The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the states to allow water meters to be installed at water storage facilities to help monitor water flows from underground wells, potentially allowing for more accurate water use.EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the agency’s top official, said in a letter to the states Tuesday that the agency is “encouraging the states and localities to allow installation of a water meter at water-treatment plants.”
“If the EPA determines that a water-meter is a viable, cost-effective, and reliable tool, the EPA would consider it,” McCarthy wrote.
The EPA asked for comments on the request for proposals until May 31.
It has asked that state and local governments provide “all practicable steps to implement a water meters for water storage facility compliance.”
The agency is asking states to provide a cost estimate, a technical manual, and an implementation plan, and to provide plans for monitoring water flows and the monitoring of water quality in the water supply.EPA’s request to states comes after it proposed a rule last year that would allow water-management systems in some states to install water meters at underground storage facilities.
A separate rule was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year requiring states to develop plans to install an electronic water meter in underground water treatment facilities.
The latest rule is the latest move to ensure that water-storage facilities are compliant with EPA’s guidelines for underground water use and are being monitored to ensure compliance.EPA officials in 2015 recommended that states make sure their water-collection facilities meet EPA standards.
The agency said it would also monitor water-quality at underground water-heating facilities, such as water-filtration plants and water-control plants, and provide a range of other information about the facilities to state and tribal governments and to industry.EPA last year issued a letter that said the EPA was “not in the business of regulating or mandating the use of the electronic water meters.”
It said water meters can provide a better indication of the accuracy of water flow than other methods of monitoring water quality, and it suggested that the EPA establish a “water-monitoring program for water treatment plants” to allow for the installation of water meters in those facilities.