Water brings life—but what if with each nourishing sip of water you took, you also risked your life?
That is the case for the millions of people worldwide who lack access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 783 million people relied on an unimproved drinking water source in 2010, while 2.5 billion lacked improved sanitation. This puts them at risk for any number of waterborne diseases and parasites, such as cholera, diarrhea and more.
The conference will cover several topics related to public water issues
The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) will offer “Public Water Issues: A Conference for Communities, Contractors and Consulting Professionals,” in Garden Grove, Calif., on May 9.
This one-day conference will address, among other topics:
Homeowners with a private well as their primary drinking water source are responsible for ensuring the safety of their water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), well owners should test their water at least once a year for bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, pH and any other suspected contaminants. Additional testing should be considered if there have been any repairs to the well, the wellhead gets flooded, there are recurring gastrointestinal problems in the household, or there are any noticeable changes in color, odor or taste.
Procedures for chlorinating a private residential well
Uncle Sam and the U.S. Army recently called for an enlistment, but not in the traditional sense. This time, they needed to design and install a complete potable water treatment system for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Ft. Stewart army base in Savannah, Ga.
Well water quality at army base creates unexpected challenges
Finding potable water can be a difficult task for rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. South African nongovernmental organization Roundabout Water Solutions (RWSSA) found an innovative method for communities to pump and store clean drinking water: playground equipment that doubles as a pumping apparatus. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern at Water Quality Products, recently checked in with Sandra Hayes, administrative and donor relations manager at RWSSA, to discuss the systems and the organization’s efforts.
Raissa Rocha: How do these systems work?
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report in August revealing that 20% of untreated water samples from wells across the U.S. contain concentrations of trace elements exceeding human health benchmarks. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern for Water Quality Products, spoke with Joe Ayotte, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study, about the report and the occurrence of trace elements in groundwater.
Raissa Rocha: What was the purpose of this study?
Hydrofracturing is not a new concept—in fact, it has been utilized by the gas and oil industries in the U.S. since the 1940s. Thanks to increased media attention, however, many are led to believe that this is a new technology developed specifically for the extraction of natural gas.
Evaluating gas drilling’s effects on groundwater and air quality
In recent days, groundwater has been gaining attention. Increased hydraulic fracturing operations have caused controversy over potential methane gas contamination. Reports indicate that groundwater aquifers, especially in the drought-prone southwestern U.S., are being depleted more quickly than they can be recharged. Surveys, like the one recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), reveal that contaminants such as arsenic are widespread in the nation’s water wells.
As I write this, the U.S. is in the wake of two natural disasters: the earthquake that rocked the East Coast on Aug. 23 and Hurricane Irene, which spun its way from the Carolinas to Canada just a few days later.
Private wells are largely unregulated, and the task of ensuring safety is usually left up to the homeowner. A handful of states have regulations requiring a water test on a private well when the property is sold or a new well is drilled. While not every state has regulations, there may be testing requirements at the county or township level for real estate transactions or certificates of occupancy.
Benefits of comprehensive water testing for homes with well water