Water Quality

February 11, 1994 • Volume 4, Issue 6
Should safety standards for drinking water be tougher in the U.S.?
By Richard L. Worsnop


Contamination of Milwaukee's water supply last spring -- the worst outbreak of waterborne disease in U.S. history -- shook public confidence in the nation's drinking water. The unprecedented crisis caused six deaths and nearly 400,000 cases of gastrointestinal illness, sparking demands for measures to prevent similar epidemics. Environmentalists were quick to point out that bacteria are by no means the only threats to drinking-water safety. They noted that many local water systems contain toxic inorganic substances, such as lead, radon and nitrates. The lesson of Milwaukee, environmentalists say, is that federal rules regulating drinking-water safety need strengthening. But water industry officials, citing cost considerations, say the rules should be made more flexible.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Water Pollution
Jul. 15, 2016  Drinking Water Safety
Oct. 17, 2014  Protecting the Oceans
Jun. 18, 2010  Water Shortages
Aug. 01, 2003  Water Shortages
Nov. 24, 2000  Water Quality
Dec. 15, 1995  Global Water Shortages
Feb. 11, 1994  Water Quality
Apr. 19, 1991  California: Enough Water for the Future?
Jan. 30, 1987  Western Water
Jul. 12, 1985  Preventing Groundwater Contamination
Jan. 14, 1977  Western Water: Coming Crisis
Feb. 15, 1974  Drinking Water Safety
Aug. 11, 1965  Water Resources and National Water Needs
Dec. 08, 1960  Pollution of Water Supplies
Oct. 02, 1959  Water Needs and Resources
Jul. 01, 1955  Water for the Future
Jul. 24, 1953  Water Pollution
Feb. 15, 1950  Water Supply
Oct. 03, 1947  Unclean Waters
Sep. 17, 1935  Stream Pollution and the Disposal of Waste
Infectious Diseases
Water Pollution