Waterworld.com, they are part of the agency's program to monitor unregulated contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water, but that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
EPA will spend more than $20 million on the monitoring, most of which will go to small drinking water systems for laboratory analyses, shipping and quality control. The data collected under the program is expected to show the frequency and levels at which the contaminants are found and help the agency determine if additional protections are needed.
The list includes total chromium and hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, which has been the focus of some EPA concern.
Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for water, said EPA selected the target chemicals from a list of priority contaminants that need additional research and are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. Some contaminants of concern were selected based on current occurrence research and health-risk factors.
EPA has standards for 91 contaminants in drinking water. The SDWA requires it to identify up to 30 additional unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years.