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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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We can test for PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices, including potable and non-potable waters, soils, and biota.
We’re on the leading edge of science, working with EPA, DOD, ASTM, and others to develop new methods for analyzing PFAS.