Links of Interest

This page contains a list of interesting sites to enhance your study of drinking water.  They will provide you with a wealth of important and expert information about drinking water, safety and quality from a variety of sources I consider reliable.

Water on Tap: A Consumer's Guide to the Nation's Drinking Water and Local Drinking Water, both are from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ground Water and Drinking Water, Lead in Drinking Water.
Important if you are planning to have children or are pregnant:
Higher daily nitrate intake from drinking water during pregnancy associated with birth defects: Findings from a study of mothers and their exposures during the first trimester of pregnancy suggest that higher nitrate intake from drinking water sources might be associated with some types of defects in babies.
“Safe” Levels Of Arsenic In Drinking Water Have Negative Health Effects on Pregnant/Lactating Mothers And Offspring: Exposure to arsenic in drinking water at the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently deems as safe in the United States (10 parts per billion) induces adverse health outcomes in pregnant and lactating mice and their offspring, concludes a study led by Joshua Hamilton of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Courtney Kozul-Horvath at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Drinking Water: Lead: Small quantities of lead can be a serious health concern, especially for infants, children, and developing fetuses. This NebGuide discusses how to safely manage lead in a domestic water supply.
Major new UNC-based drinking water study suggests pregnancy fears may be overstated: Fears that chemical byproducts resulting from disinfecting drinking water with chlorine boost the chances that pregnant women will miscarry were not supported by the results of a major new study. If such threats exist at all, which is uncertain, they likely are modest, it concludes. Another study conducted at Vanderbilt University (2000 - 2004) found that disinfection byproducts did not seem to have significant effects on pregnancy loss or sperm quality.  For coffee drinkers, "There {was} little indication of possible harmful effects of caffeine on miscarriage risk within the range of coffee and caffeine consumption reported..."
Important if you have children:
Kids' Health Children and Drinking Water Standards (This booklet explains how national standards contribute to drinking water safety, and helps readers make informed, reasonable choices about the water they and their children drink.)
Lead in drinking water Lead rarely occurs naturally in drinking water. Most lead contamination takes place at some point in the water delivery system. (EPA article on lead)
EPA's table, Contaminants to Which Children May Be Particularly Sensitive (includes nitrates, lead, copper, microbes , and disinfection byproducts)
Tapwater at Risk: This extensive, three-part newspaper series published in 1996 by the Houston Chronicle explores the safety of the nation's tap water, explains the dangers threatening our water and describes what
communities can do to protect it.  This series is old, but the issues discussed are the same as we are currently facing.  (This resource is not currently available at the HC)  In the meantime, the Wayback Archive has a copy.
Drinking Water:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Drinking water comes from a variety of sources including public water systems, private wells, or bottled water. Ensuring safe and healthy drinking water may be as simple as turning on the tap from an EPA-regulated public water system. Other water sources may need a water filter, a check on water fluoridation, or an inspection to ensure a septic tank is not too close to a private well. It is important to know where drinking water comes from, how it’s been treated, and if it’s safe to drink.
CDC - Water Disinfection for Travelers: Waterborne disease is a risk for  international travelers who visit countries that have poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation, and for wilderness visitors who rely on surface water in any country, including the United States. The list of potential waterborne pathogens is extensive and includes bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic helminths. Most of the organisms that can cause travelers’ diarrhea can be waterborne. Where treated tap water is available, most travelers’ intestinal infections are probably transmitted by food, but where untreated surface or well water is used and there is no sanitation infrastructure, the risk of waterborne infection is high. Microorganisms with small infectious doses can even cause illness through recreational water exposure, via inadvertent water ingestion.  CDC Travelers' Health, Disinfection, Backcountry Travel
American Water Works Association: The American Water Works Association is an international nonprofit educational association dedicated to safe water. Founded in 1881 as a forum for water professionals to share information and learn from each other for the common good, AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy for improving the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.
NSF International helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods. A never-ending supply of drinking water is something that many of us take for granted. We simply turn on the tap and there it is. Do you know where your drinking water comes from or how its quality compares to other water sources around the country? Many people now use home water treatment devices, but how do you know which product is right for you? NSF International has been involved in helping consumers answer these and many other questions about drinking water for more than a quarter century. (about NSF)
National Drinking Water Clearinghouse: Helping small communities by
collecting, developing, and providing timely information relevant to drinking
water issues.  Excellent resources including a very informative magazine,
On Tap (Drinking Water News For America's Small Communities):  
A Lesson in Microbiology: Are you confused by the difference between a virus and bacteria? Ever wonder about emerging pathogens? This article provides an overview on microbiology and provides a glimpse of a world we can’t even see. 
Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens: Compelling Reasons to Protect  Drinking Water. (pdf file)
To Floridate or Not: Some Communities Still Struggle for an Answer. (pdf file)
Disinfection Byproducts and Waterborne Disease: The Need for Balance is Essential. (pdf file)
Endocrine Disruptors:  What are they doing to you?  Certain chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, fuel additives, and detergents, are routinely found in groundwater and surface water. These chemicals can interfere with the balance of normal hormone functions in animals, including humans. 
Can Public Water Utilities Compete with Bottled Water?  Isolated water contamination incidents have turned people off from turning on their taps to enjoy a drink of water. Water coolers, once the central station for office gossip, are now found in home kitchens. Joggers, walkers, hikers, and bikers carry plastic bottles, chugging store-bought water instead of water from home....
Groundwater 101:  One of our most valuable resources is right beneath our feet and we can’t even see it.
