The Great 1918 Flu Pandemic and its Impact on Louisville

Sisters who served in the emergency hospitals, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, KY, with Father Regis Barrett Photo courtesy of University of Louisville Photo Archives This year marks the centenary of the Great 1918 Flu Pandemic, a period of worldwide illness and death that overlapped and intertwined with the terror of World War I. The flu


Cyber Security 101 for Drinking Water

As we move closer to another new decade in the not-so-new millennium, it seems a safe bet that virtually everyone reading this article is familiar with cyber security. By now, many readers have been personally affected by a breach in cyber security. Despite being celebrated as a U.S. public health triumph, drinking water utilities are


Understanding Boil Water Advisories and Notices

Every day new boil water advisories or notices are issued in the United States for various reasons and affect thousands.1 Perhaps you have experienced one and wondered what it is, why it was given, and whether it could be ignored? (DON’T ignore it!) Fortunately, the vast majority of almost 300 million Americans served by more


Celebrating Drinking Water: Louisville pure tap®

After the air we breathe, safe drinking water is the most essential human need, and each day, over 50,000 community drinking water systems provide treated (finished) drinking water to over 300 million Americans. One of those systems is Louisville Water Company in Kentucky, which delivers over 115 million gallons of drinking water to nearly 1


Drinking Water Treatment: Chloramine Disinfection and Chlorine Maintenance

Water Treatment Plant and TowerPhoto credit: North Texas Municipal Water District Just over two years ago, I wrote an article called Facts about Chloramine Drinking Water Treatment (see also text box below), a now century-old public health practice that continues to grow in use across the United States. About a year later, a follow up


Celebrating World Water Day 2018: Nature for Water

World Water Day 2018, an event that is held every year on March 22nd, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year’s theme, “Nature for Water,” explores how we can use nature-based solutions (NBS) to help overcome the global water challenges of the 21st century. The 2018 campaign, “The answer is in


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…


Autumn: When Leaves Fall, So Can Water Quality

Now that summer is over—and hopefully the record-setting 2017 hurricane season—many of us can turn our attention to the cooler temperatures, shorter days and the colorful splendor of autumn leaves. Of course, all of those red, orange, and yellow leaves are short-lived and fall to the ground, forming truly massive amounts of organic debris. But did you know


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,


Smells like Chlorine?

They say “the nose knows,” but I say the nose can be confused. Chlorine odors are a good example. Several different chlorine odors can arise from various chlorine-based substances and in different circumstances. They are not all simply due to “chlorine.” A prime example is the irritating smell commonly attributed to chlorine around some poorly