Water Safety is a critical environmental health issue, necessary to ensure the safety of individuals, families, and communities, eliminate health disparities, and change public health practice.
Two out of every five Americans rate their quality of water as poor. A government report shows that within the next 10 years, at least 36 states will face water shortages. Contaminated water kills three million people annually, making it the single leading cause of death.
In the Spotlight
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the nation’s first voluntary guidelines based on science and best practices for improving health and safety at swimming pools and other aquatic venues: The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) 1st Edition. States and localities can use the MAHC to create or update existing pool codes to reduce risk for outbreaks, drowning, and pool-chemical injuries.
The MAHC 1st Edition is a product of seven years of work, involving a steering committee, 12 technical committees, 140 people, and input and consensus from public health, aquatics, and academia. Click on more for additional information. More »
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA), in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, have developed several resources for private well owners to address issues or questions on water well construction and maintenance, water quality, and groundwater protection. The resources include the following:
In the coming months, NGWA will be providing a series of online well owner training modules and a series of webinars for private well owners and state and local officials. Click more for additional information. More »
Pilot Testing: Surveillance and Investigation of the Illness Reported by Neighbors of Biosolids Land Application and Other Soil Amendments
As a result of the 2002 National Research Council (NRC) study entitled Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices, there was an important recommendation to “establish a framework for an approach to implement human health investigations.” WERF funded through its public partnering process a project to develop a draft five-step rapid response investigation protocol to collect data on reports of health effects from neighbors of land application sites. This project (Phase II) field-tested and refined the Phase I draft protocol (WERF Stock no. 06-HHE-5PP) which was the highest ranked priority at the 2003 Biosolids Research Summit. Consequently, this project helps to lay the groundwork and framework for a surveillance and timely response investigation system implemented by multiple jurisdictions throughout the U.S. using a standardized investigation protocol which will benefit future stakeholders. The final protocol includes questionnaires administered to neighbors of land application, biosolids generators, and appliers. The protocol also includes a generator questionnaire to characterize biosolids that were land applied and an appliers’ questionnaire to document methods of application. Additionally, two site investigation reports that can be used to locate, describe, and characterize the land application sites of concern are included. More »
NACCHO partnered with George Washington University and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Health Clinics to provide a framework for partnerships among water utilities, local health departments (LHDs), and medical communities. This two-year effort was designed to increase knowledge of the key elements for successful communication collaborations.
Water utilities, LHDs, and the medical community learned to pool their resources to address emergent threats to drinking water supplies. Funded by a grant from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the program outlined the components of an effective communication strategy. More »
The EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management funded outreach efforts by NACCHO and the National Association of Counties (NACo) to increase county officials’ knowledge of on-site decentralized wastewater systems. The program assessed the need for cities and counties to reduce pollution from on-site decentralized wastewater systems and determined ways to increase their responsibilities in this area. More »