Title 46
Waters and Navigation

Chapter 15.3
Public Drinking Water Supply System Protection

R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-15.3-5.1

§ 46-15.3-5.1. Water supply systems management plans.

(a) All parties involved in the supply, transmission, and/or distribution of drinking water shall prepare, maintain, and carry out a water supply system management plan as described by this chapter. This requirement applies, without limitations, to:

(1) All municipalities subject to chapter 22.2 of title 45, the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act. The executive summary of the water supply system management plan including the demand management goals and plans for water conservation and efficient use of water, of any water supplier providing service in any municipality, shall be incorporated in the services and facilities element of the plan for that municipality required by § 45-22.2-6(6);

(2) All municipalities, municipal departments and agencies, districts, authorities or other entities engaged in or authorized to engage in the supply, treatment, transmission, or distribution of drinking water on a wholesale or retail basis, referred to herein as “water suppliers,” which obtain, transport, purchase, or sell more than fifty million (50,000,000) gallons of water per year.

(b) A water supply system management plan shall be prepared in the format, and shall address each of the topics, listed in this section, to the extent that each is relevant to the municipality or water supplier, the water source(s), the water system(s), and the area served or eligible to be served. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, water supply management plans shall be in conformity with all applicable provisions of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act [42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq.], chapter 13 of this title, Public Drinking Water Supply, and chapter 14 of this title, Contamination of Drinking Water, as administered by the department of health. Any other topic of interest may be included.

(c) A water supply system management plan shall include, without limitation, the following components:

(1) The water supply management component of the water supply system management plan shall include, without limitation:

(i) A statement of the goals that the plan is designed to achieve, including, but not limited to, goals for:

(A) Water resource protection;

(B) Demand management, which shall include goals as appropriate for managing peak and seasonal use of water; and

(C) Supply development as necessary and with consideration of source water availability; and

(D) System management, including system safety and reliability, infrastructure maintenance, repair, and reduction of leakage.

(ii) A description of the water system(s) covered, including sources of water, the service area, present and anticipated future users, and other important characteristics;

(iii) Data collection in a form that can be accepted directly into the Rhode Island Geographic Information System;

(iv) Demand management measures that will achieve a high level of efficiency in the use of a limited resource, through the application of metering of one hundred percent (100%) of the water used; sanitary device retrofit; performance of and compliance with water use audits for major industrial, commercial, institutional, governmental, agricultural and other outdoor water users; education and information; and use of appropriate fees, rates, and charges to influence use demand management measures shall include such restrictions on use; as may be necessary to meet or exceed targets for water use, including seasonal use, that are established by the water resources board; and the water resources board is hereby expressly directed and authorized to establish and maintain no later than July 31, 2010, by rule targets for water use and methods for achieving the targets, which shall as appropriate take into account differing conditions among watershed and water supply areas;

(v) System management measures to insure that the following elements are optimally operated and maintained, including: leak detection and repair; meter installation and replacement; and frequency of reading meters. Maintenance or reduction of leakage to stated goals shall be considered an essential component of system management;

(vi) Supply management measures to insure present and future availability of drinking water in adequate quantity and quality, including protection of the capacity and quality of drinking water sources; retaining water sources for standby or future use that are or can be improved to drinking water quality; reactivation of any water sources not in use; interconnection of systems for ongoing, standby, or emergency use; supply augmentation;

(vii) Emergency management, including risk assessment; responses to temporary or permanent loss of supplies due to natural or manmade causes; extraordinary treatment processes; interruptions in the delivery system; and contamination of water sources or delivery systems;

(viii) The water supply system management plans of water suppliers shall document that coordination has been accomplished with those plans of other suppliers in the vicinity and with operators of wastewater treatment and disposal facilities serving all or part of the same area or that a good faith effort to do so has been made. Plans shall be consistent with applicable local comprehensive plans and shall be integrated into the water supply plans of the municipality or municipalities in which the service area is or is planned to be located. Conversely, the local comprehensive plans shall be consistent with water supply plans;

(ix) Water supply system management plans shall designate the person or organization responsible for taking each action, others who must participate, and the time period in which each action is to be taken. The capital, operating, and maintenance cost (if any) of each action shall be estimated and the anticipated source of funds shall be identified;

(x) Water suppliers subject to this chapter shall utilize methods to implement management measures necessary to achieve the findings, intent, and objectives of this chapter. The water supplier may be required to document the validity or effectiveness of any management measure, implementation method, or other provision or action included in its plan.

(2) The water quality protection component of the water supply system management plan shall include, without limitations, those items enumerated in § 46-15.3-7.

(3) The leak detection and repair component of the water supply system management plan shall include, without limitation:

(i) Methodology for leak detection;

(ii) Detailed program for the conducting of required repairs to the water supply system;

(iii) Impact assessment studies on the ability of the supplier to provide for peak demand services;

(iv) A priority list of actions for implementing these management measures;

(v) Every supplier of public water encompassed under this section shall conduct periodic leak detection consistent with stated goals for leakage, however no less frequently than once every ten (10) years.

History of Section.
P.L. 1990, ch. 484, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 360, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 288, § 8; P.L. 2009, ch. 341, § 8.