1. What are germs?

2. Getting germs
3. Germ environment
4. Germ travel
5. Symptoms
6. Water's role
7. Water suppliers
8. Rules
9. Conclusion

Diseases & pathogens

Note on E. coli

What are the rules?
A strict set of standards guides the drinking water industry. The underlying rule for germs is that there should be no fecal organisms in the water. Testing procedures and proper water treatment are carefully defined and enforced.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was enacted in 1974 by the US Congress; it was revised and updated in 1986 and 1996. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces SDWA by requiring each state to designate an agency to oversee its water suppliers. States may make certain provisions of their laws more strict than SDWA, but no one can change SDWA rules to make them more lenient.

In Massachusetts, SDWA is enforced by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Public water suppliers in Massachusetts must report regularly to DEP concerning the withdrawals from their sources, the quality of their source water, and the analysis of the finished water they deliver to consumers.

Microscope See the kinds of
germs we're talking


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