The Michigan Daily-Thursday, January 26,1978-Page5
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Envir-
onmental Protection Agency pro-
posed new regulations yesterday that
are designed to remove cancer-
causing chemicals from the nation's
drinking water by requiring unprece-
dented levels of water purity.
"We're not suggesting this is a
panic situation," EPA Administrator
Douglas Costle said in announcing
the proposed regulations.
HOWEVER, he warned that EPA
has become "especially concerned
about the'-potential increase in can-
cer risk", resulting from growing I
amounts of organic chemicals being
found in drinking water.
The plan would raise the average
annual cost for water for a family of
three from $6 to $10 a year, Costle
said. He estimated total capital
expenditures would cost from $350
million to $450 million over a three- to
five-year period, plus annual operat- REC
ing costs thereafter of about $69
The proposed, regulations would
require many municipalities to use
activated charcoal filters to purify
their water, a move designed to
remove synthetic organic chemicals
from the water. Most cities now filter
their water through sand.
IN ADDITION, EPA seeks to limit
'the amount of so-called trihalome-
thanes, or THMs, to no more than 100
parts per billion. Some THMs such as
chloroform have- been known to
cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Samples of municipal water sup-SANSUI 101
pFlies have found THM levels as high RECEIVER LI
as 87 parts per billion, although most
test results are much lower, EPA 8 watts per ch
officials said. ohms, 40 to 20
"This marks+ the start of the first than 0.3% total
large-scale effort in history to deal
with organic chemical contaminants $ 1
in drinking water," Costle said.
THE PROPOSED regulations,
which are expected to become final
in six months, initially apply to muni-
cipal water companies that serve
over 75,000 customers. These sys-
tems serve approximately 100 mil-
Smaller systems will be phased
into the program as soon as feasible,
based on the experience gained from
the requirements imposed on the
larger water systems, EPA said.
Cities would be expected to meet
the THM standard in 1180 or 15
months after EPA adopts final regu- PIONEER S
lations. AM/FM SI
THMS ARE created when chlorine 20 watts per cl
combines with organic substances ohms, 20 to 20
found. in water. Chlo'ine often is than 0.3%/ total
added to water to kill disease-causing
"Technology is available to both
reduce THM levels and maintain
adequate disinfectior," Costle said.
Not all major muricipalities would
be required to use activated char-
coal filters. Some (btain their water
from relatively pule sources such as
deep wells, Costle said.
He described the new efforts as an
attempt to "nip a problem in the
bud," saying mist of the synthetic
chemicals were nly developed with-
in the last 20 yeas.
"America pribably has the safest
drinking watersupply of any nation
in the world," e added.
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