Distribution 101:  How does water get from the source to your tap?- Most customers think distribution systems are the network of pipes beneath roads and streets that transport  water from treatment plants to individual households, businesses, and other customers.  And while this is true, distribution systems also include pumps, storage tanks, fire hydrants, service connections, meters, and other equipment. 
  A Brief History of Drinking Water Distribution:
Teaching Children about the Hydrologic Cycle - How do kids learn best about the hydrologic cycle and how important drinking water is? Today there are dozens of wonderful, colorful books about water. This is a review of first learning books, primarily picture and story books for children aged four to eight.
What do ppm or ppb mean?  Most contaminants are expressed as parts per million (ppm). This means that the concentration of a particular substance is very low even though the regulatory agency may consider it a significant amount. (pdf file)
What Private Well Owners Need To Know About Water Testing - If you’re the owner of a private water well, one of your most important ongoing responsibilities is testing the water. What you do with the results of a proper water test can make all the difference in the safety and quality of your water.
Bacteria and Private Wells - Millions of Americans get their drinking water from private
wells and National Ground Water Association (NGWA) public surveys show a high level of well owner satisfaction. Importantly, the owners of household wells are responsible for their own well maintenance and water testing. And being a good water well steward means having regular—at least yearly—tests for coliform bacteria. Here are the answers to some common questions regarding bacteria in water from wells.  (pdf - page 19)
Are Small Community Water Systems More at Risk? The upshot is that many of the assertions of those working with small community water systems were confirmed by the results of this survey. Small systems are, indeed, more likely to be in violation of water regulations, and more likely not to be raising rates on an annual basis to avoid what has been called “rate shock” when water systems try to address long term problems.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind: America's Aging Infrastructure Desperately Needs an Overhall - ...another infrastructure crisis is happening largely out of sight and out of mind: the country’s drinking water and wastewater systems are deteriorating. And while these systems rarely make the national news, the threat that deteriorating facilities poses to hard-won environmental and public health improvements is no less real.  (pdf - page 16)
Rainwater Harvesting - same issue
H2O - The Mystery, Art, and Science of Water: a fascinating, multi-disciplinary examination of the nature, properties, place, significance, importance, and role of WATER in the life and culture of this planet which includes  The Chemistry of Water by Professor Jill Granger.
National Resources Defense council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. Water Issues
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) mission is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. Bottled Water Investigation, National Drinking Water Database
The Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself Since 1892. We are the largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Safe Drinking Water archive, Hidden Life of Bottled Water,
Water Environment Federation: Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world.
Lifewater Canadais a group of volunteers that trains, equips & supports the rural poor in Haiti & Africa to drill wells and build washrooms.  The links provide references for rain water harvesting, fog collecting, hand digging wells, solar disinfection, and other topics related to water acquisition and treatment in developing countries.
The Water Research Center, an outreach programs developed by Mr. Brian Oram, is dedicated to providing information and free resources for private well owners, evaluation of water and wastewater treatment systems, private well water testing, Pennsylvania water quality and education/outreach programs. The site contains a Reference Library that covers a number of topics as well as the private well owner bookletthe Keystone Clean Water Team.
The Water Pageis an independent initiative dedicated to the promotion of sustainable water resources management and use. A particular emphasis is placed on the development, utilization and protection of water in Africa and other developing regions. The links page provides good resources.
The Hydrologic Cycle: University of Illinois (summary, details); Illinois State University (details); USGS; Wikipedia;
Water for the Ages: This is a list of some organizations working on water and sanitation (WatSan) issues in multiple countries around the world.
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping the global commons — our shared resources — under public control.
Drinking Water: A comprehensive list of government web resources from the National Library of Medicine that covers a wide variety of drinking water topics.
Blacksburg Christiansburg VPI Water Authority AWWA;s The Story of Drinking Water -
(geared toward children), From the River to the Tap, and Fascinating Water Facts.
Water Structure and Behavior by Dr. Martin Chaplin.  Explanations of the complex behavior of water have been published, many quite recently. "In this site, I have brought together a self-consistent selection of these ideas, which I hope will encourage both the understanding of water and further work."  His site includes a Magnetic water discussion and discussion on Homeopathic theory and structured water.
Explain That Stuff - Water: One of the truly amazing things about water is that it's never used up: it's just recycled over and over again, constantly moving between the plants, animals, rivers, and seas on Earth's surface and the atmosphere up above. Let's take a look at this life-giving liquid and find out what makes it so special.
Enhanced, Altered Water: No discussion about water treatment would be complete these days without mention of what I call "altered" water - water that has been treated in some way (clustering, photonic treatment, oxygenation, vortex treatments, etc.) to purportedly "enhance" it's health effects.  Regardless of any alleged  health benefits, these products are extremely effective at separating customers from their money - I have seen some of this bottled water sell for more than $16 a gallon (that's about 3,000 times more than the cost of tap water).  In my estimation, the fact that these products appear to flourish and multiply is a sad testament to the inability of many consumers to effectively evaluate claims about a product's effectiveness.
Aqua Scams: water treatment pseudoscience and quackery, by Dr. Stephen K. Lower, "A retired chemistry professor who casts a jaundiced eye at alternative water treatment methods involving magnets, 'catalysts', electric fields, methods, and similar dubious methods. The purpose of this site is to examine the scientific validity of the explanations given by the proponents of 'alternative' water treatment devices or, in the case of "clustered water", of a fictional alternative form of water that is purported to be a restorer of youth and vigor. My motivation for doing this is entirely non-vested and very simple: after thirty-four years of teaching general, physical, and environmental Chemistry, it disturbs me to see my favorite science presented incorrectly (and often mangled into Pseudoscience) in the promotion of processes or devices offered to the public."  The Water Structure article is also interesting and informative. 

