General Water Quality Information

Houston Chronicles Tapwater at Risk - This extensive, three-part series published in 1996 explores the safety of the nation's tap water and explains the dangers threatening our water and what communities can do to protect it.
Times Union Tapwater at Risk - A second electronic copy of the three-part series published in 1996 that explores the safety of the nation's tap water and explains the dangers threatening our water and what communities can do to protect it.
USA Today Is it Safe to Drink the Water? Report: Drinking water's hidden dangers Millions of Americans drink tap water that is not clean and, in some cases, not even tested, leaving them open to illness and sometimes even death. A USA TODAY investigation reveals that the nation's safe drinking laws are failing to protect the nation from dangerous contaminants and that little is done when violations occur. Federal and state programs aren't working due to inadequate funding, inaccurate data, a soft regulatory approach and weak political support. Meanwhile, new pollutants imperil the water supply with hard-to-kill bacteria and industrial and agricultural toxins. Very interesting series of articles! There is no date, but internal evidence indicates that it was written in Fall or Winter 1998
EPA - Surf Your Watershed A service to help you locate, use, and share information about your place. - Click on a map to find out information about the watershed that supplies your drinking water.
Sierra Club Clean Water Timeline
Conscious Choice - The Journal of Ecology and Natural Living Can You Drink It? Humans can go for a month without eating food, but see what happens if they are denied water for even a week. According to scientists, water is the single most important element in supporting human life. Yet across the globe, evidence demonstrates out that tap water is increasingly unsafe to drink. And the trend towards polluted drinking water is only getting worse. Consider the following facts about water in the United States:
CDC Drinking Water
CNN Water, water everywhere -- but will there be enough to drink?
CNN Water, water everywhere -- but will there be enough to drink? Part I of a two-part series exploring the issues of water supply in distribution facing the next millennium.
Read the second installment here.
CNN Rural America gets clean water dollars BOSTON (CNN) July 16, 1999 -Most Americans take clean drinking water for granted. But, for close to 7 million people in the United States, what comes out of the tap isn't necessarily clean enough to drink without worrying about getting sick, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CNN Water, water everywhere -- but will there be enough to drink? Part I of a two-part series exploring the issues of water supply in distribution facing the next millennium.
Read the second installment here.
U.S. Water News Online Survey shows Americans are concerned about household water quality, more are seeking solutions June 1997 - LISLE, Ill. -- Few things are as essential in our lives as water. Yet three-quarters of American adults have concerns about their household water supply, and one in three respondents in a national survey does not believe his or her water supply is as safe as it should be.
U.S. Water News Online Safety of water supplies in nation's small communities focus of NRC study December 1996 - WASHINGTON -- The Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council (NRC) has completed a study of the safety of drinking water in the nation's small communities. The report, Safe Water from Every Tap, both identifies problems facing small water utilities in the U.S. and outlines a three-part strategy for improving those services. According to NRC officials, the report will be available from the National Academy Press in late December. The report concludes that water service to small communities -- those serving 10,000 people or less -- are in great need of improvement. Squeezed by financial pressures of serving a small number of customers and having to observe increasingly stringent regulations, many of these systems cannot afford either the equipment or the qualified operators needed to ensure that drinking water is safe.
WaterWorld International The Internet Portal for Water and Waste. (Use search engine to locate articles of interest)
NAP Safe Water From Every Tap - Improving Water Service to Small Communities - Small communities violate federal requirements for safe drinking water as much as three times more often than cities. Yet these communities often cannot afford to improve their water service. Safe Water From Every Tap reviews the risks of violating drinking water standards and discusses options for improving water service in small communities. Included are detailed reviews of a wide range of technologies appropriate for treating drinking water in small communities. The book also presents a variety of institutional options for improving the management efficiency and financial stability of water.
NAP Mexico City's Water Supply: Improving the Outlook for Sustainability (1995)
NAP Linking Science and Technology to Society's Environmental Goals (1996)
Issues of Water Quality Publications by Everpure, Inc. {a maker of water treatment systems} - Chances are, you've been hearing a lot about the quality of our drinking water lately. A "bug" in Milwaukee's water supply that sickened 400 people and killed 100; Lead contamination from water pipes and plumbing fixtures; or maybe something as simple as off-tastes and odors. If you have experienced any of these problems or simply want to get the facts about water problems and their solutions, check out our Issues Of Water Quality. From Cryptosporidium to chlorine, here you'll find useful information to help you make an educated choice when sourcing a drinking water system. And be sure to check back regularly, as we update the "Issues" monthly.
