Biofilms and Drinking Water Quality

The ability of microorganisms to attach to diverse surfaces and form complex colonies known as biofilms vastly improves their survival and growth in environmental niches. Biofilms form when bacteria adhere to surfaces by excreting a slimy, glue-like substance, and can include algae, protozoa, and other microorganisms. Nationally, biofilms cost the US billions of dollars every


A Cautionary Tale of Untreated Groundwater, Campylobacter, and New Zealand’s Largest Drinking Water Outbreak

Havelock North is a suburb of the City of Hastings on the North Island of New Zealand with 14,000 residents. By the end of August 2016, over one-third of the residents of this entire town had been sickened by drinking water contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, the most common source of foodborne illness in New Zealand.1


Meeting the Goal of Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for All

Reliable and safe drinking water and sanitation are fundamental requirements of people trying to reach their greatest potential in life. Few of us can relate to the burden and indignity of living without these basic services. Achieving universal access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services is one of the 17 Post-2015 Sustainable Development


A Public Health Anniversary: US Drinking Water Chlorination

Monday, September 26, 2016, marks the 108th anniversary of the first continuous use of chlorine to disinfect a public drinking water supply in the US.  Do you know which American city debuted chlorinated drinking water in the fall of 1908?  Can you imagine the relief of local public health officials when typhoid fever death rates


Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, pandemics1 , disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks. We may not like to think about the disasters that can befall us, but these potential events warrant our preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month, and a new infographic-The Power of Preparedness-from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 60


Water Quality & Health Council Member Joan B. Rose, PhD, Receives Stockholm Water Prize

Some 3,000 scientists, government officials and policy experts representing 120 countries gathered in Stockholm this week for the 26th annual World Water Week conference. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, World Water Week is “the annual focal point for the globes’ water issues,” according to the Institute’s website. A highlight of the week was


What Are Zoonotic Diseases?

If you guessed that ZOOnotic diseases have something to do with animals, you are right.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a zoonotic disease is one that can spread between animals and humans under natural conditions—such as in homes, on farms, and at county fairs and petting zoos—and can be caused


The Global Water Pathogen Project: Helping to Meet the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

As nations work to meet the 17 post-2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a significant new resource that will help “ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” the focus of SDG #6.   That resource is the Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP), the largest single coordinated effort of


Water Experts Use Technology to Promote Safe Water and Sanitation

Controlling human exposure to waterborne pathogens associated with fecal waste is a key factor in attaining the goal of safe drinking water and sanitation for all, (Sustainable Development Goal #6 in the 2030 United Nations Agenda).  What does it take to make significant strides toward that lofty goal?  Try a group of nine international scientific


Into the Belly of the Beast: Maintaining Water Quality in Elevated Water Storage Tanks

We hear much about the vast, leaky water distribution system below our feet, but not much about some of the more highly visible, towering components of this system.  These are the elevated water storage tanks that dot our landscape, looking like odd, other-worldly creatures. Elevated water storage tanks are a source of pressurized drinking water