When Good Water Goes Bad

Water is vital to life and usually thought of as health-giving. We are told "Be sure to drink enough water."

But sometimes drinking water isn't health-giving. If water is contaminated, it can make people sick or even kill them.

Figuring out why water sometimes brings diseas and death to its drinkers is a detective story that began well over a hundred years ago. New chapters are added every time there is a new outbreak of water-borne disease.

Tracking the Culprits
How the perpetrators were identified
The Most (Not) Wanted
Meet the most common and nasty causes of water-borne disease
A Couple of Cases
Work along with investigators on two real disease outbreaks
Keeping Safe
How do we make sure water is fit to drink?
What Was the Problem?
Do you know the story behind these headline-making events?

Causes of Water Contamination

This exhibit explores water contamination by micro-organisms - tiny living creatures such as bacteria and amoebae that cause disease in humans.

Water can also be made unsafe to drink by chemical contamination - but that's another story.