PSR Environmental health update -- January 1998
WQWM Health Effects of Drinking Water Contaminants - People are increasingly concerned about the safety of their drinking water. .... We cannot expect pure water, but we want safe water.
USGS Water Resources The site includes information on National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. NAWQA is designed to describe the status and trends in the quality of the Nation's ground- and surface-water resources and to provide a sound understanding of the natural and human factors that affect the quality of these resources.
USGS Water Resources South Plat River Basin, including the Denver area - look at the Significant Findings and Publications sections.
Denver's Urban Ground-Water Quality: Nutrients, Pesticides, and Volatile Organic Compounds - study documents the finding of various contaminants in Denver's groundwater.
USGS, Water Use in the United States
USGS Water Resources The Quality of Our Nation's Waters - Nutrients and Pesticides - June 28, 1999 - The USGS studied water quality in 20 of the country's largest and most important river basins and aquifers. According to the report, samples from more than 50 percent of agricultural and urban streams had concentrations of at least one pesticide that exceeded a guideline for protecting aquatic life. The good news, according to the study, is concentrations of individual pesticides were almost always lower than current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards and guidelines.
In the aquatic environment, concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus commonly exceed levels that can contribute to excessive growth of algae and other nuisance plants in streams, according to the survey. According to the USGS, such growth can clog water intake pipes and filters and interfere with recreational activities, such as fishing, swimming and boating. The subsequent decay of the algae can result in foul odors, bad taste in drinking water and low dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats (oxygen that is necessary for fish and other aquatic life to survive).
The complexities of the chemical mixtures and the lack of current human and aquatic health standards to determine risk of exposure to nutrients and pesticides have made these issues a top national priority.
Water Quality Information Center (WQIC) National Agricultural Library, US Department of Agriculture. The center was established in 1990 to support USDA's coordinated plan to address water quality concerns.
Thrive Tap water byproducts linked to stillbirths. Medical Tribune May 1999 - Most waterworks have treated reservoir water with chlorine to destroy bacteria since 1908. California scientists linked one byproduct of this process called trihalomethanes (THMs) to increased incidence of miscarriage.
AMAZON.COM The Drinking Water Book: A Complete Guide to Safe Drinking Water - by Colin Ingram - List Price: $12.95 - Amazon Price: $10.36 - All the information you need to make intelligent decisions about your drinking water. How to determine what's in your tap water and the best way to treat it. Evaluates and compares Reverse Osmosis, Distillers, Ultraviolet, sediment, carbon, and redox filters. Includes comprehensive chart listing each kind of filtering system and effectiveness levels for various contaminates. Drinking eight glasses of water a day may take inches off your waistline, but it could also take years off your lifeline. According to Colin Ingram, a scientific researcher/writer of 30 years, chances are you have poor quality drinking water flowing from your faucet. Water treatment today is focused on short-term health risks, instead of long-term health effects; no one knows what is a safe level of water pollution for any individual-not government health officials, not scientists, not doctors. The Drinking Water Book is a complete guide to safe drinking water. Colin's goal is to illuminate the potential problems of water, and to provide working solutions. He identifies the different kinds of pollutants, how to find out what's in your water, how purifiers work or don't work, and compares all types of bottled water.
AMAZON.COM Don't Drink the Water The Essential Guide to Our Contaminated Drinking Water and What You Can Do about It - by Lono Kahuna Kupua A'o - List Price: $11.95, Amazon Price: $9.56
AMAZON.COM Drinking Water: Refreshing Answers to All Your Questions (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series, No 21) by James M. Symons - List Price: $10.95, Amazon Price: $8.76
International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation The purpose of the IFIC Foundation is to provide sound, scientific information on food safety and nutrition to journalists, health professionals, educators, government officials and consumers. IFIC is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit A local public health agency in Ontario, Canada - Site has fact sheets on Water Treatment Devices, Sodium, Nitrates, Drinking Water Safety, and Fluoride (Fluoride is a common element in the earth's crust, and is present in groundwater naturally from trace concentrations to 5 mg/l.)
InterWATER InterWATER aims to help you find sources of information about water and sanitation in developing countries. It is maintained by IRC under the auspices of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.
