Region 8 Drinking Water Online

About Us

This website is sponsored and maintained by the EPA Region 8 Drinking Water Program. The Drinking Water Program directly implements the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) Program for Wyoming and for Indian country in Region 8. As part of our technical assistance and data outreach responsibilities we are providing the Drinking Water Online website.

If you wish to reach any of our staff, please refer to our Contact List .

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Wyoming Drinking Water Program

View the Wyoming Annual Compliance Report for Calendar Year 2006 .

Administration of the Drinking Water Program in Wyoming

Wyoming is the only State that has not applied to the US Environmental Protection Program for authority to administer the public water supply program. Therefore, Region 8 directly implements the Safe Drinking Water Act in the State of Wyoming. This covers public water systems with 15 or more service connections or that serve 25 or more persons for at least 60 days per year.

As of October 1, 2007 there are 768 active public water supply systems in Wyoming. Sixteen percent of these systems receive at least some of their water from surface water sources. The remaining eighty-four percent receive their water from ground water (wells). Eighty-four percent of active Wyoming systems serve populations of less than 500. Only one percent (8 systems) serve populations of 10,000 or more. Each public water system is classified into one of three categories:

  • community public water system, i.e., towns, cities, mobile home parks, private subdivisions, etc., that have 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves 25 or more persons year round;
     
  • transient non-community public water systems, i.e., campgrounds, restaurants, highway rest areas, motels, hotels etc., are non-community water systems that do not regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year; and
     
  • non-transient non-community public water systems i.e., mining and industrial operations, schools churches, etc., are public water systems that are not community water systems and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months per year.

In Wyoming, thirty-seven percent are community systems, fifty-one percent are transient non-community systems, and twelve percent are non-transient noncommunity systems.

Various State agencies in Wyoming and EPA Region 8 coordinate activities to ensure that consumers are served safe drinking water.

Region 8 is responsible for:

  • Monitoring/reporting of water testing
  • Sanitary surveys
  • Technical assistance to water operators
  • Laboratory certification
  • Compliance determinations
  • Formal enforcement
  • Homeland security

The State of Wyoming is responsible for:

  • Plan and specification review
  • Construction/well drilling permits
  • Water rights
  • Operator certification
  • Capacity development
  • Source water and wellhead protection
  • Operation of state laboratories
  • Food and beverage inspections
  • Financing drinking water projects
  • General public health

EPA hires contractors and relies on assistance from groups such as Wyoming Water Quality/Pollution Control Association (WWQ&PCA) and the Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems (WARWS) when implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act. These groups help provide training and technical assistance to operators of public water systems in the State of Wyoming.

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Wyoming Public Water Supply System Operations

Because of the demands on operators to remain in compliance with the ever-changing regulations, the State of Wyoming offers an operator certification program to ensure that operators of public water systems are qualified and their training is up to date. Operator recruitment and retention have become critical issues in the State of Wyoming. In many cases it is very difficult for municipalities to compete with salaries and benefits offered in the energy business sector.

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations require operators to monitor for a variety of contaminants on a routine basis under approved sampling and analysis methods. The number of samples and the frequency at which samples must be collected depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • whether the drinking water source is surface or ground water,
  • the population served by the water system,
  • the classification of the water system,
  • prior compliance data; and
  • whether the system has received a waiver or variance.

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Wyoming Violations

Violations occur when public water systems fail to monitor for the required contaminants or when the level of a contaminant detected in a sample exceeds the maximum contaminant level (MCL), for a particular contaminant. Additional monitoring may be required if a contaminant is detected at levels below the maximum contaminant level.

Public water systems that have significant violations receive an Administrative Order. This Order identifies the violations and specifies measures that must be taken to correct any deficiencies, or to return to compliance with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Monetary penalties are not included with an Administrative Order; however, violation of the Administrative Order may lead to monetary penalties. If an eminent and substantial endangerment to public health exists, EPA may issue an Emergency Administrative Order that may require a boil water advisory, a "do not use" order, or other measures to protect public health until the cause of the problem has been identified and corrected. More serious violations may be addressed by civil judicial actions.

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Tribal Drinking Water Program

View the Region 8 Tribal Annual Compliance Report for Calendar Year 2006 (PDF) (13 pages, 52 KB, About PDF).

Administration of the Drinking Water Program on Tribal Lands

Primacy for the administration and enforcement of the Public Water System Supervision (Drinking Water) Program has not been delegated to Tribal Governments in Region 8. EPA Region 8 directly implements the Program promulgated under the Safe Drinking Water Act in Indian country. This applies to any public water system with 15 or more service connections or that serves 25 or more persons for at least 60 days per year.

As of October 1, 2007, there are 133 active Tribal public water supply systems. Nineteen percent get their water from surface water sources, while eighty-one percent get their water from ground water (wells). Seventy-one percent of the systems serve populations of less than 500. Only one system serves a population of greater than 10,000. Each public water system is classified into one of three categories:

  • community public water system, i.e., towns, cities, mobile home parks, private subdivisions, etc., that have 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves 25 or more persons year round;
     
  • transient non-community public water systems, i.e., campgrounds, restaurants, highway rest areas, motels, hotels etc., are non-community water systems that do not regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year; and
     
  • non-transient non-community public water systems i.e., mining and industrial operations, schools churches, etc., are public water systems that are not community water systems and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months per year.

Eighty-six percent of the systems are community systems, three percent serve transient non-community systems, and the remaining eleven percent serve non-transient non-community systems.

EPA works with various Federal agencies to coordinate activities to ensure that consumers are served safe drinking water. The Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Reclamation provide technical assistance as it pertains to the construction and the operation and maintenance of Tribal public water supply systems.

EPA also hires contractors to help provide training and technical assistance to operators of Tribal public water systems.

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Tribal Public Water Supply System Operations

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations require operators to routinely monitor for a variety of contaminants using approved sampling and analysis methods. The number of samples and the frequency at which samples must be collected depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • whether the drinking water source is surface or ground water,
  • the population served by the water system,
  • the classification of the water system, and
  • prior compliance data, and
  • whether the system has received a monitoring waiver or exemption.

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Tribal Violations

Violations occur when public water systems fail to monitor for the required contaminants or when the level of a contaminant detected in a sample exceeds the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Additional monitoring may be required if a contaminant is detected above a threshold level that is below the MCL.

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