Drinking water | St. Louis Public Radio

Drinking water

Washington University graduate student Anushka Mishrra tests water samples for chlorine in an lead corrosion study.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Dan Giammar collects something most people want to get rid of: lead pipes.

“This is just a great piece of lead pipe,” said Giammar, turning the smooth cylinder in his hands.

The Washington University professor of environmental engineering is testing ways to keep lead pipes from dissolving and leaching into drinking water. Using old pipes from across the country, Giammar’s lab is working to understand whether adding a non-toxic compound to drinking water could prevent lead release.

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Nearly two thirds of voters in the Texas County town of Houston decided to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water, but dentists serving the area are saying the change will lead to an increase in tooth decay.

Aging sewer system is a buried problem

Oct 25, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 25, 2011 - Two dozen feet below the joggers, dog walkers and artists painting picturesque still lifes on a clear, cool fall morning in Forest Park, Lance LeComb stands at the mouth of a darkened reinforced concrete tunnel backed by an opaque, mildly odiferous grayish-green stream flowing from toilets, showers and drains in thousands of St. Louis-area homes and businesses.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 19, 2010 - Rebecca Ye, a freshman at Washington University, already has a major scientific accomplishment under her belt. Ye represented the United States in the Stockholm International Water Institute's Junior Water Prize Competition.

"It was an amazing, inspiring experience," said Ye, who is from Maine. "I was fortunate to be chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime event."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 16, 2010 - Benjamin Franklin had plenty of pithy things to say about all sorts of human activities, but one most appropriate to our age is his concern for thrift and conservation. "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself," he wrote. "Waste nothing."

Along those lines, Franklin also said something perhaps of greater and more specific importance to our time: The enormous value of water is realized at the precise moment when the well dries up.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 16, 2010 - Benjamin Franklin had plenty of pithy things to say about all sorts of human activities, but one most appropriate to our age is his concern for thrift and conservation. "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself," he wrote. "Waste nothing."

Along those lines, Franklin also said something perhaps of greater and more specific importance to our time: The enormous value of water is realized at the precise moment when the well dries up.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 18, 2008 - Safe drinking water, which most Americans take for granted when they turn on the tap, is unknown in many countries and regions of the world.

Commentary: Is water a human right?

Oct 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 14, 2008 - When Sarah Stuteville asked if anyone had heard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she was met with 15 blank stares and 30 motionless hands. "Well," she said with a rueful smile, "the United Nations is considering adding water as a basic human right to the declaration."