May 6, 2014
Every day of every week millions of Wisconsinites will experience something amazing and likely never think twice about it. They'll turn on their faucets, drink from a water fountain, bake bread or brew beer and seemingly without effort, be provided with safe drinking water. That's amazing!
And that's why we celebrate National Drinking Water Week. This year, it's also the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the primary law safeguarding the water we drink and use every day in our homes and businesses.
In Wisconsin, we are fortunate that water is plentiful and that, with very little effort, literally turning on your tap, we have water that is safe.
Our state has more public water systems than any other state - more than 11,400 and growing. Year in and year out, 96 percent of these systems have provided water that meets all health-based standards. None of their water samples contained contaminants above the standards set to protect our health.
Results like this don't happen without the concerted efforts of many men and women who work behind the scenes to deliver safe water -- local operators, county health officials, public utilities, state drinking and groundwater staff, association staff, testing laboratories and consultants, to name a few.
It's people like the local operators who worked long, hard hours and weekends to keep water mains from bursting as the harsh winter lingered on. It's Lee Boushon, who has worked for more than 35 years at DNR to assure that water systems are designed correctly, operated correctly and monitored properly and on time to keep you safe. And it's Dave Lawrence, whose Wisconsin Rural Water Association provides training to thousands of operators and then shows up to help them find solutions when crises arise.
Without them and without safe drinking water, our lives and our livelihoods would be much different.
Nearly 1 billion people in the developing world walk on average 3.5 miles to get water to drink. And when they get it home, they can't be assured it will be safe to drink.
Now think about the water that comes from your tap and fuels your business.
Think about how much that time savings and confidence means to our daily lives and to the success of your business. Think about how difficult things are when our water service is disrupted.
Take the time and think about how valuable and how precious safe drinking water really is. Read over our special multi-media Web page saluting the progress made under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
And then take the time to thank the people who work in the drinking water industry for their dedication and hard work. Let's raise a glass in celebration and appreciation for those who work behind the scenes and in the trenches to make the amazing possible - Safe Drinking Water.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773