The Importance of UCMR Testing
The Tampa Water Department conducts over 8,000 water quality tests every year to ensure that your drinking water is safe to drink and in compliance with all federal and state drinking water standards.
Every five years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). The purpose of UCMR is to collect data from utilities like ours about contaminants that may be present in drinking water. The EPA uses this data to decide if specific contaminants occur at frequencies and concentrations high enough to be regulated in the future.
Trace amounts of naturally occurring or man-made substances can sometimes find their way into drinking water supplies, and not all are currently regulated by EPA. Today’s advanced analytical methods can detect contaminants at trace levels, but the presence of trace levels does not necessarily pose a safety concern.
UCMR testing is part of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
The Tampa Water Department is participating in the EPA’s fifth round of UCMR testing, known as UCMR5, which requires us to monitor for 30 chemical contaminants using analytical methods approved by EPA. It can be a lengthy process to set drinking water regulations, but it is important that EPA completes its thorough, scientific process to fully understand the potential health impacts, maximum contaminant levels, analytical methods, and treatment methods to provide public utilities with proven, consistent standards.
The contaminants we are testing include 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS) and lithium. Testing will take place during the 2023 calendar year. Updated results will be posted on a quarterly basis as they are available.
It's important to keep in mind that no health standards (for example, maximum contaminant levels) have been established at the present time for any of these unregulated contaminants.