Water Testing

Richland County Water Testing

  • Richland County TB and Health Office – (618) 392-6241

The Importance of Water Testing and Treatment

With its many uses for drinking, recreation, sanitation, hygiene, and industry, water is our most precious global resource. Clean and safe drinking water is critical to sustain human life and without it waterborne illness can be a serious problem. Water, which is necessary for recreational water activities like swimming, also helps promote healthy living. Often, water’s vital role is most apparent during an emergency or disaster. We launched the Healthy Water website in 2009 to provide answers to your water-related questions.

CDC – Healthy Water. N.p., 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.

The Safe Water System

Since 1990, 2 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water sources and 1.8 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation. However, worldwide, 780 million people still do not have access to improved water sources and an estimated 2.5 billion people — half of the developing world — lack access to adequate sanitation 1.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of deaths due to diarrheal illness worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene 2. These diarrheal diseases (such as cholera) kill more children than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined, making diarrheal disease the second leading cause of death among children under five 2.

To address this global disease burden, CDC and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) developed the Safe Water System (SWS), which protects communities from contaminated water by promoting behavior change and providing affordable and sustainable solutions. The SWS increases access to safe water by helping individuals treat and safely store water in homes, health facilities, and schools.

The SWS encompasses three steps:

  • Household water treatment;
  • Safe storage of the treated water; and,
  • Behavior change communication to improve hygiene, sanitation, and water and food handling practices

CDC – Safe Water System. N.p., 1 May 2014. Web. 1 June 2015.

Household Water Treatment

Household water treatment (treatment that happens at the point of water collection or use, rather than at a large, centralized location) improves water quality and reduces diarrheal disease in developing countries. Five proven treatment options are widely implemented in many developing countries:

Selecting the most appropriate treatment method for a community’s specific circumstances is often a difficult decision. The most appropriate option for a community depends on existing water and sanitation conditions, water quality, cultural acceptability, implementation feasibility, availability of technology, and other local conditions.

Five Treatment Options