Water and Human Health
Safe drinking water is paramount to human health, and Purdue Extension provides
in-depth information concerning drinking water for individuals, farms, and
Everyone needs safe water to drink, and people often have
questions regarding the quality of water from their well or public utility.
Therefore, Purdue has built an extensive web site, Safe
Water for the Future
, that provides answers and information on many drinking
Water Protection and Risk Assessment
Private well owners will benefit from completing the Home*A*Syst
, and if you live on a farm the Farmstead
Assessment program for Drinking Water Protection
offers a series of risk
assessment worksheets and factsheets with recommendations to minimize the
risk of contamination to well water.
Drinking water testing and treatment
For water testing, what to do about a contaminated well, and other frequently
asked questions, the Drinking
Water Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page will help you find answers
Community Water Supply
Community water supply systems using ground water are required to have a wellhead
protection plan in place. The Wellhead
Protection web pages provide detailed information on the planning process
(which occurred during 1999 – 2003), and what you and your community
can do to educate others about protecting community water supplies.
For communities that use surface water such as a reservoir, lake, or river
for their drinking water supply, the risk of contaminated water due to surface
runoff is an ongoing threat. To help communities start developing watershed
protection plans, we have developed maps
of all Indiana public water supply watersheds (except those that use Lake
Michigan or the Ohio River), and provide estimates of watershed characteristics
such as land use.
The Pesticide Watershed
Work Group is a multi-agency team focusing on reducing atrazine contamination
of source water.
Waste Water and Septic Systems
Effectively treating human wastewater is a top human health issue. For people
who are not serviced by a public sewer utility, knowing how to effectively
manage a septic system or other approved alternative treatment system is important
for family and community health. Purdue provides clear recommendations and
information for residential
on-site wastewater treatment.
Recreation and Water Quality
Water-based recreation including fishing, swimming, and boating, is an important
use of Indiana lakes and streams. However, many water bodies do no support
recreational uses due to E.
Contaminants such as PCBs and mercury are a concern for people eating fish
from Indiana waters. The Angling
Indiana web site provides up-to-date information on this issue.
Mosquitoes and Water Quality
The quality of water can have an effect on mosquito populations, and the presence
of those mosquitoes carrying disease such as West Nile Virus. The disease
carrying mosquitoes often are breeding in areas of still, shallow water contained
in human-made items like tires, buckets, and rain-gutters. Read Purdue’s
fact sheet, Management
of Ponds, Wetlands, and Other Water Reservoirs to Minimize Mosquitoes,
to better understand the connections between mosquitoes and water quality
and what you can do.
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