EPA’s Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5)

Pace® has analyzed tens of thousands of samples under the EPA’s UCMR program, and we’re actively working with our PWS clients to help them get ready for UCMR 5.

WHAT IS UCMR 5?

The EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) is designed to collect data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water but do not yet have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). A revised list of 30 contaminants is selected every five years. UCMR 5 will be the fifth UCMR to be implemented.

WATCH THE UCMR 5 WEBINAR

Recently, Pace® conducted a national technical briefing for PFAS and UCMR 5. The replay is now available on demand.

UCMR 5 TIMELINE

A list of 30 contaminants and other details for UCMR 5 was proposed in March of 2021, and finalized in early 2022. Now approved, a staggered sampling schedule will begin in January 2023.

COVERED WATER SYSTEMS UNDER UCMR 5

All public water systems serving more than 3300 people and a randomly selected set of 800 smaller systems will be required to comply with UCMR. This more than doubles the number of water systems required to participate over previous UCMR sampling rounds.

UCMR 5 CONTAMINANTS

As proposed, UCMR 5 includes 29 PFAS compounds plus lithium. A clause in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stipulates that the 29 unregulated PFAS included in UCMR 5 shall not count toward the limit. Therefore, UCMR 5 could include up to 59 contaminants: the 29 PFAS for which EPA has validated a drinking water method plus up to 30 other non-PFAS contaminants.

UCMR 5 TEST METHODS

To analyze for all 30 contaminants, UCMR 5 will require three EPA validated test methods. Both EPA Test Methods 537.1 and 533 will be required to analyze for the 29 PFAS compounds. EPA Test Method 200.7 will be required to analyze for lithium. Pace® has received EPA approval for all three methods.

UCMR 5 SAMPLING POINTS

UCMR 5 will require fewer sampling points than prior UCMR rounds. Sampling is only required at the entry point to each distribution system instead of at each distribution system location. Sampling source waters and surface waters will not be required.

COST OF TESTING

The EPA estimated the cost of testing to be around $950 per sample. Most larger systems will be required to cover these costs themselves. Pending budget availability, the EPA may cover testing costs for the randomly selected smaller systems. Pace® can help water systems operators assess their sampling requirements and create a preliminary budget.

REASONS TO CHOOSE PACE®

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EXPERIENCED

Pace® has been an industry leader in persistent organic pollutant testing for over three decades.
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CERTIFIED

We’re certified/accredited by NELAC, ISO, DOD, DOE, and in every state with a PFAS lab certification program.

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RELIABLE

For emergencies, our Rapid Response Team can provide defensible results in as little as 24 hours.

Committed

COMMITTED

We are committed to helping our customers advance their important work through building strong relationships, delivering upon expectations, and providing exceptional customer service.

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ADVANCED

We can test for PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices, including potable and non-potable waters, soils, and biota.

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INNOVATIVE

We’re on the leading edge of science, working with EPA, DOD, ASTM, and others to develop new methods for analyzing PFAS.

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