Expanding Final Barrier

The concept of final barrier and the push to increase point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) device applications continue to expand.

The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) announced in its latest e-newsletter that it testified at a hearing in California in November on providing safe drinking water to rural and impoverished communities. The organization advocated the use of POU/POE devices for communities where centralized treatment is cost prohibitive or not practical.

Currently in California, only communities with 200 or fewer residents are allowed to use alternatives such as POU or POE devices. Last year, WQA supported a bill that would increase that number to 2,500 residents. Although that bill did not pass before the legislative session ended, WQA is hopeful that similar legislation will be approved in 2013.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also is looking to facilitate the use of POU/POE devices to bring small systems into compliance. Currently, it allows POU for radionuclide and arsenic compliance, due to their cost-effectiveness. A task force has been formed to report to Congress on the use of these alternative treatment methods for small systems.

Although there are many parties involved in this issue, the goal is the same: to ensure that Americans have access to clean, safe drinking water. An expansion of POU/POE devices to reach these small communities will only provide benefits to all involved.

What are your opinions on the use of POU/POE devices for rural communities and small systems? Let us know at [email protected].

Kate Cline is editor-in-chief of WQP. Cline can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1007.

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