Utilities in many parts of the United States are challenged by compliance issues associated with the federal Radionuclide Rule, in large part due to the performance limitations associated with the existing approved analytical methods for radionuclides, such as gross alpha activity, radium-226 (226Ra), and radium-228 (228Ra).
To address these challenges AWWA is releasing Radionuclide Rule Compliance: Utility Guidance on Analytical Methods (PDF), which provides criteria by which utilities can
- evaluate performance of laboratories as pre-qualifications for bids when maximum accuracy is important,
- set requirements for bid documents to ensure that labs understand the requirements, and
- let utilities evaluate the data upon receipt to ensure that the laboratory met the requirements.
In addition, the AWWA guidance provides flow charts and tables that should assist utilities in obtaining the best quality data, given limitations of existing methods, when radionuclide activity is near various compliance points. The US Environmental Protection Agency also has information available help utilities understand the compliance requirements associated with this rule.