Revised Total Coliform Rule

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that all public water systems (community and noncommunity) provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water to customers and consumers.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for implementing and managing the SDWA at the state level.  One of the regulations is the 1989 Total Coliform Rule (TCR). 

On April 1, 2016, the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) will go into effect replacing the current regulations.  The RTCR establishes a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for E. Coli and uses E. Coli and total coliforms to initiate a find and fix it approach to address potential avenues for the entrance into the distribution system.

It is expected that many noncommunity water supply systems will have increased monitoring upon transitioning into the new regulations.  Owners and operators will be taking on a more active role in assessing their water supply for possible deficiencies in the case of a coliform positive.  It is also expected that noncommunity water supply systems will have additional cost associated with the RTCR due to the increased sampling.  A reduction in monitoring will remain an option; however under the RTCR additional steps are required, including an annual inspection, and failure to maintain compliance under the RTCR can result in monthly monitoring.

Guidance and Training

Seasonal Start Up Certification Form & Procedures (Word)
Seasonal Public Groundwater Supply Handbook (PDF)

Seasonal Determination Chart (PDF)

Level 1 Assessment Fillable Form (Word)

USEPA RTCR Quick Reference Guide
USEPA Guidance Manual

Introduction to the Revised Total Coliform Rule - Video 
Introduction to the Revised Total Coliform Rule - PDF Version with Notes
RTCR and Seasonal Systems - Video

Related Links
USEPA Total Coliform Rule Revisions
Association for State Drinking Water Administrators