Common questions about point of entry and point of use (POE/POU) home-treatment devices installed in buildings.

What are Point of Entry and Point of Use water treatment devices?
Are you planning to install a POE or POU at your building?
Under what conditions would the device create a public water system?
If your installation creates a PWS, will MassDEP regulate it?
For more information

 

What are Point of Entry and Point of Use water treatment devices?

A Point of Entry (POE) treatment device is any unit installed that changes the water quality of all potable water entering a building. A Point of Use (POU) treatment device is any unit installed on a single water faucet or bubbler that changes the water quality. POE and POU treatment devices such as carbon filters are sometimes installed to enhance the aesthetic quality (taste and odor) of potable water supplied by a local water system. In other cases, POE and POU treatment devices are installed to meet drinking water standards and are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). A list of POU/POE devices approved for use by MassDEP: Technology Approvals for POE/POU Devices/Systems xls format of    Technology Approvals for POE/POU Devices/Systems

 

Are you planning to install a POE or POU at your building?

Depending on several conditions, the POE or POU installation may be regulated as a public water system (PWS) thus making you one of the responsible parties for providing safe drinking water in the building.

 

Under what conditions would the device create a public water system?

If the device treats all the water entering the building and regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days of the year, the installation would create a PWS.

 

If your installation creates a PWS, will MassDEP regulate it?

YES: If treatment with a POE or POU device is necessary to meet MassDEP Drinking Water Standards (reduce contaminants to less than the maximum contaminant level or action level and/or satisfy a treatment technique requirement), the installation will be regulated. Contact your local public water supplier to confirm that the device is required. If it is required, both you and the public water supply system are responsible for complying with MassDEP Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.00.

YES: If at any time, MassDEP determines there is a health risk to those consuming water treated by a POE or POU and the device supplies water to 25 or more people, 60 or more days a year, MassDEP can require the owner to comply with all state regulations governing public water systems.

NO: If you install a POU device for aesthetic purposes only and the water supplied to your building meets all MassDEP Drinking Water Standards, it will not be regulated.

NO: If you install a POE device for aesthetic purposes only, it will not be regulated as a PWS if water quality is maintained and you comply with the following requirements defined in MassDEP Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.23 (6):

  • You must notify the local public water system, the local health authority, and MassDEP in writing of the intended installation.
  • You must comply with any local drinking water requirements set by the public water system serving your building.
  • You are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the treatment device.
  • The POE device must be installed in accordance with the Uniform State Plumbing Code (248 CMR 10.00).
  • You must monitor the water quality as required by MassDEP, the local health authority, and the public water system serving your building.
  • Water treated by the POE device must meet microbiological water quality standards at all times as specified by MassDEP Drinking Water Regulations 310 CMR 22.05 pdf format of    310 CMR 22.00: Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations  file size 1MB . Monthly sampling for bacteria is recommended.
  • Methods for disposing any wastewater produced by the treatment device must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

For more information, contact the MassDEP Regional Offices.