Facts about Chloramine Drinking Water Treatment

One in five Americans drink water disinfected with chloramine, a technology that has been in use since the early decades of the 20th century.  Chloramine is produced at water treatment plants by combining chlorine and ammonia. Cities that treat water with chloramine include Denver (since 1918), Portland (since 1929) and Boston (since the 1930s), among


Potentially Harmful Pathogens within Your Home

We all know water systems disinfect the water supply.  And to ensure that the water remains disinfected, water systems add a chlorine residual so that the water remains safe during transit to homes, hospitals, businesses, and other locations. Source water travels through a public drinking water system to the main drinking water distribution system to


Legionella Outbreak in the Bronx

Cooling towers on building roof tops are believed to be the breeding grounds of bacteria responsible for a summer outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in New York City.  The outbreak began on July 10.  As of August 13, twelve deaths and 119 cases of illness have been attributed to the disease, which is caused by Legionella


Wisconsin “Healthography” Study Yields Surprising Insight into Childhood Gastrointestinal Illness

“Healthography:  How Where You Live Determines Your Health and Well-being” was the theme of last week’s American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans.  “Healthography” is a new term for many, but its meaning can be demonstrated by an emerging drinking water issue in Wisconsin:  Children who live in areas that do not treat


Addressing Legionella: Public Health Enemy #1 in US Water Systems

The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, thanks to the steadfast efforts of thousands of water treatment professionals. The men and women of the water treatment industry implement technologies 24/7 that protect us from former waterborne killers like typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis A. With those enemies held at bay, what, you may ask, is the greatest microbial threat lurking in US tap water today? The answer is the bacterium Legionella, public health enemy #1 in US water systems, posing a particular risk to hospital patients. Controlling Legionella will take some novel approaches and regulatory adjustments.


How to Read and Interpret Your Water Utility’s Drinking Water Quality Report (The Consumer Confidence Report)

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? A river? Lake? Aquifer? Are there contaminants in your drinking water?  What are their levels, and should you be concerned? Under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, all US residents served year-round by a municipal water utility are entitled to information on the quality of their


Water Structures on the Horizon

Elevated water storage tanks and water towers are a familiar sight in communities around the world. Nearly every water supply system in North America has an elevated storage tank visible somewhere on the horizon. Water towers, once essential, are vestiges of the first water supply systems of major cities. Many water towers are preserved as


Clean Drinking Water for Santiago, Honduras

To mark World Water Week, September 1 -7, 2013, Water Quality & Health Council member Steve Hubbs reports on his collaborative work to help chlorinate the drinking water of the Honduran community of Santiago. Honduras is located in Central America and faces many of the challenges typical of developing countries.  A survey of 30 Honduran


The Truth about Disinfection By-products in Drinking Water

Over the past few years, concerns have been expressed about US drinking water quality and source water protection. Many of these concerns are raised without context or perspective and may leave people with a distorted view of the overall role of disinfection and disinfection by-products (DBPs) in public health. DBPs are unwanted substances in drinking