As the global community marks World Water Week, August 31- September 5, Steve Hubbs, former water treatment facility operator at the Louisville Water Company, provides his perspective on the most significant public health risk currently associated with US drinking water.
The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, thanks to the steadfast efforts of thousands of water treatment professionals. The men and women of the water treatment industry implement technologies 24/7 that protect us from former waterborne killers like typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis A. With those enemies held at bay, what, you may ask, is the greatest microbial threat lurking in US tap water today? The answer is the bacterium Legionella, public health enemy #1 in US water systems, posing a particular risk to hospital patients. Controlling Legionella will take some novel approaches and regulatory adjustments.
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