Is Rainwater Safe to Drink?

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

Is “Gray Water” Safe for Domestic Reuse?

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

The Battle against Coronavirus: Surface Disinfection with Electrostatic Sprayers

In a nutshell… This article introduces electrostatic sprayers as an efficient method of applying liquid chemical disinfectants to surfaces. This technology may have significant advantages in helping to control infection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   Disinfectant is applied to exercise equipment through an electrostatic sprayer using a backpack model. Sprayer systems are available in

Flush Wisely during (and after) Coronavirus

In a nutshell… To keep household sewage flowing away from our homes for safe treatment and disposal, it is important to “flush wisely.” This article discusses why you should not flush foreign objects such as disinfectant wipes—even if advertised as safe to flush (they’re not).   Photo credit: City of Portland, OR As cases of

Is It Safe to Swim in a Pool during the Summer of Coronavirus?

In a nutshell… This article discusses two important issues of pool safety in the summer of COVID-19, pool water quality and navigating crowds. These factors are examined in the contexts of both public and backyard pool venues.   Are you planning to swim in a backyard or public pool this summer? Many public pools will

Buying and Storing Groceries during the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a nutshell… This article provides practical suggestions on how consumers can help reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 while purchasing, handling, and storing groceries during the current pandemic.   While grocery shopping, it is easier to maintain a six-foot distance from others if you are shopping alone and at a time when there are

Can You Get Coronavirus from Wastewater or Drinking Water?

In a nutshell… Maintaining water safety and hygiene is critically important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses recent statements from public health agencies about how properly treating and disinfecting wastewater and drinking water inactivates the COVID-19 virus.   COVID-19 photo credit: CDC As the world adapts to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so too

Celebrating the Safe Drinking Water Act: 45 Years Later

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

Food Safety Tips in Recipes Help Avoid Food Poisoning

In a nutshell… A survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council found consumers fear getting sick from their holiday hosts’ poor kitchen hygiene. Survey statistics confirm unsafe food practices, but also that most people follow recipes. Research shows when food safety tips are included in recipes, safe food handling improves.   Holidays and

Addressing Water Scarcity: Future Plans for U.S. Water Reuse

Although snow-capped mountains are visible from much of Denver where I live, Colorado is one of 40 states that anticipate water scarcity challenges in the next decade. The Water Quality & Health Council has written dozens of articles on drinking water quality and the public health imperatives of safe treatment, disinfection, storage, and distribution. Yet water quality goes hand in hand with water availability, use, conservation, and increasingly—water reuse. A newly launched report and national effort led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Draft National Water Reuse Action Plan, is making the news. The plan succinctly puts these needs and connections into perspective: “Safe and reliable water supplies for human consumption, agriculture, business, industry, recreation, and healthy ecosystems are critical to our nation’s communities and economy.” Water scarcity challenges are also global; two of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals emphasize water reuse.