211364 A Utility Perspective on Tap Water and Health: Issues, Risks, Collaboration, and Communication

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Anne Seeley, MPH , Bureau of Water Supply, Section Chief/Health Assessment & Policy Coordination, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, New York, NY
Is my tap water safe? What is done to ensure the safety of this supply? These are common questions on the minds of tap water consumers, but who decides what is “safe”?...who checks?..and where do consumers get answers to their questions? Municipal tap water in the United States is safer than it has ever been, according to various assessments, yet many consumers are more concerned about tap water safety than ever before. This presentation will take a look at issues such as: water quality protection and assessment, health effects assessment, drinking water quality standard setting, and perspectives on costs-benefit balancing in water supply management. Also, utility and public health sector collaboration for improved water safety assessment will be discussed, with a focus on NYC's Waterborne Disease Risk Assessment Program. Finally, communications topics will be considered, including communication between the water supply sector and the public health & medical sectors, and communication to the public.

Learning Objectives:
This session will provide the larger view regarding water quality, health and communication issues from federal agency perspectives and how state & local community agencies put in place practical steps toward integrating water & health issues. It addresses emerging programs and applications at different levels of government and will: Describe relationships that exist or should exist between water providers and public health agencies, at the federal, state and local levels. Discuss emerging tracking systems that are being cooperatively developed by Federal agencies (CDC & EPA) and how water providers and public health officials will coordinate with these new tracking systems. Explain communication strategies regarding water safety and how these strategies can be established at different levels of government.

Keywords: Water Quality, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: More than 20 years of experience in drinking water & health with the NYC Dept of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Supply.Curretnly, Section Chief, Health Assessment & Policy Coordination. MPH from Columbia University & BA in Env Sci (Purchase College). I serve on AWWA Water & Health Workgroup, and am guest lecturer on water & health issues at SUNY Downstate Medical/Public Health, and at Columbia Univ School of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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