Safety in Drinking Water? Monitoring for Radioactive Contaminants Only Required Every Three, Six, or Nine Years per Federal Law

CANOGA PARK, CA.- October 28, 2009—Current federal law requires testing of drinking water for radionuclides, “hazardous radioactive materials” every three to nine years. The states have the option to increase testing frequency.

[Federal Register Year 2000; page 76746. ]

An incident of terrorism, accident, or improper disposal of radioactive materials will surely contaminate America’s public water systems. Such a catastrophe would impact the population with increased cancer and associated illnesses and the enormous cost of replacing the critical water treatment and distribution network.

The risk of such contamination is real and cannot be ignored. Community water sources are vulnerable and such infrequent monitoring poses a real threat to national security.

“Imagine the scope of damage from pulling water from a radiation-contaminated lake or reservoir, pumping it around the city, and unknowingly drinking it for three years?” asks Technical Associates CEO Bob Goldstein, “The logical solution is 24/7 monitoring at the treatment plant and distribution point.”

In response to this threat, Technical Associates created the models NexGen-SSS and UniTect. Worldwide, these are the only instrumentation available providing 24/7 monitoring for radionuclide contamination of American’s vulnerable water systems. The NexGen-SSS, currently in use by the Environmental Protection Agency, is the latest version of the SSS-33-5FT also in use at several locations including the Los Alamos and Jefferson National Laboratories. A NexGen-SSS installation for the Potomac River is being produced for Washington DC.

The heightened sensitivity of this model meets and exceeds the U.S. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) 2009 Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) for Gamma, Alpha, and Beta levels of radiation (

The UniTect real-time integrated monitoring system provides comprehensive instrumentation of radionuclides, chemicals, and biological contaminants in drinking water and wastewater. This recent breakthrough system is the complete CBRN Chemical Biological and Radiation Detection system.

“The minimum three-year interval for radiation testing of drinking water is outrageous and indefensible now that Technical Associates’ new technology makes complete real-time measurement systems readily available,” adds Goldstein.

TA’s 24/7 systems have been available since 2005 and some are listed in the EPA’s Water and Wastewater Security Product Guide.”

Technical Associates, “TA” was founded in 1947 as a spin-off from the Manhattan Project. TA’s founders designed and built the first industrial-grade radiation monitors to safeguard the scientists building the world’s first atomic bomb. TA excels in product engineering for radiation measurement and safety instruments for diverse requirements; the result of 62 years of dedication and commitment to radiation monitoring.
Technical Associates radiation detectors and monitors are used globally, in the fields of research, medicine, municipal water districts, industry, power plants, environmental protection, military, police, fire protection, and national security.

The January 2009 Revisions Protective Action Guide Levels (PAG levels)

are critical for public health officials to know when to declare a drinking water emergency and when to evacuate the city! This version of PAG provides actual concentration levels for 110 Nuclides of Interest, giving both Derived Response Levels and Committed Effective Dose.

The previous 1992 EPA document was an excellent manual.  However, it had One Major Fault: ALL radiation levels were given in REM per year. There was no guidance for the layman of airborne or waterborne concentrations in terms of microcuries or Becquerel /Liter for various isotopes. This was corrected in the January 2009 document.


The UniTect and the NextGen-SSS systems are both easily integrated into the existing infrastructure of water utilities and wastewater treatment plants. Alarms and data records are an integral part of both instruments.

This state-of-the-art instrumentation makes the detection of alpha and beta radionuclides in water at the required levels of detection possible for the first time. These instruments were designed with industry input and manufactured with EPA’s 2009 PAG levels specifically in mind.

A Tritium Detector is optional for the Model NexGen-SSS and measures the 2009 PAG Tritium levels in response to the new mandatory groundwater testing as outlined on September 27, 2007, NEI 07-07 Ground Water Protection Initiative.

NexGen-SSS system description is at

UniTect system description is at

John Forrester
+1 (323) 702-3684