Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R309. Environmental Quality, Drinking Water.

Rule R309-100. Administration: Drinking Water Program.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R309-100-1. Purpose.

The purpose of this rule is to set forth the water quality and drinking water standards for public water systems.

R309-100-2 Authority.

R309-100-3 Definitions.

R309-100-4 General.

R309-100-5 Approval of Plans and Specifications for Public Water System Projects.

R309-100-6 Feasibility Studies.

R309-100-7 Sanitary Survey and Evaluation of Existing Facilities.

R309-100-8 Rating System.

R309-100-9 Orders and Emergency Actions.

R309-100-10 Variances.

R309-100-11 Exemptions.

R309-100-2. Authority.

This rule is promulgated by the Drinking Water Board as authorized by Title 19, Environmental Quality Code, Chapter 4, Safe Drinking Water Act, Subsection 104 of the Utah Code and in accordance with 63G-3 of the same, known as the Administrative Rulemaking Act.

R309-100-3. Definitions.

Definitions for certain terms used in this rule are given in R309-110 but may be further clarified herein.

R309-100-4. General.

These rules shall apply to all public drinking water systems within the State of Utah.

(1) A public drinking water system is a system, either publicly or privately owned, providing water for human consumption and other domestic uses, which:

(a) Has at least 15 service connections,

(i) Delivery of drinking water, such as by a single well, to a portion of a platted subdivision or a portion of a contiguous development, either of which is under the same ownership or control, shall be considered a single public drinking water system; and

(ii) A platted subdivision or other contiguous development of 15 or more lots, under the same ownership or control, is considered to have the corresponding number of connections as there are lots; or

(b) Serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year.

(i) A ratio of 3.13 persons per connection shall be used to calculate the individuals served unless, at the time of operation, more accurate information is available. The ratio is based on the statewide average persons per residence in the 2000 census.

(ii) Notwithstanding the threshold for the number of service connections set forth in (a), a drinking water system consisting of at least 8 service connections is considered to serve 25 people, based on the ratio in (b)(i), and consequently is classified as a public drinking water system, unless, at the time of operation, more accurate data can be used.

(iii) The ratio in (b)(i) is only be used to determine whether, prior to construction or modification, any particular water system is considered to be a public water system.

(c) Any person or entity may request a review of the designation of a public water system by submitting documentation to the Director showing that the drinking water system, upon complete build out, falls below both thresholds listed in (a) and (b) above. All decisions made by the Director under this provision may be challenged as provided in Section 19-1-301.5 and R305-7.

(2) Submetered Properties.

(a) Submetered Properties means a billing process by which a property owner (or association of property owners, in the case of co-ops or condominiums) bills tenants based on metered total water use; the property owner is then responsible for payment of a water bill from a public water system.

(b) A property owner who installs submeters to track usage of water by tenants on his or her property shall not be subject to these rules solely as a result of taking the administrative act of submetering and billing.

(c) Owners of submetered properties shall receive all their water from a regulated public water system to qualify under the terms of R309-105-5 for exemption from monitoring requirements, except as to the selling of water.

(d) This is not intended to exempt systems where the property in question has a large distribution system (piping in excess of 500 feet in length and sized larger than the normal service lateral based on a fixture unit analysis) serves a large population or serves a mixed (commercial/residential) population (e.g. many military installations/facilities or large mobile home parks or P.U.D's) from regulation as a public drinking water system as pertains to notifying the Division of the persons indicated below in (5) or plan review of modifications or changes to their systems (refer to R309-500).

(3) The term public drinking water system includes collection, treatment, storage or distribution facilities under control of the operator and used primarily in connection with the system. Additionally, the term includes collection, pretreatment or storage facilities used primarily in connection with the system but not under such control (see 19-4-102 of the Utah Code Annotated).

(4) Categories of Public Drinking Water Systems

Public drinking water systems are divided into three categories, as follows:

(a) "Community water system" (CWS) means a public drinking water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.

