Dec 29, 2015

EPA Approves Oklahoma Drinking Water Rule

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality now has authority to regulate total coliform in the state’s drinking water systems

Oklahoma EPA total coliform drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the state of Oklahoma’s revised rule for regulating total coliform in drinking water. With this approval, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has authority to regulate this contaminant in the state’s drinking water systems.

"Safe drinking water is one of our most valuable public health assets,” said EPA regional administrator Ron Curry. “Oklahoma has shown its drinking water program will continue to protect people’s health under the revised rule.”

EPA revised the total coliform rule in 2013 to improve public health protection. Total coliforms are a group of bacteria that, while largely not harmful to humans, can indicate the presence of harmful bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens in drinking water. The revision included setting limits for E. coli levels, monitoring requirements, and public notice requirements for violations, among other measures.

EPA tentatively approved ODEQ’s plan for authority to administer the revised total coliform rule on Nov. 2, 2015, and did not receive any comments or requests for a hearing from the public. The final rule was granted on Dec. 2, 2015. All public water systems must comply with the revised rule starting April 1, 2016.