Will the EPA Regulate Another 116 Water Contaminants?

Will the EPA Regulate Another 116 Water Contaminants?


In September 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a third update to their Contaminant Candidate List known as CCL 3. This is a list of substances that are not regulated in our drinking water, but that may be considered for regulation in the future. The compilation of CCL 3 involved the EPA and stakeholders who looked at 7,500 microbial and chemical substances. From this preliminary list, a final selection of 116 contaminants was finally made based on their health effects and the potential for occurring in public water. The EPA announced their final CCL 4 on November 17, 2016, and some people are speculating that this means CCL 3 may become regulated in the near future.Will the EPA Regulate Another 116 Water Contaminants?

The CCL 3 Process

The EPA drew up a preliminary list of substances that have raised health concerns. They then added ten pharmaceuticals, nine hormones, two disinfection byproducts, five microbes, one antibiotic and a firefighting foam product. It may seem strange, but many substances actually roll over from one CCL to another. Some of the substances that are now on the CCL 3 list were previously included on CCL 2 and even the earlier CCL 1. This is an indication that these substances are still considered to be harmful to human health. Some examples of these substances that have migrated from earlier CCLs are acetochlor (a herbicide, adenoviruses (a virus group that causes gastrointestinal illness and respiratory problems), cyanotoxins (associated with blue-green algae and vanadium (a harmful natural element).

Additional Removals/Reductions

The Water Quality Association (WQA) also recently proposed that 17 additional substances should be reduced or removed entirely. They include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and endocrine disrupting chemicals. It is believed that these substances could be a priority for the development of new performance standards in drinking water treatment units. Currently, none of the following substances are regulated:

Atenolol: a Beta blocker used to treat heart conditions.
Bisphenol A (BPA): An ingredient used in some plastics.
Carbamazepine: an anti-seizure medication.
DEET: An insecticide.
Diazinon: An Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) Insecticide.
Estrone: An estrogen hormone.
Ibuprofen: A common pain medication.
Linuron: A herbicide and EDC.
Meprobamate: An anti-anxiety medication.
Metolachlor: A pesticide.
Naproxen: An anti-inflammatory drug.
Nonylphenol: An alkylphenol used in manufacturing and a low level EDC.
Phenytoin: An anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication
Risperidone: An antipsychotic medication
TCEP: A flame retardant
TCPP: A flame retardant
Trimethoprim: An antibacterial medicine

Dealing With Future Water Contaminants

It is obvious even to a non scientist that there are a lot of emerging threats to the safety and quality of our water supply. Many experts have stated that there is no single point of use or point of entry water treatment system that could address the issue adequately. The only real solution would be a number of water treatment systems used together to be more effective. Reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation, and activated carbon filtration may need to be combined with UV light and/or ozone treatment to remove the maximum amount of contaminants.

If you are concerned about contaminants in your drinking water supply, contact your local water treatment professional. There is a variety of water softeners/water conditioners and filtration systems on the market to deal with a wide range of water quality issues. Make sure that your water treatment professional is fully WQA certified and they will meet and even exceed industry standards.

Contact NicMar Water for your water needs.

About The Author: Mark Williams (NicMar Water President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University. He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

Back to top

Print Friendly
Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

Water Solution Center

Educational Center