The symposium’s goal, like that of the website, was to inform policy makers, the general public, and industry about issues such as wastewater management and water distribution systems, infrastructure repair, water reuse, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of bottled water.
Drinking water issues are, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance for the food industry, public health officials, medical practitioners, patients with special needs, and more. The facts given below are just a sample of the information visitors will find on the Yale University Drinking Water Symposium website.
Safe Drinking Water Act Facts
In 1974, Congress passed the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act, which was the first step toward a national enforceable standard developed by the EPA. The law was amended in 1986 and 1996 and requires various actions to safeguard drinking water and its sources: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells. Despite these advances, threats to water utilities still exist.
In 2006, the EPA developed a national estimate of waterborne disease to address, in part, the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. EPA researchers reported an estimated 16.4 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness per year (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18020305).