Do Point-of-Use Water Quality Interventions Work?

In many regions of the developing world, good drinking water quality is far from a “given.” The fact is that water contaminated with fecal matter causes widespread diarrheal illness and death, disproportionally affecting children under the age of five.  Recently, a group of researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration assessed several water treatment interventions taken at the household point of use for their effectiveness in improving water quality and preventing diarrhea.

Sharing the Gift of Water Treatment in a Packet

How is drinking water purified in regions of the globe where treatment facilities are unavailable?  The answer can lie in a tiny packet of powdered “point-of-use” water treatment chemicals.  For example, the Proctor & Gamble [P&G]Purifier of WaterTM is a mini-treatment system in a packet that helps extend the advantages of water treatment to people

Substances that Cause Tap Water Taste, Odor and Appearance

A drink of tap water is a complex sensory experience that reflects a wide range of factors, including: the natural environment of the source water, including whether the source water hails from above (lake or river) or below (ground water) the Earth’s surface; water treatment processes; the household plumbing system; and the consumer’s sensitivity to taste and odor. This week we examine some of the common substances in water and the scenarios that may impart a color, taste or odor to tap water.

Tap Water Taste, Odor and Appearance: Why They Matter

We instinctively use our senses to evaluate tap water. The best rated water looks crystal-clear, and tastes and smells refreshing. Appearance, taste and odor are not necessarily indicative of actual water quality, however, because water contaminants may be clear, tasteless and odorless. Case in point: the small Canadian city of Chilliwack, British Columbia.

Antibiotic Resistance and Wastewater Effluent Chlorination

Does chlorination of sewage treatment plant (STP) effluent reduce or promote antibiotic resistant microorganisms?  Recent research presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society provides evidence that this practice might give rise to trace levels of new, stronger antibiotics, which in turn could possibly foster antibiotic resistant microorganisms.  University of North Carolina researcher

Drinking Water and Chlorine Smell

How would you describe the taste and odor of your tap water? “A rich bouquet earthy flavors“? “Sulfurous aroma with a hint of chlorine”? Or “simply divine”? The aesthetic properties of your tap water depend upon your local natural water supply source, how your water is treated, and how it is delivered to you.  

UV Irradiation and Its “Sleeping Beauty Effect” on Bacteria

Until the late 1970’s, chlorine was virtually the only disinfectant used to treat drinking water, thanks to a number of desirable attributes including its effectiveness against most known pathogens, residual protection, operational reliability and cost. New challenges in the past several decades, however, including the identification of chlorine-resistant parasites Giardia and Cryptosporidium, disinfection byproducts, and

Chlorinating Brainerd’s Drinking Water Can Save Lives

There’s a controversy brewing in the Mississippi River city of Brainerd, Minnesota that is about to boil over.  On October 28, the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission will debate whether or not to chlorinate the city’s drinking water on a permanent basis.  The question for many in the municipality of nearly 14,000 is whether disinfecting is worth

Battling Biofilms in Aging Water Infrastructure

Microbes’ propensity to attach to both living and inanimate surfaces improves their likelihood of survival and proliferation.  They produce a sticky material that binds them together and anchors them to the surface forming dense, complex colonies of microorganisms known as biofilm.  Biofilms are very common in nature1, especially on water- and food-contact surfaces.  The interiors

US Drinking Water Chlorination Turns 105!

From a list of notable events of 1908, one is likely to learn that:  Explorer Robert Peary set sail from New York Harbor on an epic journey to reach the North Pole;  a large meteorite blasted into Earth’s atmosphere over Siberia causing an explosion that leveled 800 square kilometers of forest; the first Model T