To the Editor:

Monday, March 22 marked the annual observance of World Water Day. According to the United Nations (UN), which organizes the campaign, 2.2 billion people worldwide use a source of drinking water contaminated with feces.

This isn’t just a problem for the Third World. In just one year, 10,261 community water systems in the United States serving more than 12 million Americans had fecal bacteria violations above maximum contamination levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 7.15 million Americans suffer from waterborne illnesses each year. This breaks down to over 600,000 emergency room visits, 6,630 deaths, and an estimated $3.3 billion in healthcare costs annually.

We should remember that access to clean drinking water is vital. But with infrastructure and contamination issues creeping (often unknowingly) into our waterways, we are a long way from being able to trust our tap water supply. See EPA data on how your water system is doing at

Will Coggin

Managing Director

Center for Accountability in Science

Washington, D.C.

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