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Improving Drinking Water Quality in Central Appalachia

Dr. Hannah Patton
November 28, 2023

Despite claims of nearly 100% access to potable drinking water in the US, issues of drinking water quality, accessibility, and equity persist in many regions of the country. Drinking water is a common health concern in the Appalachian region and other rural areas of the country, where social, geographic, and economic challenges can inhibit the provision of safe, reliable municipal water. Households without access to municipal water often rely on private wells, which are solely the responsibility of the homeowner to test, treat, and maintain, or alternate drinking water sources such as roadside springs. These water sources often do not employ water treatment and users can therefore be uniquely susceptible to environmental contaminants. The goal of Dr. Hannah Patton's research was to examine point-of-use (POU) treatment options that can be used by individuals to improve their drinking water quality and reduce exposure to common contaminants prior to consumption.