WQA Encourages Consumer Awareness on Drugs in Water

According to a Sept. 10 Associated Press report, almost one in six Americans may be affected by pharmaceuticals in their household water. Since March, positive tests were reported in 17 areas, including Reno, Nev.; Savannah, Ga.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Huntsville, Ala.

The Water Quality Association, a not-for-profit alliance of water treatment companies, has become a resource for consumers and public policy makers seeking information about the issue. The association offers an online fact sheet with answers to the issue of pharmaceuticals in water, available at www.wqa.org. The group also has joined a task force to develop independent testing standards that will be able to tell consumers what devices are successful at removing many of these newly discovered contaminants.

Filtering systems in the home provide the highest technology available for treatment of drinking water, according to Joseph Harrison, technical director of the association. While utilities are required to meet safety standards set by the U.S. EPA, home filtering systems act as a final contaminant barrier and can further purify water for drinking, Harrison said. While specific product performance standards have not yet been developed for pharmaceuticals, many point-of-use technologies have proven effective for some of these emerging contaminants.

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