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Public Notification Rule - Tier Levels

Tier 1: Immediate Notice (within 24 hours)

Notice within 24 hours via radio, TV, hand delivery, posting, or other method specified by the State of NC, along with other methods, if needed, to reach persons served.  PWSs must also initiate consultation with the State of NC within 24 hours.  The State's Public Notification Rule Manager may establish additional requirements during consultation.

Tier 1 Violations:

  • E. coli violations; failure to test for E. coli after initial total coliform sample tests positive.
  • Nitrate, nitrite, or total nitrate and nitrite MCL violation; failure to take a confirmation sample within 24 hours after learning an initial sample exceeded the MCL.
  • Chlorine Dioxide MRDL violation in distribution system; failure to take samples in distribution system when required.
  • Exceedance of maximum allowable turbidity level, if elevated to Tier 1 by the State.
  • Special notice for non-community water systems (NCWS) with nitrate exceedances between 10 mg/L and 20 mg/L, where system is allowed to exceed 10 mg/L by the State.
  • Waterborne disease outbreak or other waterborne emergency.
  • Other violations or situations determined by the State.

Tier 2: Notice as Soon as Possible (within 30 days)

Tier 2 notice requirements are outlined in all violation letters and an example notice and a public notification certification form are also included with the letters.

Tier 2 Violations:

  • All MCL, MRDL, and treatment technique violations, except where Tier 1 notice is required.
  • Monitoring violations, if elevated to Tier 2 by the State.
  • Failure to comply with variance and exemption conditions.
  • Turbidity Consultation - Where PWSs have a treatment technique violation resulting from a single exceedance of the maximum allowable turbidity limit or an MCL violation resulting from an exceedance of the two-day turbidity limit, they must consult the State within 24 hours.  The State will then determine whether a Tier 1 notice is necessary.  If consultation does not occur within 24 hours, violations are automatically elevated to Tier 1.

Tier 3: Annual Notice (within one year of violation date)

Tier 3 notice requirements are outlined in all violation letters and an example notice and a public notification certification form are also included with the letters.

Tier 3 Violations:

  • Monitoring or testing violations, unless the State elevates to Tier 1 or 2.
  • Operation under a variance or an exemption
  • Special public notices (fluoride secondary maximum contaminant level (SMCL) exceedance, availability of unregulated contaminant monitoring results).

Effective May 6, 2002, Public Water Systems must comply with the revised Public Notification Regulations (40 CFR 141, Subchapter Q). This revision requires that notices must be sent within 24 hours, 30 days or one year depending upon the tier in which the violation is assigned. The "time-clock" for notification starts when the public water system learns of the violation or the violation awareness date.

Violation Awareness Dates

Type of Violation Awareness Date
E. Coli MCL1 and all other Tier 1 in which the violation is assigned.  The "time-clock" violations The date the analysis was completed
All other MCL, MRDL2, SMCL3, and other Tier 2 in which the violation is assigned.  The "time-clock" violations Within 2 days of the completion of the analysis
Monitoring violations and other Tier 3 in which the violation is assigned.  The "time-clock" violations The date of the violation letter

1MCL: maximum contaminant level
2MRDL: maximum residual disinfectant level
3SMCL: secondary maximum contaminant level


Notice requirements are outlined in all violation letters.  An example notice and a public notification certification form are also included with the letters.

Where the PWS serves 30 percent or more non-English speaking customers, the system must provide information in the appropriate language(s) on the importance of the notice or on how to get assistance or a translated copy.

PWSs that sell or otherwise provide drinking water to other public water systems are required to give public notice to the owner or operator of the purchasing system.  The purchasing system is responsible for providing public notification to the persons it serves.  Notices must be provided to all persons served (not just billing customers.)

Systems have 10 days after completing the initial public notification to send the Public Notification Certification Form and a copy of the completed notice to the: Public Notification Rule Manager, Compliance Services Branch, 1634 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1634.

Contact the Public Notification Rule Manager for more information

Public Notification Certification Form [MS Word ] [PDF]

 


Model Notices

The following templates contain the ten elements (see the check list on the Public Notification Certification Form) required by the Revised Public Notification Rule.  If you alter the format of the template in any way, you are still required to include all ten elements which includes the mandatory language shown in bold italics on each notice template.  A separate certification form must be submitted if the system does not use the preformatted notice/certification forms provided.

Abbreviations used:

  • MCL:  maximum contaminant level violation
  • MRDL:  maximum residual disinfectant level
  • CWS:  community water system
  • M/R:  monitoring/reporting violation
  • OCCT:  optimal corrosion control treatment
  • NC:  non-community water system

Tier 1 and Tier 2 MCL and Treatment Technique Notices (by Contaminant)