North Texas Skeptic has a discussion of "clustered water" claims.  I also devote a few paragraphs to discussing how to evaluate the claims made by these companies.
Health Alert: There is a chemical that I guarantee you and your family are exposed to daily that can cause serious health problems.  Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.  Youtube Warning
Sooner or later, everything you drink, eat or breath will
University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension - Publications on Drinking Water topics: UNL Extension provides publications, NebGuides, on many pertinent drinking water issues to give you know how. Topics cover water contaminants, treatment methods, conservation and other issues.
World Health Organization (WHO): Drinking Water Quality page - a number of links to world Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and general water quality issues.
Environment, Health, and Safety Online - Environmental Health & Safety  Online, for EHS Professionals and the general public!  We hope to answer your questions and concerns about the effects of chemicals in the air you breath, the quality of the water you drink, food safety, and compounds found in building materials, etc. that you and your family may be exposed to.
    Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health
    Drinking Water Information (Bottled Water or Tap Water?)
    State contacts for laboratories certified to test drinking water for contaminants
    FAQs about Drinking Water
The Groundwater Foundation is a nonprofit organization that educates people and inspires action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations.
USGS Water Resources of the United States: The U.S. Geological Survey collects information needed to understand the Nation's water resources, and provides access to water data, publications, and maps, as well as to recent water projects and events.
The UK Rivers Network: A new environmental organization designed to campaign on river issues throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and North Ireland.
The World's Water: Water is one of our most critical resources, but around the world it is under threat. is dedicated to providing information and resources to help protect and preserve fresh water around the globe.
Cryptosporidium/coccidial/parasitology research: Division of Biology, Kansas State University.  The definitive site for Cryptosporidium/Coccidial Research.
The Why Files - The Science Behind the News:  Endocrine Disruptors, a search on Drinking Water
National Environmental Health Association Position on Endocrine Disrupters and the Endocrine/Estrogen Letter (the most comprehensive source of unbiased, accurate information about the scientific, regulatory and political issues associated with suspected endocrine disrupters with excellent links).
100 Ways To Conserve Water
#1 There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.
#2 When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
#3 Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
#4 Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  96 more ways to conserve water
Plus other helpful information and a wealth of water-related resources.

Links to other Internet sites are provided as a convenience and as a courtesy for educational and informational purposes only. Although I have reviewed sites listed on this page, I am not responsible for their availability or the accuracy and content of information on these external sites.  Nor do I endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services, opinions or information described on external sites.

Drinking Water In The News - search Google, MSN, or Yahoo for current news about drinking water. 

You may search the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and PubMed databases for the following topics and read the most current abstracts from medical journals.  (The search is actually conducted at the NLM.  The NLM does not hold the copyright on the abstracts found in PubMed, the journal publishers do. required disclaimer-RJ)

Below are some pre-defined searches to provide examples of how to construct searches for specific topics.
Disinfection byproducts and cancer: note that the references go back to the mid 60s
Disinfection byproducts and adverse pregnancy outcomes: note, this is a relatively new finding - most of the relevant references only go back to the mid 90s.
Solar disinfection of drinking water: Solar disinfection of water may significantly reduce morbidity in communities with no other means of disinfection of drinking water, because of lack of resources or in the event of a disaster.

    Copyright © 2005, Randy Johnson. All rights reserved.


Updated April 2015