1000.7 PBS Drinking Water Quality Management

  • Posted Date: 09/13/2016
  • Status: Validated
  • Outdated on: 09/13/2023


                Washington, DC  20405


PBS 1000.7

September 13, 2016




SUBJECT:  Drinking Water Quality Management 

1.  Purpose.  This Order will establish national Public Building Service (PBS) requirements for management and oversight of drinking water systems and to ensure continued access to safe drinking water for building occupants, contractors, and visitors. 

2.  Cancellations.  Lead in Drinking Water Technical Guide E501.1001, and Radon in Water Technical Guide E802.0401. 

3.  Authority.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (Pub. L. 93-523); 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq, as amended, and Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 141, 142 and 143.  The Act establishes primary and secondary drinking water standards for public water systems. 

4.  Background.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulates the Nation’s public drinking water supply.  The SDWA established primary and secondary drinking water standards for public and commercial water systems and authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA to set regulatory limits for the amounts of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems and to categorize contaminants for potential regulation based on risk and how often they occur in water supplies.  Non-public water systems, including water from wells, rivers, lakes, and aquifers, are not regulated through the SDWA or EPA’s drinking water program but can be regulated on a limited basis by States.  The majority of the facilities under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA controlled facilities) have drinking water from public water systems. 

Drinking water quality can be influenced by building plumbing system design and condition, maintenance and operation practices, construction and occupant activities, and issues related to the source system.  Establishment of a national PBS Order will ensure consistent access to safe, quality drinking water for consumption and use by all occupants, contractors, and visitors in GSA controlled facilities.  This Order will also establish consistent requirements to address drinking water complaints and issues stemming from construction or building related incidents that affect drinking water quality.  

5.  Scope and applicability.  This Order and the companion desk guide apply to all real property management and operation activities for GSA controlled facilities, including all buildings delegated to other Federal agencies by the Administrator of General Services.  This Order and companion guide differ from the former Radon in Water Technical Guide (E501.1001) in that testing requirements for non-public water sources are expanded to cover current EPA, state or local requirements for potability.  This Order and companion guide include all provisions from the former Lead in Drinking Water Technical Guide (E802.0401) with updated  action levels to reflect current EPA childcare guidance.  It also extends policy and guidance to cover drinking water for all GSA controlled facilities. 

6.  Effective date.  This document is effective from the date of signature and remains in effect until cancelled. 

7.  Responsibilities.  The Offices of Facilities Management, Design and Construction, and Real Property Asset Management; Facility Managers, and Lease Administration Managers are responsible for supporting and/or implementing this guidance in conformance with the companion desk guide.   

8.  Guidance

     a.  Proactive water testing

          (1)  Child Care Centers.  Drinking water outlets in child care centers must be tested and evaluated for lead and copper every 3 years, at minimum.  Test results that exceed the EPA standards for these metals must result in remediation actions to reduce concentration levels.  Remediation may include: replacing plumbing components, filtering the water at discharge, and providing an alternate drinking water source.

          (2)  New, renovated, or modernized buildings. New drinking water fixtures and plumbing systems in federally  owned and delegated facilities must undergo water quality commissioning as required in the PBS, P-100, “Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service,“ prior to use for consumption. 

          (3)  Non-public water systems.  Drinking water provided to GSA controlled facilities s from non-public water systems such as wells, lakes, rivers, or similar sources must undergo periodic testing to ensure the water meets the EPA drinking water standards.  The frequency of testing is determined by the State or local requirements for drinking water quality (whichever is the most stringent).  The water must be tested by the party or parties responsible for delivering the water from the point of origin to the building.  If no third party is responsible, GSA must conduct the testing.  Lessors and delegated agencies are similarly responsible for testing drinking water in leased and delegated facilities, respectively. 

     b.  Response to incidents, complaints and emergencies.  GSA, must promptly investigate all drinking water quality complaints in GSA-controlled facilities.  The investigation must include at a minimum: 

          (1)  investigate the complaint to identify the nature and source of the suspected water quality issue as related in the complaint; perform water testing as needed to confirm nature and source. 

          (2)  if the investigation determines there is a water quality issue, initiate corrective action to remediate the source of the problem; and 

          (3)  perform water testing as needed to confirm the nature of the complaint and verify acceptable water quality has been restored.  

     c.  Incidents and emergencies such as construction-related activities, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes can disrupt building plumbing systems and subsequently affect drinking water quality. In response to such incidents or emergencies, GSA must ensure the drinking water system and water quality are restored for GSA controlled facilities.  The lessor is similarly responsible for space leased by GSA.  Federal agencies with buildings delegated by the Administrator of General Services are responsible for drinking water quality in those buildings within the terms of their delegation authority. Restoration of the system may require plumbing repairs and/or flushing with fresh water.  Drinking water should be tested to confirm water quality has been restored. The type of water testing performed in response to incidents, emergencies, or complaints must be related to the nature of the incident or contamination.  Drinking water incidents and responses must be documented and tracked, for GSA controlled facilities, and must be recorded and maintained in the National Computerized Maintenance Management System (NCMMS). 

9.  Point of contact. Please direct any inquiries to the Office of Facilities Management, Facility Risk Management Division. 

10. Attachment:  Appendix A – “Desk Guide for Drinking Water Quality Management” 

11. Signature.



Public Buildings Service


Appendix A:  PBS Desk Guide for Drinking Water Quality Management
(Companion to GSA Order PBS 1000.7)

Last Reviewed: 2017-11-30