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Announcement: National Drinking Water Week --- May 2--8, 2010

The United States has one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world (1). Tap water not only provides water for daily activities such as drinking, bathing, and cooking, but it also benefits the entire community by providing water to serve businesses, schools, and hospitals, and to promote dental health (2). May 2--8, 2010, is National Drinking Water Week, an annual observance whose theme “Only Tap Water Delivers” underscores the many services provided by public drinking water systems in the United States (3).

Disinfection and treatment practices, as well as the environmental regulation of water pollutants, have substantially improved domestic water quality over the past century and led to a dramatic decrease in the incidence of waterborne diseases such as cholera (4,5). Despite these improvements, sources of drinking water still can become contaminated and lead to adverse health effects (6).

New challenges to the U.S. water supply include aging drinking water infrastructure, climate change impacts on water availability and quality, chemical contamination of water sources, emerging pathogens (e.g., Cryptosporidium), and the development of new ways to obtain and use water. National Drinking Water Week is a time to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and recognize that protecting and reinvesting in water infrastructure is crucial to the health of persons living in the United States.


  1. US Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water and health: what you need to know. Available at Accessed April 22, 2010.
  2. CDC. Achievements in public health, 1900--1999: changes in the public health system. MMWR 1999;48:1141--7.
  3. American Water Works Association. Drinking Water Week 2010. Available at Accessed April 22, 2010.
  4. CDC. Achievements in public health, 1900--1999: safer and healthier foods. MMWR 1999;48:905--13.
  5. CDC. Summary of notifiable diseases---United States, 2006. MMWR 2008;55:17.
  6. US Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water contaminants. Available at Accessed April 22, 2010.

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