In a nutshell… It’s never too late to celebrate safe drinking water. December 16th, 2019, marked the 45th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which continues to serve as the blueprint for protecting U.S. drinking water from source to tap. Monday, December 16, 2019, marked the 45th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water
Every day, over 160,000 municipal water systems provide safe, reliable drinking water to US consumers. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) protects the quality of US drinking water, to the great benefit of American public health. This article provides a brief overview of this landmark legislation. The Safe Drinking Water Act applies to water systems
This summer, you may have read about the growing problem of harmful algal blooms (HABs1) due to cyanobacteria in lakes, rivers, and other freshwater bodies across the United States and worldwide. In 2014, we wrote about the 500,000 residents in and around Toledo, Ohio, who were alerted that their tap water had been declared undrinkable.
In a nutshell… Many Americans collect, store, and use (harvest) rainwater for watering plants, cleaning, bathing, and sometimes drinking. This article addresses some of the many household uses of harvested rainwater, including how to consume collected rainwater safely. 1” of rain × 1 sq. foot = 0.62 gallons of freshwater Freshwater scarcity is a
In a nutshell… This article examines public trust and factors affecting consumer confidence in the quality and safety of drinking water provided by community water systems. It highlights the results of a recently completed national survey of 2,200 U.S. adults by the American Water Works Association. Most Americans enjoy year-round access to safe drinking
In a nutshell… The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for universal access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. Acutely aware of a lack of progress toward achieving the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pre-pandemic, and new impediments resulting from the pandemic, innovative projects around the globe can help inspire
In a nutshell… This article discusses Naegleria fowleri risk and prevention in water. These free-living amoebas can thrive in warm freshwaters such as lakes and sometimes inadequately treated, warm household (e.g., drinking, bathing) water. Entry of contaminated water through the nose—not by swallowing—can lead to a fatal brain infection. Only a handful of cases are
In a nutshell… This article discusses the potential importance and real challenges associated with reusing household “gray water,” a growing practice in many arid areas of the United States. Although everyone can agree that it will save potable water, not everyone agrees on how gray water should be reused domestically. No matter how you
In a nutshell… COVID-19, building closures, and stagnant water can form an unfortunate “trifecta” when it comes to Legionella bacteria and other microorganism growth in building water systems. This article highlights recent reports of Legionella detections in school water systems and steps to safely reopen school buildings to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
In a nutshell… The summer of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been relatively mild for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms in the Great Lakes. But problem areas can be found in many states. This article provides an overview of the public health importance of harmful algal blooms on recreational waters and sources of treated drinking water. Photo