CONTAMINANT FORMAT FORMAT
Asbestos:    
Asbestos MCL MS Word PDF
Revised Total Coliform Rule:    
E. coli/ MCL MS Word
E. coli / (Spanish version for posting only) MS Word PDF
Failure to Meet Treatment Technique Requirements for Seasonal Start-up Procedure MS Word PDF
Ground Water Rule:    
GWR Fecal Indicator - Positive Source Sample - Boil Water Notice MS Word PDF
Disinfection Byproducts:    
Bromate/Bromide MCL MS Word PDF
Chloramines MRDL MS Word PDF
Chlorine Dioxide MRDL (Tier 1 Violation) MS Word PDF
Chlorine Dioxide MRDL (Tier 2 Violation) MS Word PDF
Chlorine MRDL Violation MS Word PDF
Chlorine/Chloramines (Disinfection Byproducts) Monitoring and Reporting MS Word PDF
Chlorite MCL Violation MS Word PDF
Haloacetic Acid (HAA5) MCL (Single Sample) MS Word PDF
Haloacetic Acid (HAA5) MCL (Running Annual Average) MS Word PDF
Total Organic Carbon (TOC) MCL (Running Annual Average) MS Word PDF
Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Monitoring and Reporting MS Word PDF
Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) MCL (Single Sample) MS Word PDF
Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) MCL (Running Annual Average) MS Word PDF
Inorganic:    
Antimony MCL MS Word PDF
Arsenic MCL MS Word PDF
Barium MCL MS Word PDF
Beryllium MCL MS Word PDF
Cadmium MCL MS Word PDF
Chromium MCL MS Word PDF
Cyanide MCL MS Word PDF
Fluoride MCL MS Word PDF
Fluoride SMCL (Tier 3) MS Word PDF
Mercury MCL MS Word PDF
Selenium MCL MS Word PDF
Thallium MCL MS Word PDF
Lead and Copper:    
Failure to Submit OCCT Recommendation for:    
Copper MS Word PDF
Lead MS Word PDF
Lead & Copper MS Word PDF
Lead & Copper (with past exceedance) MS Word PDF
Lead Public Education Failure MS Word PDF
Nitrate/Nitrite:    
Nitrate MCL MS Word PDF
Nitrate MCL(Spanish version for posting only) MS Word PDF
Nitrite MCL MS Word PDF
Radionuclides:    
Combined Radium (Radium 226 & Radium 228) MCL MS Word PDF
Gross Alpha MCL MS Word PDF
Gross Beta MCL MS Word PDF
Uranium MCL MS Word PDF
Surface Water Treatment Rules:    
Failure to Meet Treatment Technique Requirements for Disinfectant Contact Times MS Word PDF
Failure to Meet Treatment Technique Requirements for Disinfectant Residual Levels MS Word PDF
Treatment Techniques (Other):    
Acrylamide MCL MS Word PDF
Epichlorohydrin MCL MS Word PDF
Turbidity (Effective January 1, 2005):    
95% Exceedance Turbidity MCL MS Word PDF
Turbidity MCL (single sample) - Tier 2 Violation MS Word PDF
Turbidity MCL (single sample) - Tier 1 Violation MS Word PDF
Turbidity Exceedance of both 95% and Single Sample MCL - Tier 1 Violation MS Word PDF
Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs):    
2,4,5-TP (Silvex) MCL MS Word PDF
2,4-D MCL MS Word PDF
Alachlor MCL MS Word PDF
Atrazine MCL MS Word PDF
Benzo(a)pyrene MCL MS Word PDF
Carbofuran MCL MS Word PDF
Chlordane MCL MS Word PDF
Dalapon MCL MS Word PDF
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) MCL MS Word PDF
Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate MCL MS Word PDF
Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate MCL MS Word PDF
Dinoseb MCL MS Word PDF
Endrin MCL MS Word PDF
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) MCL MS Word PDF
Heptachlor Epoxide MCL MS Word PDF
Heptachlor MCL MS Word PDF
Hexachlorobenzene MCL MS Word PDF
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene MCL MS Word PDF
Lindane MCL MS Word PDF
Methoxychlor MCL MS Word PDF
Oxamyl(vydate) MCL MS Word PDF
PCB's MCL MS Word PDF
Pentachlorophenol MCL MS Word PDF
Picloram MCL MS Word PDF
Simazine MCL MS Word PDF
Toxaphene MCL MS Word PDF
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs):    
1,1,1-Trichloroethane MCL MS Word PDF
1,1,2-Trichloroethane MCL MS Word PDF
1,1,-Dichloroethylene MCL MS Word PDF
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene MCL MS Word PDF
1,2-Dichloroethane MCL MS Word PDF
1,2-Dichloropropane MCL MS Word PDF
Benzene MCL MS Word PDF
Carbon Tetrachloride MCL MS Word PDF
Chlorobenzene MCL MS Word PDF
Cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene MCL MS Word PDF
Dichloromethane MCL MS Word PDF
Ethylbenzene MCL MS Word PDF
o-Dichlorobenzene MCL MS Word PDF
p-Dichlorobenzene MCL MS Word PDF
Styrene MCL MS Word PDF
Tetrachloroethylene MCL MS Word PDF
Toluene MCL MS Word PDF
Trans-1,2,-Dichloroethylene MCL MS Word PDF
Trichloroethylene MCL MS Word PDF
Vinyl Chloride MCL MS Word PDF
Xylenes (Total) MCL MS Word PDF

Tier 3 Monitoring and Reporting Violation Form

Systems with multiple monitoring violations may create one "composite" notice using this template:
Word
PDF