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Drinking water from shallow wells in susceptible hydrogeologic settings can increase exposure to nitrate and other contaminants. (Kevin Dennehy)

Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminant Exposure by Drinking Water

Safe drinking-water supplies are critical for protecting public health. Drinking water treatment and monitoring technologies are used by public water utilities to assure compliance with existing federal and state drinking water standards. However industrial, agricultural, medical, and other societal needs continuously require a balance of new chemical development as well as termination of older chemicals. Some of these new and legacy chemicals as well as some water-borne pathogens remain understudied and can inadvertently enter our environment and threaten the quality of our water supplies. Therefore the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) evaluates the efficacy of existing drinking water standards in light of emerging occurrence, toxicity, and other data while looking forward to the need for new standards and the possibility of raising or lowering existing standards .

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides scientific data and information on the occurrence, fate, and transport of emerging and legacy contaminants in water resources, assessments of drinking water sources, and the vulnerability of water supplies to contamination.


Drinking-Water Research Topics:

The USGS conducts pure and applied research on a range of topics with relevance to drinking water issues. The topics listed below cut across programmatic boundaries and provide starting points for more information on related work within the USGS.

 
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Topics:
Air, Dust, and Soil contaminants and Pathogens
Drinking Water Contaminants
Consumption of Bioaccumulative Contaminants
Vector Borne and Zoonotic (animal to human) Disease
Contact With Recreational Waters
Animal Sentinels of Human Health

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Places with Health Studies
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Page Last Modified: 13-Sep-2010@14:40