July 2018

By Pat McCool, Consultant, KRWA

n Kansas the correct monitoring of drinking water quality

is very contingent on Kansas Department of Health and

Environment (KDHE). The Public Water Supply Section

of KDHE and the KDHE Health and Environmental

Laboratories coordinate to ensure that bottles and

instructions are correctly sent so that cities and rural water

districts comply with state and federal monitoring


The article discusses a Kansas water supply system that

sampled for lead and copper too often resulting in extra,

unnecessary costs. None of this affected the quality of the

drinking water.

Required monitoring schedules depend on what is being

monitored. Also the schedules can change due to monitoring

results. Also when changes in city and RWD staff occur, it is

easy for the new staff to not know what the required

monitoring schedules are and how many samples must be


KDHE helps by sending out yearly monitoring schedules

to the water systems. However, KDHE correctly states on

the schedule that it is the responsibility of the system to

ensure that all required samples are taken. An example of

such a notice is shown at the bottom of the table below,

“Monitoring Schedule for 2018”.

Changes in monitoring for lead and copper

Lead and copper monitoring schedules and requirements

are among the most complicated. One reason for additional

complexity is that the results of the analyses can alter the

number of monitoring sites and can alter the schedule of

subsequent monitoring periods.

Also, see the table for the federal requirements for the

number of standard monitoring sites for lead and copper.

The number of sites depends on the population served. For

example, a system with a population of 101 to 500 has a

standard monitoring requirement of ten (10) sites. Reduction

in the number of monitoring sites occurs when results are


If such a system meets the lead and copper action levels

during each of two

consecutive six-month

monitoring periods, the

number of sites may be

reduced to five (5) and the

frequency of the

monitoring periods may

be reduced to once per

year. If then such a system

meets the lead and copper

action levels during three

consecutive years, the

frequency may further be

reduced from annually to

once every three years.

This is referred to as

“reduced monitoring”.

Avoiding Unnecessary

Monitoring Costs

Table: Monitoring Schedule for 2018


*Note: The HAA5 and  TTHM Schedule is a dual set, therefore there are two sample bottles per scheduled

event. Also note that the above schedule is subject to change if circumstances at a water system change.

KDHE will make every effort to notify the system of changes, however, 

the public water system is responsible

for compliance with monitoring requirements regardless of KDHE notification.