methods for detecting coliform bacteria and
E. coli in drinking water.
• Strategies for Managing Total Coliform
and E. coli in Distribution Systems (2009,
order #91259/project #3116), guides utilities
in managing and responding to total
coliform and E. coli occurrences in their
• Current coliform detection methods and
techniques were evaluated, and WaterRF
researched ways to improve monitoring
effectiveness and avoid false positives.
Geologic carbon sequestration
(sequestration) promises to control the
release of greenhouse gases, and its use
is expected to increase substantially in
coming decades. Yet the injection of carbon
dioxide (CO2) into deep aquifers may cause
geochemical changes, add contamination
from the injection stream, and produce
In December, the USEPA published its
final rule governing the injection of CO2 for
sequestration to protect underground sources
of drinking water.
Two WaterRF reports address possible water
quality impacts on groundwater quality,
as well as provide recommendations for
minimizing or mitigating those impacts:
• In the Rapid Response project, Potential
Groundwater Quality Impacts Resulting
from Geologic Carbon Sequestration
(2009, order/project #4203), WaterRF
researchers characterized the potential
impacts on groundwater quality, developed
recommendations for assessing and
mitigating those impacts, and developed a
monitoring guideline. They also performed
a comprehensive evaluation to determine
knowledge gaps and needs.
• Based on those projects’ findings, WaterRF
funded another study, “Impacts of
Geologic Carbon Sequestration on
the Water Quality of Groundwater”
(project #4265). Researchers are currently
identifying impacts from the migration of
CO2 from sequestration projects, as well as
associated physical and chemical changes.
The USEPA recently decided to regulate
perchlorate as a drinking water contaminant,
reversing an earlier decision by the agency.
Perchlorate is both naturally occurring and
manmade, and regulators are concerned that
elevated levels can impact human thyroid
The agency published an interim health
advisory level of 15 parts per billion (ppb)
in January 2009, but some speculate the new
MCL could go as low as 2 ppb. California and
Massachusetts have already set limits at 6 and
2 ppb, respectively.
The agency is now assessing the feasibility
and costs of treatment technologies and
compliance with proposed federal standards.
A new standard is expected in about two years.
Two Foundation studies are helping to
inform the drinking water industry and