In 1908, Jersey City, N.J., was the first city in the U.S. to begin routine disinfection of drinking water
Sept. 26, 2008, marks the 100th anniversary of chlorine disinfection in the U.S. In 1908, Jersey City, N.J., was the first city in the country to begin routine disinfection of community drinking water. Since then, incidences of waterborne diseases have plummeted, dramatically raising the life expectancy throughout America. AWWA Executive Director Gary Zimmerman offers the following comments on behalf of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).
"One-hundred years after the introduction of chlorine disinfection in U.S. treatment processes, we have much to celebrate as a water community and a country. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the average lifespan in America has increased more than 30 years since 1900, and the dramatic reduction in waterborne disease contributed to that positive trend. Today, water providers throughout the country continue to add safe levels of chlorine to inactivate potentially harmful organisms and to keep water safe all the way to the tap. AWWA and its 60,000 committed water professionals are pleased to mark this important anniversary and recommit ourselves to providing safe water for the next 100 years."