Water is essential for life to exist. Making sure that water is safe to drink, use for cooking, and swim in requires attention and resources. In the United States, the Safe Drinking Water Act helps ensure that when citizens turn on a public tap, out comes clean and safe water. This access is supported by a complex infrastructure that needs constant monitoring and upkeep. In addition, there are more than 40 million Americans reliant on private water sources that are not supported by this complex infrastructure or held to federal standards. These systems have unique concerns that must be addressed to ensure they too provide safe drinking water to those dependent on them.
Wastewater and sanitation can also have significant impacts on public health. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, more than 20% of households in the US rely on septic systems to process their wastewater. The responsibility for the oversight of these systems regularly falls on local health departments, leaving a patchwork of regulations and policies, and homeowners are often unaware of operation and maintenance for their systems.
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 resilient to natural hazards and climate change and that water sources are continually evaluated and maintained to meet all federal, state and local standards.
If you're interested in learning more check out NEHA's educational resources.
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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
CMAHC Voting Guide - NEHA has created a voting guide for the upcoming Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code revision process.
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.