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The 2018 Camp Fire north of Sacramento burned everything in its path: cars, power lines, and buildings – and contaminated local drinking water. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here’s how communities can be better prepared

Buildings aren't the only things at risk in wildfires. Recent disasters in California have left local water system contaminated with toxic chemicals afterward, slowing return and recovery.
Warning signs in the Newark Health Department after the city learned that lead service lines to houses still were contaminating water. Seth Wenig/AP

How to address America’s lead crisis and provide safe drinking water for all

Newark is the latest US city to struggle with high lead levels in drinking water. Ending this public health crisis will require more money and enforcement, plus stricter water testing standards.
Bottled water distribution in Glenwood, Iowa, where massive spring flooding along the Missouri River disrupted drinking water treatment, April 3, 2019. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

The US drinking water supply is mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

A grade of 92 is an A at most schools, but for tap water it means that millions of Americans drink water that fails to met federal standards.
How long has that water already been in the system? mike.irwin/Shutterstock.com

Water stays in the pipes longer in shrinking cities – a challenge for public health

In many municipalities, aging water infrastructure is serving fewer people than it was built to accommodate. Out of sight has meant out of mind – but resulting changes in water quality may affect safety.

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