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Water Safety

ASM Statements

February 22, 2012 - ASM Comments on Draft Recreational Water Quality Criteria
ASM submits comments to the EPA on the proposed Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) for use in managing all US coastal, inland and Great Lakes waters designated for primary contact recreation.

February 15, 2011 - ASM Endorses National Groundwater Monitoring Network Support
The ASM approved the endorsement of a coalition letter supporting FY 2012 funding for a national groundwater monitoring network. The letter was sent to House and Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee members and urged Congress to support $10 to $50 million of additional funding in the FY 2012 US Geological Survey Ground Water Resources Program.

May 26, 2008 - ASM Submits Comments to the EPA on the Proposed Microbial Contaminants Listed in the Draft CCL 3 Document
The Public and Scientific Affairs Board Committee on Environmental Microbiology responded to a request for comments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 3.

December 15, 2006 - ASM Responds to EPA Request for Nominations of Drinking Water Contaminants
On December 15, the ASM submitted nominations for two candidates (Naegleria fowleri and Mimivirus) in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice requesting nominations of chemical and microbial contaminants for possible inclusion in the third drinking water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 3).

August 4, 2004 - Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria for Coastal and Great Lakes Waters
The ASM submitted comments in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice requesting comments on the proposed rule to establish water quality criteria for bacteria for coastal and Great Lakes waters that specific States and Territories have designated for swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar water contact activities and for which the State or Territory does not have in place EPA-approved bacteria criteria that are as protective of human health as EPA’s 1986 recommended bacteria criteria.

February 9, 2004 - ASM Comments on EPA's Proposed Policy for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems Permit Requirements for Wastewater Treatment Discharges During Wet Weather
PSAB's Committee on Environmental Microbiology responded to a request for comments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding policy to prevent the overflow of raw sewage into homes and waterways caused by heavy rainfall or snowmelt.

September 4, 2001 - Total Coliform Rule
The ASM Committee on Environmental Microbiology submitted comments to the EPA in response to the agency revising the Total Coliform Rule.

August 9, 2000 - National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Ground Water Rule
The ASM submitted comments on the proposed rule National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Ground Water rule, under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA is proposing to require a targeted risk-based regulatory strategy for all ground water systems. The proposed requirements provide a meaningful opportunity to reduce public health risk associated with the consumption of waterborne pathogens.

July 19, 1996 - Safe Drinking Water Act
Comments sent to conferees supporting provisions related to the safety of drinking water and microbial contaminents.

February 29, 1996 - Reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act: The Need for Appropriate Inclusion of Microbial Contaminents
Comments submitted on the Safe Drinking Water Reauthorization Act. Comments focus on the dangers of Cryptosporidium, Salmonellaand Shigella. The comments were developed by the Subcommittee on the Microbial Safety ofWater.

ASM Briefing on Water Safety (Archive Information)

Contamination of our nation's drinking and recreational waters with disease-causing microorganisms is a growing public health and environmental problem that is not being adequately addressed by current water safety standards and research. Control of water pollution in the United States over the last two decades has consistently focused on risks associated with chemical pollutants overshadowing the significant risks posed by microbes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year in the United States up to 900,000 cases of illness and possibly 900 deaths occur as a result of waterborne microbial infections. Though the science of microbiology has taken great leaps forward, we still rely on standards and methods for water quality that are decades old and woefully out of date. There is a critical need for an integrated, national initiative on the microbial quality of water and on risk assessment as related to public health.

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) held a briefing to present their recent report regarding microbial pollutants in our nation's drinking and recreational waters.

Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW

Tuesday, April 27, 1999, 9:00 a.m.


James Tiedje, Ph.D.,
University Distinguished Professor and Director
Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University
Chair, Committee on Environmental Microbiology
ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Joan Rose, Ph.D.,
Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Florida
Chair, Subcommittee on Microbial Safety of Water
ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Mary Gilchrist, Ph.D.,
Director, University Hygienic Lab,University of Iowa
Chair, Committee on Laboratory Practices
ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board