Water Quality

The Permitting of Desalination Facilities: A Sustainability Perspective


Desalination provides a partial solution to water scarcity. While the desalination process provides much needed water to coastal areas, it also has various environmental impacts. Older operations entrain and impinge large and small organisms during the collection process, use significant amounts of energy, and produce substantial volumes of waste brine. These short- and long-term impacts warrant the involvement of environmental health practitioners.

SepticSmart Week

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SepticSmart Week

NEHA raises awareness for SepticSmart Week every September alongside the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). SepticSmart Week is focused on getting homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems. During SepticSmart Week, U.S. EPA seeks to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and maintenance, assist local agencies in promoting homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision-makers about infrastructure options to improve and sustain their communities.

NEHA offers extensive information on wastewater and septic systems, as well as provides educational resources through NEHA E-Learning for those interested in furthering their knowledge. 

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Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful Algal Blooms Effecting US Waterways

Rapid algae overgrowth can result in a phenomenon known as harmful algal blooms (HABs). Blooms can be both toxic and non-toxic but always have a detrimental effect on marine life in the affected area. Algal blooms most often occur in still or slow moving water and are brought on by the combination of sunlight and nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. When HABs are detected, access to the affected areas is restricted as serious health consequences can result for both animals and human that come into contact with the impacted water. Reducing the availability of nutrients to the phytoplankton is essential to reducing the occurrence of HABs. 

EPA's CyAN Mobile App & Early Detection of Algal Blooms Webinar

November 13, 2019

The CyAN App is a mobile application that uses satellite data to map the location of harmful algal blooms in waters across the US. The app provides weekly information about cyanobacteria concentrations in many of the largest water bodies in the country. This information can be used to inform decisions regarding recreational and drinking water safety. The CyAN App is designed for use on Android™ devices and is available for download on Google Play™. This webinar will provide a general overview of the app including what it is used for, why and how it was developed, and who it was designed for, as well as state case studies from their beta testing of the CyAN app.

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Harmful Algal Blooms & Cyanobacteria Webinar

November 29, 2018

Most species of algae are not harmful, but sometimes certain types bloom in excessive amounts and can cause harm to human and pet health, aquatic ecosystems, and local economies. These harmful algal blooms (HABs), usually associated with algae that produce toxins, cause problems across the Nation. The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) hosted a webinar in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) that will feature three presentations with varying perspectives on Harmful Algal Blooms. A US Environmental Protection Agency scientist will provide an overview of the Agency’s harmful algal blooms research including monitoring, remote sensing, toxicology, health effects, development of analytical methods and mitigation. The Lab Director from Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality will provide an overview of the techniques and methods used by the state’s laboratory to analyze samples and monitor for harmful algal blooms. An Administrator from the Florida Department of Health Aquatic Toxins Program will provide an overview of the activities the state of Florida has implemented to better coordinate cyanobacteria bloom response and provide information to Floridians about steps they can take to protect themselves.  

Featured Speakers:

  • Brian Boling, Division Administrator for the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality overseeing the Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Division. 
  • Nick Dugan, environmental engineer working in  the US Environmental Protection Agency/Water Systems Division.
  • Andrew Reich, scientific advisor to the Chief of the Bureau of Environmental Health at Florida Department of Health

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