FACTORS THAT IMPAIR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
Water Supply Operation is Not a Primary Activity of Non-community Public Water Supplies
The nature of a non-community water supply, first and foremost, is a business or school. Any water
provided is for the exclusive use of the employees or students, and, in some cases, to provide process
water for the operation of the business. Routine requirements of the drinking water program are not
always an ongoing concern to the management of the facility. For example, the concept that routine
samples must be submitted for a multitude of chemical analyses, most of which are never detected, is
somewhat puzzling to the owner; consequently, sampling may be somewhat lax. IDPH regional office
or local health department personnel communicate the requirements and the need for compliance with
drinking water requirements during all visits and through all correspondence.
Frequent changes in on-site operational personnel pose an additional obstacle to non-community
public water supply compliance. An ongoing education and re-education process is essential. The
IDPH strives to provide this information through regional office or local health department contacts
whenever changes in personnel or management/ ownership are reported.
Management of a non-community public water supply, in many cases, is an owner/operator type of
arrangement where there is no formal chain of command. In this situation, the same individual who
orders supplies also keeps the books, serves customers, and performs all operational duties. When this
one-man operation experiences illness, goes on vacation, or is not available, problems may develop
within the non-community water supply. IDPH regional personnel or local health department
personnel work closely with these personnel to educate and assist with water supply compliance.
FACTORS WHICH ENCOURAGE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
The IDPH has begun an operator certification program for all non-transient, non-community public
water supply operators. Existing system operators are being grand-parented into certified operators.
Before January 1, 2003, all grand-parented operators will be required to attend and successfully
complete an operator training course, which is presently being developed by the Water Quality
Association. Once operators become certified, re-certification will be required every three years. This
process will require participation and successful completion in an operator training course sponsored
by IDPH. IDPH expects this program to improve operations within non-community public water
All new non-transient non-community public water supplies must submit a permit application to the
IDPH prior to construction. Review is conducted by IDPH personnel to ensure that technical
construction meets all IDPH requirements. Financial review is made to ensure that sampling costs and
routine maintenance costs will be properly funded by the owner/official custodian of the supply.
IDPH will use this review to emphasize the importance of the provision of safe drinking water to
consumers, and will begin the regulation education process at that time.
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