Is the water safe to drink?

Joseph L. Melnick, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

SIR-In Dr. Adams’s recent article on the history of the Journal [1], the activity of microbiologists at the turn of the century with regard to the safety of water supplies and the sanitary disposal of sewage was described. Dr. Adams states: “For developed nations of the world at least, progress in research and engineering during the late 19th and early 20th centuries has obviated these concerns as important matters for either the bacteriologist or the general public.” We feel that this statement does not reflect present concerns and activities regarding waterborne transmission of enteric viral diseases. While great strides were made at the turn of the century in understanding and controlling waterborne bacterial disease, technology has only recently become available to allow the detailed study of viruses in water. In addition, the increasing rate at which sewage is being reused-with continual reductions in the time for natural purification-has created new concerns that present water treatment methods may not be adequate for the control of waterborne disease. It should also be noted that it was not until the early 1940s that enteric viruses were systematically investigated in domestic sewage [2] and the subsequent realization of the possibility of water-transmitted viral disease became evident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-737
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume139
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1979
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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