National Drinking Water Clearinghouse
West Virginia University
PO Box 6893
Morgantown, WV

On the Web - Web Resources (Winter 2004)

Security Outreach Materials -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a series of outreach materials to heighten public awareness about water security. The materials include:
• a brochure for residents describing how they can help local authorities protect water utilities in their communities;
• an article that provides examples of suspicious activities for local news outlets;
• a “Top Ten List” in both a poster and vehicle visor format for law enforcement, water system, and public health officials; and
• the “WaterISAC” factsheet, describing the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center and its services.

The materials may be downloaded from the site in pdf format or ordered by e-mail from

CD Helps Local Utility Management -

Planning may be the missing ingredient in your utility’s recipe for future success. Small towns do not plan, says David Kindelspire, environmental specialist with Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Environmental Assistance Office, “They tend to live almost day-by-day and pray nothing bad happens to jeopardize the infrastructure or services they provide to their communities.”

So, Missouri’s DNR offers something to help community leaders learn how to take charge and prepare for whatever may come: their Environmental Management Institute (EMI) Software Suite, a CD with lots of information about managing community water and wastewater. The EMI CD provides:
• emergency and security plan guides and forms;
• spreadsheets to help analyze water and sewer user charge systems, project costs and revenues, and develop new rates;
• worksheets to help assess the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of water and wastewater systems; and
• model ordinances for water, sewer, storm water, and other issues.

This software package includes the popular Show-me Ratemaker, water and sewage rate analysis programs featured in this issue of On Tap on page 44. Download the latest version of the EMI Software Suite from MDNR’s Web site at To learn more about the EMI Software Suite, call Missouri DNR’s Environmental Assistance Office at (800) 361-4827, e-mail, or write to P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

A Hundred Ways to Conserve Water -

“How much water can you save with a broom, toothbrush, tuna can, and shovel?” the Water Use It Wisely Web site asks on its homepage. The site lists more than 100 easy ways to conserve water, provides details on how to contact your local water authority, and includes printable files of water conservation materials.
The answers to the site’s question are:
• Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.
• Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute. That's 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
• Place an empty tuna can on your lawn to catch and measure the water output of your sprinklers. For lawn watering advice, contact your local conservation office.
• Plant during the spring or fall when watering requirements are lower.

National Resources Defense Council -

Perhaps best known for their prodigious legal work, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) also publishes reports on a number of environmental topics, including drinking water. In the “Clean Water and Oceans” section of their Web site, you’ll find several timely topics.

What’s On Tap? Grading Drinking Water in U.S. Cities studies 19 municipal water systems and finds that pollution, old pipes, and outdated treatment threaten tap water quality. Tap Water Quality and Safety answers questions including: How can I find out about the quality of my tap water? What can I do to protect the drinking water in my town? What filter will best protect my family from getting sick? Arsenic in Drinking Water provides answers to the questions: How can I find out whether my drinking water contains arsenic? Can I buy a filter that will remove arsenic from my water? I drink bottled water—do I have to worry about arsenic? Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype examines bottled water sold in the U.S. and finds that it’s not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water.

The NRDC’s purpose, according to the site, “is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants, and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends. We work to restore the integrity of the elements that sustain life—air, land, and water—and to defend endangered natural places.”

Environmental Technology Verification Program -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has always evaluated technologies to see how well they monitor, prevent, control, and clean up pollution. Since the early 1990s, though, several government and private groups acknowledged that the lack of an organized program slowed down the acceptance of new environmental technologies. EPA needed a way to produce independent, credible performance data.

So, in 1995, the EPA created the Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV) as a way to speed up the entrance of new technologies into the domestic and international marketplace. The ETV operates as a public-private partnership through agreements between EPA and private testing and evaluation organizations. These verification partnerships work to create efficient, quality-assured testing procedures to review
a new technology’s performance.

Six ETV centers cover a broad range of environmental catagories, including drinking water treatment technologies and homeland security. NSF International is EPA’s partner in the ETV Drinking Water Systems Center.Vendors and others in the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local government agencies, cost share with EPA to complete ETV protocols and verifications.

They’ve recently begun reviewing technologies used to ensure the safety and security of drinking water systems and supplies. ETV is interested in receiving information about commercial-ready technologies with water monitoring capabilities that can detect biological and chemical agents.

For more information about the ETV’s Drinking Water Systems Center or to learn about the program and see a list of their verified technologies, visit their Web site at

Recognizing Waterborne Illnesses -

This site, maintained by the American College of Preventive Medicine, explains contamination and waterborne illnesses, primarily to healthcare professionals. “Water consumers are frequently unaware of the potential health risks associated with exposure to waterborne contaminants and often consult practicing physicians who are unfamiliar with water pollution issues and their subsequent impact on human health,” the site says, describing its mission. “Misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis of waterborne disease by the medical community may result in significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in vulnerable populations at increased risk of disease as a result of exposure to waterborne pathogens and chemical contaminants.”

A section of the site, titled “Physician Readiness for Acts of Water Terrorism,” is devoted to “the need for practicing healthcare providers to recognize unusual disease trends and early warning signs that may result from potential biological or chemical terrorism.” (Note: To access this section, you must register on the site.)

Green Teacher Magazine -

Green Teacher is a magazine by and for educators to enhance environmental education for all grade levels. Among the many resources available on this site, you’ll find recent issues of Green Teacher and an index of articles and activities published during the magazine’s 10-year history.

Visitors can download hundreds of activities from the “Planet Earth Pages” K-12 activity sections. Recent topics include water, sustainability, renewable energy, and food production.To learn more about Green Teacher, including subscription information,write to: 95 Robert Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2K5 or P.O. Box 452, Niagara Falls, NY, 14304-0452. You may also call (416) 960-1244 or e-mail