11
Oct
2019
Treatment

Water Quality Testing and Treatment Systems for Pharmaceuticals


04
Oct
2019
Treatment
by Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD

Addressing Water Scarcity: Future Plans for U.S. Water Reuse

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.... Read More »

20
Sep
2019
Outbreaks
by Joan B. Rose, PhD

An Update on Legionella Bacteria Management in Building Water Systems

Lower photo credit: CDC/Margaret Williams We continue to write about U.S. waterborne disease caused by Legionella bacteria and their management in building water systems because of their unrelenting public health significance. Legionnaires’ disease first made headlines following the 1976 American Legion conference in Philadelphia. That infamous outbreak included 182 cases of severe pneumonia and 29... Read More »

23
Aug
2019
Drinking Water
by Joan B. Rose, PhD

Reducing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Inequalities around the World

It is unsettling to realize that in our high-tech world there are still large segments of the population that lack access to the drinking water and sanitation services most of us take for granted. The theme of this year’s World Water Week, Water for Society: Including All, seems particularly apt in light of this observation. Meanwhile, a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (image at right) provides a “special focus” on global “WASH” (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) inequalities. A product of the Joint Monitoring Program, the report concludes that while significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene, progress is uneven. And although there is a laudable commitment at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to “leave no one behind,” the reality is there are many groups potentially in that precarious position. ... Read More »

02
Aug
2019
Drinking Water
by Stephen A. Hubbs, PE, and Heather Murphy, PhD, P Eng

Wildfire Impacts on Drinking Water Quality

Americans consume over one billion glasses of drinking water each day from over 151,000 U.S. community water systems. But natural and man-made disasters, including wildfires, can impact the provision of safe drinking water. Thankfully rare, wildfires sometimes damage or destroy the treatment plants, storage tanks, pump stations, and pipes that are needed to provide drinking water to our homes, schools, and businesses.... Read More »

26
Jul
2019
Drinking Water
by Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Hydration and Hyponatremia: Can You Drink Too Much Water?

As much of the United States swelters in the midst of a very hot summer (even in northern Minnesota), it seemed again like a good idea to write about the importance of hydration. After all, humans are carbon- and water-based organisms. My previous perspective focused on staying hydrated year-round, but this article addresses some of the current science and persistent misconceptions about hot weather- and exercise-associated dehydration and over-hydration, called hyponatremia. (So yes, you can drink too much water). Although both conditions can be serious, for most of us most of the time, drinking the right amount of water is not that difficult—even during vigorous exercise and in hot and humid conditions. The key is simply to “drink to quench thirst,” but as I noted in my previous article, thirst may become less effective an indicator as we age.... Read More »

28
Jun
2019
Wastewater
by Joan B. Rose, PhD

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Genes in Wastewater and Drinking Water

We’ve written about antibiotic (antimicrobial) resistance and “superbugs” several times in recent years, and based on what we continue to learn, there is likely more to come. Antibiotics are used widely in animal agriculture and aquaculture and are also found in wastewater. These pharmaceuticals are excreted by animals and people who are taking antibiotics and when unused pills and liquids are flushed down the toilet or poured into the drain. All of these actions result in antibiotics entering the water environment and our wastewater systems, and have contributed to antibiotic resistant bacteria known as ARB. I wrote in 2015 that “Responsible use and disposal of antibiotics will go a long way toward reducing the unintended consequences of their entering the waste stream.”... Read More »

07
Jun
2019
Drinking Water
by Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD

Chlorinated Tap Water: Benefits and Risks

It’s hard to believe that an article I wrote almost a decade ago, Chlorine in Tap Water Is Safe to Drink, remains the most popular of our now over 350 perspectives by the Water Quality & Health Council (WQ&HC). An update seemed in order, but based on its long-established (over 110 years) efficacy and safety: chlorinated tap water is still safe to drink.... Read More »