(b) "Non-transient, non-community water system" (NTNCWS) means a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same nonresident persons over six months per year. Examples of such systems are those serving the same individuals (industrial workers, school children, church members) by means of a separate system.

(c) "Transient non-community water system" (TNCWS) means a non-community public water system that does not serve 25 of the same nonresident persons per day for more than six months per year. Examples of such systems are those, RV park, diner or convenience store where the permanent nonresident staff number less than 25, but the number of people served exceeds 25.

(d) The distinctions between "Community", "Non-transient, non-community", and "Transient Non-community" water systems are important with respect to monitoring and water quality requirements.

(5) Responsibility

(a) All public drinking water systems must have a person or organization designated as the owner of the system. The name, address and phone number of this person or organization shall be supplied, in writing, to the Director.

(b) The name of the person to be contacted on issues concerning the operation and maintenance of the system shall also be provided, in writing, to the Director.

R309-100-5. Approval of Plans and Specifications for Public Water Supply Projects.

(1) All engineering plans and specifications for public drinking water projects must be approved in writing prior to construction, in accordance with R309-105-6 and R309-500-6.

(2) A public water system shall obtain an Operating Permit prior to placing any public drinking water facility into operation as required in R309-500-9.

R309-100-6. Sanitary Survey, Evaluation, and Corrective Action of Existing Facilities.

(1) The Director, after considering information gathered during sanitary surveys and facility evaluations, may make determinations of regulatory significance including: monitoring reductions or increases, treatment, variances and exemptions.


(a) The Director shall ensure a sanitary survey is conducted at least every three years on all public water systems. The Director may reduce this frequency to once every five years based on outstanding performance on prior sanitary surveys.

(b) Sanitary surveys conducted by the following individuals under the circumstances as listed, may be used by the Director for the above determinations:

(i) Division of Drinking Water personnel;

(ii) Utah Department of Environmental Quality District Engineers;

(iii) local health officials;

(iv) Forest Service engineers;

(v) Utah Rural Water Association staff;

(vi) consulting engineers; and

(vii) other qualified individuals authorized in writing by the Director.

(3) Public water systems must provide the Director, at the Director's request, any existing information that will enable the State to conduct a sanitary survey.

(4) For the purposes of this subpart, a "sanitary survey", as conducted by the Director, includes but is not limited to, an onsite review of the water source(s) (identifying sources of contamination by using results of source water assessments or other relevant information where available), facilities, equipment, operation, maintenance, and monitoring compliance of a public water system to evaluate the adequacy of the system, its sources and operations and the distribution of safe drinking water.

(5) The sanitary survey must include an evaluation of the applicable components listed in paragraphs (5)(a) through (h) of this section:

(a) Source,

(b) Treatment,

(c) Distribution system,

(d) Finished water storage,

(e) Pumps, pump facilities, and controls,

(f) Monitoring, reporting, and data verification,

(g) System management and operation, and

(h) Operator compliance with State requirements.


In order for the groups of individuals listed in R309-100-7(2)(b) to conduct sanitary surveys acceptable for consideration by the Director, the following criteria must be met:

(a) Surveys of all systems involving complete treatment plants must be performed by Division of Drinking Water staff or others authorized in writing by the Director;

(b) Local Health officials may conduct surveys of systems within their respective jurisdictions;

(c) U.S. Forest Service (USFS) engineers may conduct surveys of water systems if the system is owned and operated by the USFS or USFS concessionaires;

(d) Utah Rural Water Association staff may conduct surveys of water systems if the system's population is less than 10,000;

(e) Consulting Engineers under the direction of a Registered Professional Engineer;

(f) Other qualified individuals who are authorized in writing by the Director may conduct surveys.


The Director will prescribe the form and content of sanitary survey reports and be empowered to reject all or part of unacceptable reports.


Department of Environmental Quality employees after reasonable notice and presentation of credentials, may enter any part of a public water system at reasonable times to inspect the facilities and water quality records, conduct sanitary surveys, take samples and otherwise evaluate compliance with Utah's drinking water rules. All others who have been authorized by the Director to conduct sanitary surveys must have the permission of the water system owner or designated representative before a sanitary survey may be conducted.


