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Although fatalities caused by waterborne pathogens have decreased in the United States during the 20th century, annual cases of water-related, microorganism-induced disease still number in the thousands. This brochure highlights the efforts of EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) to reduce human exposure to pathogens in drinking and recreational waters.
The 20-page brochure alerts readers to some of the problems faced in drinking water and wastewater treatment. Common waterborne diseases are described followed by a brief description of the components of the Safe Drinking Water Act that related to the microbiological quality of drinking water. With a clearer picture of the dangers presented by waterborne pathogens, the reader will better understand the importance of research, development, and implementation of associated detection methods and safeguards. Descriptions of methods to detect and prevent water contamination by pathogens will be of particular interest to small community decision makers, consumers, and water utilities.