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Is tap water safe to drink?

Drs. William Rhoads and Sid Roy

April 07, 2018
An interactive session led by Drs. William Rhoads and Sid Roy

Drs. William Rhoads and Sid Roy, are environmental engineers and science communicators who work at the nexus of water quality, public health and environmental justice. They and their research team at Virginia Tech used citizen science, laboratory experiments, field sampling, investigative journalism and social media to expose the Flint Water Crisis. These efforts led to a declaration of a national public health emergency by President Barack Obama in January 2016, garnered more than $600 million in relief for Flint residents and informed a long overdue debate on "safe" water in America. Rhoads and Roy are Postdoctoral Research Scientists in the lab of Civil Engineering Professor Marc Edwards.

Ever wondered how drinking water gets to your tap? What's in it (besides water, obviously)? Is tap water safe to drink? How do you protect yourself when it is not safe (like during the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan)? In this interactive session, we will explore the fascinating science behind engineering tap water that is safe, healthy and affordable for all. We will also talk about how some contaminants in water like heavy metals and bad bacteria can harm us, while exploring what happened in Flint MI as well as water concerns around the U.S.