Public water systems must comply with requirements found in R309-215-16(3)(a)(iii), R309-215-16(3)(a)(iv), R309-215-16(3)(a)(v), R309-215-16(3)(a)(vi), and R309-215-16(3)(a)(vii).

(10) Refer to R309-100-8 and R309-105-6 for further requirements.

R309-100-7. Rating System.

The Director shall assign a rating to each public water supply in order to provide a concise indication of its condition and performance. The criteria to be used for determining a water system's rating shall be as set forth in R309-400.

R309-100-8. Orders and Emergency Actions.

(1) In situations in which a public water system fails to meet the requirements of these rules, the Director may issue an order to a water supplier to take appropriate protective or corrective measures.

(2) Failure to comply with these rules or with an order issued by the Director may result in the imposition of penalties as provided in the Utah Safe Drinking Water Act.

(3) The Director may respond to emergency situations involving public drinking water, including emergency situations as described in R309-105-18, in a manner appropriate to protect the public health. The Director's response may include the following:

(a) Issuing press releases to inform the public of any confirmed or possible hazards in their drinking water.

(b) Ordering water suppliers to take appropriate measures to protect public health, including issuance of orders pursuant to 63G-4-502, if warranted.

R309-100-9. Variances.

(1) Variances to the requirements of R309-200 of these rules may be granted by the Board to water systems which, because of characteristics of their raw water sources, cannot meet the required maximum contaminant levels despite the application of best technology and treatment techniques available as listed in Title 40 CFR Part 141, as published on July 1, 2018 (taking costs into consideration).

(2) The variance will be granted only if doing so will not result in an unreasonable risk to health.

(3) No variance from the maximum contaminant level for total coliforms are permitted.

(4) No variance from the minimum filtration and disinfection requirements of R309-525 and R309-530 will be permitted for sources classified by the Director as directly influenced by surface water.

(6) Within one year of the date any variance is granted, the Board shall prescribe a schedule by which the water system will come into compliance with the maximum contaminant level in question. The requirements of Section 1415 of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, PL 104-182, are hereby incorporated by reference. The Board shall provide notice and opportunity for public hearing prior to granting any variance or determining the compliance schedule. Procedures for giving notice and opportunity for hearing will be as outlined in 40 CFR Section 142.44.

(7) Variances or exemptions from certain provisions of these regulations may be granted pursuant to Sections 1415 and 1416 of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Subpart K of Part 142 (for small system variances) by the entity with primary enforcement responsibility, except that variances or exemptions from the MCLs for total coliforms and E. coli and variances from any of the treatment technique requirements of Subpart H of Part 141 may not be granted.

(a) As provided in 40 CFR 142.304(a), small system variances are not available for rules addressing microbial contaminants, which would include Subparts H, P, S, T, W, and Y of Part 141.

R309-100-10. Exemptions.

(1) The Board may grant an exemption from the requirements of R309-200 or from any required treatment technique if:

(a) Due to compelling factors (which may include economic factors), the public water system is unable to comply with contaminant level or treatment technique requirements, and

(b) The public water system was in operation on the effective date of such contaminant level or treatment technique requirement, and

(c) The granting of the exemption will not result in an unreasonable risk to health.

(2) No exemptions from the maximum contaminant level for total coliforms are permitted.

(3) No exemptions from the minimum disinfection requirements of R309-200-5(7) will be permitted for sources classified by the Director as directly influenced by surface water.

(4) Within one year of the granting of an exemption, the Board shall prescribe a schedule by which the water system will come into compliance with contaminant level or treatment technique requirement. The requirements of Section 1416 of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, PL 104-182, are hereby incorporated by reference.

(5) The Board shall provide notice and opportunity for an exemption hearing as provided in 40 CFR Section 142.54.


drinking water, environmental protection, administrative procedures

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

January 15, 2019

Notice of Continuation

March 13, 2015

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law


Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R309, please contact the promulgating agency (Environmental Quality, Drinking Water). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.