Coli Outbreak Protection
Federal Rules in Place to
Protect Against E. Coli Outbreaks, EPA Says.
from the Daily Environment Report,
September 20, 1999, pA-7.
In response to this summer's outbreaks of illness caused by
Escherichia coli 0157:H7, the Environmental Protection Agency has posted an internet fact
sheet on the mechanisms it has developed to safeguard the public from this danger. The
fact sheet can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW
under "What's New."
Under the Clean Water Act there are two rules which address
microbial contamination. The first is the total coliform rule which requires water systems
to regularly monitor for total coliform bacteria contamination. The second is the surface
water treatment rule which requires all drinking water systems using surface water to kill
bacterial contamination through disinfection. The EPA has also recommended recreational
water quality standards to protect swimmers. The fact sheet also provides information on
how people relying on private wells can protect themselves from E. coli.