Safe and clean, MAWC water meets or exceeds all applicable standards for drinking water.

It’s going to stay that way not just through refinements and new technology – but the use of old standbys, like disinfection. Today, MAWC uses Chlorine or seasonally, Chloramine.

Drinking water disinfection is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

That’s because it was effective against waterborne disease, and it still is today. During the 1800s, disease outbreaks became more common as population increased across the country, and human and farm animal waste began to foul natural waterways more and more often, making untreated water unsafe. One of the earliest application of chlorination was at the McKeesport Water Plant to reduce typhoid fever epidemics in the early part of the 1900’s.

Even though disinfection has all but stamped out waterborne diseases, those disease-causing microbes are still present in our waterways and untreated water.

"Today we still use the same disinfection techniques but with up to date equipment and accuracy. Chlorine disinfection that worked 110 years ago still works today to maintain control of microbial pollution,” said John Ashton, MAWC assistant manager.

But, thanks to disinfection, waterborne disease is extremely rare in the US. See the CDC graph below.


Additional Resources: 

History of Drinking Water Treatment; A Century of U.S. Water Chlorination and Treatment: One of the Ten Greatest Public Health Achievements of the 20th Century