The U.S. drinking water sanitation has improved greatly since the Safe Drinking Water Act was adopted for the regulation of public water systems in 1974; however, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, bacteria-laden drinking water continues to cause disease outbreaks.
Thirty-three outbreaks were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2010. Seventeen states reported water-related outbreaks including California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont.
Out of the 33 outbreaks, 1,040 people fell ill, resulting in 85 hospitalizations, and nine deaths. While more than half of the outbreaks were caused by Legionella, which causes the severe respiratory illness known as Legionnaire’s disease, other types of bacteria, including Campylobacter, caused more illnesses. Campylobacter can cause an infectious disease resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever, in some cases life-threatening infections.
According to the CDC, the three main culprits for the 33 outbreaks are Legionella-tainted plumbing systems, untreated groundwater, and problems with distribution systems. The report concludes that identifying and correcting problems with water-distribution systems and untreated groundwater systems could prevent many outbreaks and illnesses. However, we recommend installing a bottleless water cooler with state-of-the-art water filtration technology.