Lead - Required Public Education Documents
When test results for lead show that ninety percent of the samples are not at or below the EPA's action level of 15 ppb (parts per billion), a water system must conduct a Public Education Program within 60 days. The public education program must be repeated annually, and the public service announcements must be repeated semiannually, until the water system completes a round of sampling with the 90th. percentile of lead level at or below the EPA's action level of 15 ppb.
The Lead and Copper Rule now requires all public water systems to provide the results of each lead sample to each customer that collected a sample. Consumer notification is required for each round of lead and copper tap monitoring.
I. Public Education Requirements:
Public Education must be include all of the EPA's mandatory language. (Sample alert and language) The distribution methods and public service announcements requirements will vary depending on the type of water system involved.
Schools must alert all staff and students to the high lead levels and provide them with pamphlets on lead education. For elementary schools, pamphlets must also be mailed home to parents. Notices must be posted in break rooms and common areas in each of the building served by your water system.
Businesses must post notices in common areas and break rooms and distribute pamphlets on lead education to all personnel in the buildings served by the water system. Restaurants and businesses are required to notify employees, but are not required to notify customers of high lead levels. Posting the mandatory language on the same bulletin board that the minimum wage laws are posted will serve the purpose of EPA's Lead and Copper Rule.
Residences, Condominium Complexes, Apartment Complexes, Nursing Homes, and similar community water systems must deliver public education materials along with an "alert" to every resident. This can be done by handing material to all residents, posting on each apartment door, or sliding it under the door. Sample "alert"
Mobile Home Parks must deliver in person public education materials along with an "alert" to each resident. This can be done by handing material to all residents or posting it on the door of each residence. Sample "alert"
District Public Water Systems must insert public education materials along with an "alert" in each customers utility bill. The "alert" and public education materials must also be sent to: schools, school boards, day care centers, head start programs, hospitals, clinics, pediatricians, city or county health departments, and local welfare agencies. The media must also be notified of high lead levels. Public service announcements must be submitted to newspapers, radio and television stations.
Small Public Water Districts (population served less then 3,300) will need to contact 1 local daily newspaper, 1 local weekly newspaper, 1 radio station that covers your area, and 1 television station that covers your area.
Medium and Large Public Water Districts (population served greater than 3,300) will need to contact the daily and weekly newspapers that are circulated in the community, and at least 5 radio and/or television stations that broadcast to the community serviced by your water system. The media is not required to broadcast or print the public service announcements and you are not required to pay to have the media print or broadcast the announcements. Sample "alert" and "public service announcement".
II. Contents of Public Education Materials
Pamphlets on Lead Education must include EPA's mandatory language ( see Code of Federal Regulations 40 ch1 § 141.85 ) and include community specific information on the water supply. The pamphlets must provide the reader with information on health effects of lead and how to reduce lead levels in tap water. The pamphlets must also provide information that pertains to the particular water system, even though they may not be a community water system. See the sample cover letter for schools and modify it for your use. If a significant proportion of the population speaks a language other then English, public education material must be communicated in the appropriate language or languages.
The Drinking Water Program recommends that the water systems keep their customers updated on how the corrosion control program is going. Public education must be repeated annually and by including information on the projected dates of when the corrosion control problem will be corrected, will help answer some of the questions.
To find out more information on the health effects of lead contact your Compliance Officer or
the State of Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (207) 287-5687.
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