Water is basic to life and health. Water makes up about 60% of your body’s weight, on average. Every system in your body depends on water to function. Safe drinking water is one of the most valuable resources we have. The United States has one of the safest public water supplies in the world, yet every year, millions of cases of illness associated with public drinking water systems are estimated to occur nationally. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and Idaho’s seven local public health districts protect public health by ensuring drinking water from public water systems in Idaho is safe.
Recreational water use is associated with significant benefits to health and well-being. Despite these benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted a steady increase in the number of reported outbreaks of diarrheal illness associated with recreational waters; these reports suggest that spread of illness through aquatic venues occurs routinely during the swimming season. The Idaho Division of Public Health works with Idaho’s local public health districts to investigate outbreaks of illness associated with drinking or recreational water.