Joseph Harrison managed the Safe Drinking Water Branch of the EPA from 1974 to 1990. When it comes to the importance of safe drinking water and the best ways to achieve it, Harrison is the expert.
The purification of drinking water supplies is of great importance to public health, and modern advancements in this endeavor began in the 1890s. In the past 20 years, Harrison pointed out there are thousands of synthetic organic chemicals used in products that can get into the water supply. Today’s drinking water technologies are focused on removing these chemicals.
Due to the expense of some high-technology water purification systems, it is cost-prohibitive for many municipalities to employ such solutions to treat city water supplies. However, the same technology can be used in home water treatment products to purify drinking water at an affordable price point.
Harrison used water distillation as an example.
“Cities and towns aren’t going to distill all of their water supply, then supply that distilled water out of their distribution pipes. But these techniques can be used at home when you’re just treating your drinking water, and you can make it safer than what the cities and towns can do,” he said.
With today’s water purification technologies, there is a multitude of solutions for home drinking water safety.
“With things like a carbon block or reverse osmosis membranes, different kinds of ion exchange resins with specialty features added into them can be used to take practically everything out of the water except the H2O part of it,” Harrison said.