Understanding Boil Water Advisories and Notices

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


Celebrating Drinking Water: Louisville pure tap®

After the air we breathe, safe drinking water is the most essential human need, and each day, over 50,000 community drinking water systems provide treated (finished) drinking water to over 300 million Americans. One of those systems is Louisville Water Company in Kentucky, which delivers over 115 million gallons of drinking water to nearly 1


Drinking Water Treatment: Chloramine Disinfection and Chlorine Maintenance

Water Treatment Plant and TowerPhoto credit: North Texas Municipal Water District Just over two years ago, I wrote an article called Facts about Chloramine Drinking Water Treatment (see also text box below), a now century-old public health practice that continues to grow in use across the United States. About a year later, a follow up


Celebrating World Water Day 2018: Nature for Water

World Water Day 2018, an event that is held every year on March 22nd, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year’s theme, “Nature for Water,” explores how we can use nature-based solutions (NBS) to help overcome the global water challenges of the 21st century. The 2018 campaign, “The answer is in


Can Drinking “Raw” Water Make You Sick?

As 2017 came to a close and 2018 began, a growing health fad was reported throughout the news and social media: Americans paying top-dollar to drink bottled “raw” water from a spring. Whether for purported health benefits or a misguided effort to get off the “drinking water grid,” as chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, I felt it imperative to address the very real risks of drinking untreated water.


Silent Beauty: A Holiday Perspective from Aloft

It is truly delightful when the holidays afford us quiet moments in which to contemplate life and home from a different perspective. This season we offer you a captivating NASA video featuring views of planet Earth and space from the International Space Station. Relax and enjoy the mesmerizing perspective of those aloft in near-Earth orbit.

If you would like to view the International Space Station circulating in near-Earth orbit, enter your city and state into this NASA “Sighting Opportunities” interactive website for a schedule of space station sightings near you.


Keeping Iron Bacteria out of Your Well

Are you one of almost 45 million Americans who get their water from a private well?1 If so, you undoubtedly want clean, safe, and clear water. But if unpleasant tastes or smells are coming out of your faucets, and your sinks, tubs, and toilets are stained reddish-brown, your well and water system might be contaminated with iron bacteria. This fall, one of us (RM) noticed a brownish foam in his toilet tank and a distinct iron taste to the drinking water, despite having an on-site water softener…


If Nothing Changes, It Will Happen Again: New Zealand’s Untreated Drinking Water

Just over a year ago, in August 2016, I wrote about how more than 5,000 of the 14,000 residents of Havelock North—a suburb of the City of Hastings on the North Island of New Zealand—became sickened after drinking untreated groundwater contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, a common food- and waterborne disease-causing microorganism that is transmitted in the feces of


Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winners Propose Novel Approach to Expanding Safe Water Resources

Striving for a better world by 2030, countries around the globe are beginning to incorporate the new, ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals into their national agendas. Among the 17 bold goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, is the goal of universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This goal was front and center at last week’s Stockholm


The Once and Future Water Fountain

In the years since we last wrote on this topic, drinking water fountains—a once ubiquitous feature of the U.S. public health landscape—continue to decline in diversity, maintenance and numbers.1 Yet because many people, including commuters, tourists and the homeless, often rely on fountains for (usually) free and safe municipal water, they should not be taken for granted.