Radioactivity is naturally present throughout the environment, including drinking water supplies. For many systems, radionuclides are present only in trace amounts but are being removed inadvertently through conventional treatment methods. In some instances, the source water levels are above health standards for drinking water and must be removed to reduce public health risks.
Once these radionuclides have been removed from the drinking water, they become concentrated in the water treatment residuals and must be handled appropriately to reduce further risk to the public, workers, or the environment. These residuals are classified as Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM).
Regulation of TENORM in drinking water treatment residuals is not clearly spelled out in Federal or State regulations and has been dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Department realizes that this approach is vague and inefficient for the regulated community; therefore, the Department has undertaken the task of developing policy and guidance to streamline this process.
Stakeholder input from industry professionals and the public are a critical piece of developing this policy and guidance. The following web pages are intended to provide background information, updates on project status, and access to the draft policy and guidance document and previous stakeholder work.