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Estimating the National Costs of Regulating Perchlorate in Drinking Water

Estimating the National Costs of Regulating Perchlorate in Drinking Water

Russell, C.G., and Morley, K.
Published In: 
Journal of the American Water Works Association,  
February 2017

A prior assessment estimating the national compliance costs associated with perchlorate (Russell et al. 2009) was updated to account for utility actions taken in response to state regulations for perchlorate in California and Massachusetts. The updated cost assessment reinforces concern that the potential impacts of establishing a federal maximum contaminant level for perchlorate on individual systems are significant, particularly for small water systems. Estimated costs for systems serving a population of less than 500 are approximately $3/1,000 gal, representing a potential increase in annual household water bills of more than $500 for a family of four. Some impacted public water systems may avoid treatment costs by abandoning high-concentration sources. However, most of these systems will eventually incur costs to replace the lost water supply. This study demonstrates that opportunity costs for lost water (source abandonment) are comparable to treatment costs.

Russell, C.G., Morley, K. 2017. "Estimating the National Costs of Regulating Perchlorate in Drinking Water," Journal of the American Water Works Association, Vol. 109, No. 2. 2017.