Water Quality

NACCHO Webinar: Legionella

Legionella Webinar: Exploring National Guidance and Local Experiences May 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Legionnaires’ disease is a respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria, which can be found in the water systems of large buildings. In 2016, there were an estimated 6,100 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States. NACCHO invites you to learn more about Legionella and the available resources and recommendations for protecting your community.

May MAHC Network Webinar

May MAHC Network Webinar: New CDC Resources for Healthy & Safe Swimming Week May 22 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NACCHO for the upcoming bi-monthly Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Network webinar on May 22nd at 1:00pm EDT. CDC’s Michele Hlavsa will share highlights from a new report on outbreaks associated with treated recreational water venues, and Joe Laco will be giving a preview of upcoming “mini MAHCs” – topic-specific packages of MAHC resources.

Iowa Environmental Health Assoc. Fall Conference

The IEHA Fall Conference is a must-attend event for every Environmental Health Professional / Sanitarian in Iowa. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and network with national, regional, state and local experts in Environmental Health and reconnect with friends and colleagues as you attend the numerous sessions, exhibits, and the evening networking event.

Vince Radke, NEHA President, and Kim Carlton, Region 4 Vice-President, will be in attendance representing NEHA. Vince Radke will give keynote and plenary session presentations.

Private Water Network

Private Water Network

NEHA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Network of Public Health Institutes to establish the Private Water Network (PWN). The purpose of the PWN is to build a virtual community for public health professionals from state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental agencies who support private water programs to connect with their peers, to share experiences, insights, and resources, and to gain access to timely and relevant guidance for emerging issues.

Over 15 million U.S. households rely on private water systems for drinking water. These systems include private (or household) wells, cisterns, water storage tanks, and trucked water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is responsible for making sure that the public water supply within the U.S. is safe. However, U.S. EPA does not monitor or treat private well drinking water. Owners of private wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. Water can have biological, chemical, and physical contaminants. Some contaminants result in acute (or immediate) effects; others present a threat only following chronic (or long-term) exposure. Of local health departments, 56% regulate, inspect, or license private drinking water in their community. In addition to conducting surveillance and shaping policy, strong public health programs can help people with wells or other private water systems find potential problems and take steps to address them. Drinking water programs can identify individuals and facilities served by private drinking water sources and make recommendations about:
• how and when to test the water,
• how to interpret test results and what contaminants were found in the water,
• services and products and where to find additional information, and
• interventions to address contaminants found in the drinking water.

Currently, there is no “go-to” resource for peer learning and information exchange for state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental agency environmental health specialists that serve communities with private drinking water sources/systems. The Private Water Network is being established to fill that void. 

Mission

The mission of the Network is to build a sustainable community for those working to support private water programs; to connect with their peers, to share experiences, insights, and resources, and to gain access to timely and relevant guidance for existing and emerging issues; and to build capacity to do the work more effectively and efficiently in order to protect the public’s health from contaminants in private water sources.

Events and Updates 

  1. SafeWATCH Grantee Webinar - NEHA hosted the Grantee Webinar on Thursday, December 13, 2018 (1:30 PM EST – 2:45 PM EST) to help inform the development of a Private Water Network. CDC’s Safe WATCH program has been working with NEHA to develop a Private Water Network to provide peer support to environmental health specialists working in public health agencies that deliver services to well-owners and users of other federally unregulated drinking water sources. NEHA and the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) designed the webinar to gain more insight into the interests and needs of environmental health specialists and the value of a network.
  2. PWN Design Workshop - NEHA is hosting the PWN Design Workshop meeting with the Safe WATCH grantees on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Denver. Nine SafeWATCH grantees attended a workshop. We refined our mission and vision for the PWN and designed a number of member activities to test out in the coming months, including live office hours with experts and curated informational emails. 
    VIEW DESIGN WORKSHOP UPDATE
  3. NEHA AEC: Private Water Network: What Is It and How You Can Be a Part of It! - This presentation will focus on the creation of the Private Water Network, and its partnerships, resources, and tools that have been and are being developed to integrate environmental public health. Private water systems have a unique set of challenges that can be costly and time-consuming to overcome. The Network serves as a way to strengthen partnerships, provide resources that protect drinking water quality and public health, and improve access to safe drinking water for users of private drinking water systems.
    VIEW SESSION

Resources

Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH)

Private Well Course

Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI)

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