Can Drinking “Raw” Water Make You Sick?

As 2017 came to a close and 2018 began, a growing health fad was reported throughout the news and social media: Americans paying top-dollar to drink bottled “raw” water from a spring. Whether for purported health benefits or a misguided effort to get off the “drinking water grid,” as chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, I felt it imperative to address the very real risks of drinking untreated water.


Silent Beauty: A Holiday Perspective from Aloft

It is truly delightful when the holidays afford us quiet moments in which to contemplate life and home from a different perspective. This season we offer you a captivating NASA video featuring views of planet Earth and space from the International Space Station. Relax and enjoy the mesmerizing perspective of those aloft in near-Earth orbit.

If you would like to view the International Space Station circulating in near-Earth orbit, enter your city and state into this NASA “Sighting Opportunities” interactive website for a schedule of space station sightings near you.


Keeping Iron Bacteria out of Your Well

Are you one of almost 45 million Americans who get their water from a private well?1 If so, you undoubtedly want clean, safe, and clear water. But if unpleasant tastes or smells are coming out of your faucets, and your sinks, tubs, and toilets are stained reddish-brown, your well and water system might be contaminated with iron bacteria. This fall, one of us (RM) noticed a brownish foam in his toilet tank and a distinct iron taste to the drinking water, despite having an on-site water softener…


If Nothing Changes, It Will Happen Again: New Zealand’s Untreated Drinking Water

Just over a year ago, in August 2016, I wrote about how more than 5,000 of the 14,000 residents of Havelock North—a suburb of the City of Hastings on the North Island of New Zealand—became sickened after drinking untreated groundwater contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, a common food- and waterborne disease-causing microorganism that is transmitted in the feces of


Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winners Propose Novel Approach to Expanding Safe Water Resources

Striving for a better world by 2030, countries around the globe are beginning to incorporate the new, ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals into their national agendas. Among the 17 bold goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, is the goal of universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This goal was front and center at last week’s Stockholm


The Once and Future Water Fountain

In the years since we last wrote on this topic, drinking water fountains—a once ubiquitous feature of the U.S. public health landscape—continue to decline in diversity, maintenance and numbers.1 Yet because many people, including commuters, tourists and the homeless, often rely on fountains for (usually) free and safe municipal water, they should not be taken for granted.


Sticker Shock and the Nation’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Challenges

Over five years have passed since I wrote a 2-part series of articles titled “Pain at the Pipe.” Part 1 focused on why the US should respond to systemic drinking water infrastructure needs, while Part 2 addressed the consequences of failing to address those needs. Since then, drinking water infrastructure-related needs, as well as public


World Water Day 2017: Why Waste Water?

Every year on March 22, the world community celebrates World Water Day by highlighting a water-related theme. This year’s theme, “Why Waste Water?” is linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6, to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” With a clever play on words, “Why Waste Water?” encourages


Chlorine Odors and Why Drinking Water Systems Change Disinfection Practices

Earlier this year, I wrote an article called “Smells Like Chlorine” that discussed the chemistry of odors that can arise from chlorine and other chlorine-based substances in drinking water and in poorly maintained swimming pools. Other WQ&HC articles have focused specifically on drinking water and chlorine smell, why some individuals are more sensitive than others,


Life is About Choices and their Inherent Risks, Here’s One: De-Iced Roads or Drinkable Water

Salting roads, highways and walkways in winter helps prevent injury and save lives by reducing the risk of accidents on icy surfaces. As with everything in life, however, there is no “free lunch.” Everything has a downside; sometimes we have to look for it. As I told my son years ago, when something is “free”