EPA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are jointly updating the 100+ year old bacteria approach for protection of human health. The agencies anticipate use of a new science based coliphage approach for bacteria and viruses for enhanced protection of food, beaches, and surface waters under the Clean Water Act.
The joint effort will likely result in new beach closure thresholds and testing methods, and new recreational water quality criteria and testing methods for bacteria and viruses in State Water Quality Standards. These changes may require new disinfection practices for municipal waste water treatment facilities (e.g. advanced oxidation and UV) so are a particularly important consideration for facilities undergoing or about to embark on facilities’ planning efforts.
Information on EPA’s coliphage effort can be found HERE.