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


Where Have All the (Public Water) Fountains Gone?

This lovely stone water fountain, located in Union Station, Washington, D.C., is inoperable. The once ubiquitous public water fountain has become as scarce as the public phone in some communities. Cell phones have put public telephones on the cultural “endangered list.” Are bottled water and refillable water bottles doing the same to the water fountain?


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


Safe Drinking Water: Still at the Core of Sustainable Development

In June, 2012, representatives of world governments and civil society gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the third United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.  The conference, known as “Rio+20,” was held two decades after the inaugural 1992 “Earth Summit” in the same city, and ten years after the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in


Protecting the Watershed: Step #1 for Clean Drinking Water

In the US, as in many other developed countries of the world, we have done such a good job of ensuring a healthful drinking water supply that many of us fail to appreciate this ever-present benefit. Every day the men and women “upstream” of our taps apply technologies that transform raw water into palatable, pathogen-free


A Holiday Treasure: The Chemistry of Snowflakes

Whether you are dashing through them or gazing dreamily at them, snowflakes are once again gracing the Northern Hemisphere of the Blue Planet.  As a holiday gift to you, we would like to share The Chemistry of Snowflakes video, masterfully created by the American Chemical Society.


Uncovering Water Main Data in North America

Underground water mains are pipes that supply safe drinking water—the lifeblood of society–to millions of consumers.  Most who benefit from this service seldom consider the vast water delivery network below their feet—until something goes wrong.  Water main breaks may exact considerable social and economic costs, including property damage, risks to public health, increased water utility


How’s My Waterway? Getting Water Quality Information for Waterways in Your Neck of the Woods

Have you ever wondered about the water quality of the streams or lakes in your community?  Given ongoing discussions of environmental pollution, it is natural for people to question the health of their local waterways.  Is the lake safe for swimming? How about fishing? Can I toss a stick into the creek and give my


Safe Drinking Water in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Areas of the East coast sustained major damage this week when Hurricane Sandy made a terrifying visit. As residents affected by the Super Storm assess damage and begin to clean up and reconstruct, one critical matter can’t wait: procuring safe drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that only properly disinfected water should


Can a Seattle Office Building Do without Chlorinated Water?

Can an ultra-green office building meet the “Living Building Challenge” (LBC) and bypass not only the energy grid but municipally treated drinking water?  That is the question being raised as the 50,000 square foot, six story Seattle Bullitt Center office building nears completion.  According to Time magazine (July 2, 2012), the building may be the