In a nutshell… This article examines public trust and factors affecting consumer confidence in the quality and safety of drinking water provided by community water systems. It highlights the results of a recently completed national survey of 2,200 U.S. adults by the American Water Works Association. Most Americans enjoy year-round access to safe drinking
In a nutshell… COVID-19, building closures, and stagnant water can form an unfortunate “trifecta” when it comes to Legionella bacteria and other microorganism growth in building water systems. This article highlights recent reports of Legionella detections in school water systems and steps to safely reopen school buildings to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
In a nutshell… The summer of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been relatively mild for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms in the Great Lakes. But problem areas can be found in many states. This article provides an overview of the public health importance of harmful algal blooms on recreational waters and sources of treated drinking water. Photo
In a nutshell… One result of the sweeping closures of buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic is a sharp increase in stagnant water and conditions that can support Legionella growth in building water systems. This article highlights steps that CDC recommends to be taken when reopening and reoccupying buildings. Lower photo credit: CDC/James Gathany Millions
In a nutshell… Virtually all U.S. public water suppliers flush their distribution systems from time to time by opening “blow off” valves and fire hydrants. Regular flushing of water mains improves water quality and increases the reliability of their treated drinking water. You can do this in your home, too! Perhaps you’ve seen and
In a nutshell… Drinking water chlorination requires balancing well-known risks of waterborne disease with potential long-term risks of exposure to disinfection byproducts (DBPs). This article highlights how the spread of misleading communications about DBP research can weaken public support for drinking water chlorination. We’ve written extensively about drinking water chlorination, ranging from its remarkable
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
Eight-five percent of Americans get their daily drinking water from a community water system. About 15% rely on a private well for some or all of their household water. But just about everyone has seen and drunk water from a water storage tank or trailer. They come in all shapes and sizes. Many are permanent; others are temporary like those used at large outdoor events and “water buffalos” used by the military.
Nearly half of all Americans take one or more prescription drugs, with the percentage soaring to 85 percent for persons aged 60 and above (myself included). Water is the most widely used substance in the production, formulation, and packing of myriad pharmaceuticals, which are compounds manufactured for use as medicinal drugs. Given the public health importance and global footprint of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, there are extensive testing and safety requirements to control the quality of water used throughout the manufacturing processes. This article explains how water impacts the medicines you take, and what lengths are taken to keep them safe.
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.