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Environmental Pollution and Protection
EPP > Volume 5, Number 2, June 2020

Is Our Water Safe To Drink?

Download PDF  (1862.8 KB)PP. 19-32,  Pub. Date:May 28, 2020
DOI: 10.22606/epp.2020.52001

Author(s)
Frederick Bloetscher, Daniel E. Meer
Affiliation(s)
Florida Atlantic University, United States
Florida Atlantic University, United States
Abstract
Protection of the public health is the highest priority of any water system. For over 100 years, improvements to water treatment has decreased the number of deaths related to waterborne illness. For the most part in the United States and Canada, the risk of waterborne illness from a public water system is rare. However, when a failure occurs, the public mandates that come under scrutiny include the stewardship of the system (whether the responsibilities to protect public health, safety and welfare were met), the condition of the system (whether it has been maintained or allowed to incur deterioration and deferred maintenance) and operations practices (were the operations guidelines followed). Lawyers sue when they believe these mandates have not been met, that local officials have been poor stewards, or negligence exists. Failure to protect the public health, safety and welfare, creates a lot of legal liability for someone. Yet much can be learned from recent events concerning waterborne illness and public health risks, while identifying some guidelines to protect water systems from risk can be developed.
Keywords
waterborne illness, trihalomethanes
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