Water is an essential element for life to exist. It falls from the sky and is freely available in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Making sure that water is safe to drink, use for cooking, and swim in takes a little more work. In the United States, the Safe Drinking Water Act helps insure that when citizens turn on a tap, out comes clean and safe water. This access is supported by a complex infrastructure that needs constant monitoring and upkeep.
Water-borne illness can come from a variety of factors and a variety of places. Due to the requirements put in place around the treatment and testing of water supplies, it is generally rare for individuals to become ill from consuming tap water, but there are cases of contaminated water supplies reaching citizens. The crisis in Flint, Michigan is a strong reminder of how vigilant we need to be about water contamination and treatment. Recreational waters, such a pools, spas, lakes and oceans can be also source of illness.
While water and water programs fall into different categories, it is important to realize that all water comes from the same place and that we need to be mindful of our impacts on all water sources. Chemicals applied to the environment, including pesticides, herbicides, de-icing salts and those put down drains, including household cleaners and paints, can all contribute to water contamination. Ensuring proper disposal of these potential contaminants can help keep our water supplies clean.
Environmental health professionals are trained to identify issues that impact water systems. As local experts, environmental health professionals can ensure that each community’s local situation is evaluated and maintained to all federal, state and local regulations.
Environmental Health Saves Lives, Saves Money, and Protects Our Future
Environmental Health professionals ensure our water is safe by testing and treating drinking water and inspecting septic systems.
NEHA Water Quality Resources
E-learning Opportunities – NEHA has select water quality educational opportunities available online. These sessions also provide continuing education credit for NEHA members.
Journal of Environmental Health - The Journal of Environmental Health is published 10 times per year by the National Environmental Health Association and keeps readers up-to-date on current issues, new research, useful products and services, and employment opportunities. We frequently cover issues of importance to water quality professionals, and reprints are available through Content Editor.
NEHA's Bookstore - Provides environmental health professionals with the latest in relevant educational material. In our Water Quality section, we feature a number of resources for those in the healthy swimming and recreational waters field.
Community Calendar - Many NEHA affiliate conferences and other conferences have sessions related to water quality. Check our calendar periodically to find events of interest.