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Fast Facts

Information on Other Uses of Water


Each year between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaire's disease in the United States 2.

Agricultural Uses of Water

There are an estimated 238,000 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the United States that produce nearly 500 million tons of manure 4.

Industrial Uses of Water

The National Water Quality Inventory (2000) reported that agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution (from industrial and sewage treatment plants) is the leading source of water quality impacts on rivers and lakes and the second largest source of impairment to wetlands. It is also a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and ground water 5.

Medical Uses of Water

Most healthcare facilities follow certain guidelines to ensure that water is safe for medical use during medical procedures.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues effluent guidelines and regulations that are technology-based and are developed for specific industrial categories 3.

Top Settings for Outbreaks Due to Other Water Exposures

Top Settings - Outbreak-Causing Exposures**

For a complete listing of water-related surveillance data, see CDC's Surveillance Summaries for Waterborne Disease and Outbreaks.

  1. United States Geological Survey. Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000: Total Water Use.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legionellosis Resource Site: Patient Facts – Learn more about Legionnaires’ disease.
  3. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Effluent Limitation Guidelines.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
  5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Protecting Water Quality from Agricultural Runoff. March 2005.