Wildfire caused widespread contamination of drinking water distribution network

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Wildfires are known to contaminate drinking water at the source, but it was not until the Tubbs Fire (2017) when the first documented case of wildfire-induced contamination occurred throughout the entire water distribution network. As the frequency of wildfires at the wildland–urban interface grows, so too does the risk of water contamination and the need for better policies to protect public health. Postdoctoral researcher Caitlin Proctor (Environmental and Ecological Engineering) led a case study that examined the Tubbs Fire and the Camp Fire (2018) to identify the factors influencing drinking water quality risks in those communities and subsequent response and recovery events post-fire. Several policy recommendations for reducing water contamination risk are provided.

Proctor, Caitlin, Juneseok Lee, David Yu, Amisha D. Shah, and Andrew J. Whelton (2020) Wildfire caused widespread drinking water distribution network contamination. AWWA Water Science e1183.

Category: Research
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