WaterAid WaterAid is the UK's specialist development charity working through partner organisations to help poor people in developing countries achieve sustainable improvements in their quality of life by improved domestic water supply, sanitation and associated hygiene practices.
Scientific American ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER- In 1848 and 1849 up to a million people in Russia and 150,000 in France died of cholera, the classic disease of contaminated water. Typhoid fever, another disease transmitted through water, was most likely responsible for the deaths of 6,500 out of 7,500 colonists in Jamestown, Va., early in the 17th century; during the Spanish-American War, it disabled one fifth of the American army.
Today waterborne disease is no longer a major problem in developed countries, thanks to water-purification methods such as filtration and chlorination and to the widespread availability of sanitary facilities. But in developing countries, waterborne and sanitation-related diseases kill well over three million annually and disable hundreds of millions more, most of them younger than five years of age. Includes a world map showing access to clean water.
City of Los Angeles Water Services Los Angeles water department information page: Contains information on water contaminants, purification options, etc.
Handbook On Drinking Water Quality Fort Wayne, IN - Information on drinking water issues, including a description of water treatment practices - interesting general information on how a water treatment plant works.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center Releases 1997 Groundwater Quality Reports for Wisconsin Counties - Drinking water testing in 1997 found some private well owners have water contamination problems, according to the Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center at UWSP.
One in sixteen private drinking water well samples tested at the UWSP Environmental Task Force Lab in 1997 had an unsafe level of nitrate nitrogen. One in seven contained coliform bacteria.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment - air, water, and land - upon which life depends. EPA search engine
World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF) The World Wildlife Fund is dedicated to saving life on Earth, through the conservation of nature and ecological processes. The two sites below contain a tremendous amount of information
WWW Canada's Guide to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals - The world's biological diversity cannot be conserved in an environment filled with harmful chemicals. Since the advent of the chemical industry in the 1940s, thousands of chemicals have been produced and released into the air, water and food. Chemicals now contaminate even the remotest parts of the globe and the newly born. Everyone reading this has over 100 chemicals in his or her body that were not in anyone's body 50 years ago.
A Guide to Avoiding Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals - The mounting evidence of hormone disruption in wildlife and humans serves as a starting point for efforts to reduce exposure to synthetic chemicals considered to be hormone disruptors. Making informed consumer choices, modifying eating and lifestyle patterns, and pressing for alternatives can help reduce your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Water Issues Drinking Water in the US - Water Issues in Europe - Water Quality Around the World - Desalination. A list of links related to Water Issues. It is a part of the Environment section of About.Com - Expert Guides to Help You Find/Learn/Share
River Network River Network's mission is to help people organize to protect and restore rivers and watersheds.Drinking Water
Temperate Forest Foundation The pathway to living sustainably is integrating our social, economic, and environmental needs. This requires scientifically credible information and a clear understanding of our issues and options. The Temperate Forest Foundation is your source for information which is understandable, unbiased, fast, accurate, and available in a wide variety of formats.
Water - A precious film of water, most of it salt water, covers about 71% of the Earth's surface. Earth's organisms are made up mostly of water. As an example people and trees are both about 65% water by weight. We can live without most things for an extended period of time, however, we can only live a few days without water. Biological processes simply won't work without it. Water is more than just H2O. Water's unique combination of qualities seem almost magical. The more you know about water, the more fascinated you'll be!
WQWM Water conservation in the home 1, 2, 3- Three discussions about water conservation.
Maine Department of Environmental Protection The Maine Environmental Priorities Project (MEPP) is a new and unprecedented effort in Maine designed to identify, compare and rank environmental problems according to the relative risk they pose to Maine's ecology and to citizens' health and quality of life.
MEPP Phase I Comparative Risk Ranking - In its 1996 Consensus Ranking of Environmental Risks Facing Maine, the Maine Environmental Priorities Project determined that six problem areas merited a "high" ranking: Drinking Water and Domestic Use Water; Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems; Indoor Air; Outdoor Air; Surface Water and Sediments; and Terrestrial Ecosystems (particularly due to the magnitude of development pressure, especially in sensitive areas in the southern part of the state).Drinking Water and Domestic Use Water - Summary Statement: The Steering Committee concluded that, compared to the other issues ranked, the contamination of drinking water in Maine constitutes a high risk to both human health and quality of life





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Concerns About Drinking Water Safety and Quality.
Children and the Risks of Contaminated Water.

Potential Drinking Water Contaminants and Their Health Effects.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Drinking Water.