Protecting Our Drinking Water From Microbes


August 1989


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water


Most of us take safe, cleaning drinking water for granted. Conventional wisdom says only travelers to foreign countries or campers roughing it on vacation get sick from the water they drink. But conventional wisdom is often wrong. Waterborne diseases are still a problem in the United States, especially in areas where the water supplies are not subject to adequate treatment. Although filtration, chlorination, and other preventive actions have helped control cholera, typhoid fever, and other waterborne bacterial diseases once common in this country, other microbes such as viruses and protozoa-usually more resistant to chlorination than bacteria-are stil not being adequately controlled in some water supplies.


24 pages