Every day, Americans consume more than one billion glasses of tap water, the majority of which is provided by over 50,000 community water systems. Conventional water treatment transforms raw water into safe (finished) drinking water for pennies per gallon, thanks to widespread treatment, disinfection, and protection of water as it travels to your home. The
As we have done for the past several years, the WQ&HC highlights the United Nations’ (UN) World Water Day, which is held annually on March 22nd and affirms the importance of safe water in our lives. This year’s theme, “Water for All: Leaving No One Behind” is fundamentally tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.
As much of America endures a particularly cold winter—especially for those of us in the polar vortex-targeted tundra of northern Minnesota—our aging drinking water infrastructure is under tremendous pressure. Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can challenge large metropolitan water treatment facilities and privately-owned household wells alike. Fortunately, there are many proactive steps that experienced public water system operators, as well as savvy homeowners, can take each year before temperatures fall to help ensure that safe drinking water is available during even the coldest winter. That way, everyone can focus more on enjoying the wintry weather (and ice fishing) and less on responding to water-related crises.
Flying while thirsty? Every year, millions of Americans travel on thousands of commercial airplanes visiting friends and family, taking well-deserved vacations, or conducting business. While many travelers are concerned about their checked baggage arriving, chances are few think about the quality and safety of the drinking water or ice on their flight. But according to
Almost 1.7 million people, or 4.9% of the Canadian population, identify themselves as a member of one of Canada’s three distinct groups of Indigenous peoples and cultures—Inuit, First Nations, and Métis. Of these, the over 630 First Nation communities are the largest and comprise more than 50 distinct nations and languages. Management of drinking water quality for the First Nations is typically shared between individual communities and the Government of Canada. On reserves, Chiefs and Councils manage the day-to-day operations, including testing drinking water and issuing drinking water advisories. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides funding for First Nation water facility design and construction, operations and maintenance, and training and certifying operators. ISC also advises and supports drinking water quality monitoring programs.
Although lead has been banned in U.S. drinking water infrastructure since 1986, it is still present in older lead-soldered copper and cast iron lines serving schools and other buildings. Lead can also be present in some indoor plumbing, solder, and fixtures at older schools, including high-lead brass faucets and in some drinking water fountains. Since
As we move closer to another new decade in the not-so-new millennium, it seems a safe bet that virtually everyone reading this article is familiar with cyber security. By now, many readers have been personally affected by a breach in cyber security. Despite being celebrated as a U.S. public health triumph, drinking water utilities are
Most Americans are just a twist of the tap away from safe, cheap (pennies per treated gallon), and abundant drinking water. But this remarkable public health and engineering triumph—made possible by drinking water treatment—did not appear overnight! It can, however, be traced to a pivotal day in U.S. public health history in Jersey City, New
Established in 1991 and administered each year by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Water Week provides a unique forum for confronting water-related challenges and their global impact on public health and the environment. It focuses on innovative thinking and positive action from scientists, decision-makers, business innovators, and especially young professionals from diverse sectors
Every day new boil water advisories or notices are issued in the United States for various reasons and affect thousands.1 Perhaps you have experienced one and wondered what it is, why it was given, and whether it could be ignored? (DON’T ignore it!) Fortunately, the vast majority of almost 300 million Americans served by more