Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch

CDC’s lead group for preventing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related diseases and outbreaks.


3D rendering of Cryptosporidium cysts with the organisms inside
  • Track waterborne disease nationally
  • Investigate the causes and sources of waterborne disease and outbreaks
  • Identify the risk factors for waterborne infections
  • Respond to WASH-related emergencies and outbreaks
  • Conduct environmental testing and monitoring, including wastewater surveillance
  • Develop improved sampling and laboratory detection methods
  • Develop new ways to remove or inactivate waterborne pathogens
  • Educate the public on how to prevent waterborne disease
  • Develop WASH-related guidance and policy

Water is essential for life, but can also spread illness when it is contaminated by disease-causing organisms. The mission of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch is to maximize the health, productivity, and well-being of people in the United States and around the globe through improved and sustained access to safe water for drinking, recreation, and other uses; the promotion of adequate sanitation and basic hygiene practices; the use of environmental data to inform public health decisions; and the development and dissemination of guidance to prevent infection with waterborne pathogens.