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University of Iowa News Release

June 1, 2006

Safety Of Public Water Supply To Be Discussed June 9

Most of us don't think twice when turning on the tap to get a drink, prepare food or brush our teeth. Although the United States enjoys one of the best supplies of drinking water in the world, public water systems are vulnerable to disease outbreaks, contamination and security threats.

On Friday, June 9, L.D. McMullen, CEO and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, will present "Can We Trust Our Water Supply?" from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 5236 of the Westlawn Building on the University of Iowa campus. McMullen will explain the challenges of supplying safe public drinking water, explore trends that will impact the quality of water delivered to the public in the future and identify potential future risks.

The program is free and open to the public and will be broadcast via streaming video on the Web through Elluminate (a Web-based conferencing system) and the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). On-campus ICN locations include 107 North Hall and A117 Oakdale Hall. Information about off-campus ICN sites is available when registering for the program.

McMullen has served as CEO and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works since 1986. He received a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the UI in 1975. He has served on and chaired numerous boards and committees for the American Water Works Association, the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the International Life Science Institute, the National Academies Water Science and Technology Board and the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.

This program is part of the spring 2006 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) also will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, Institute for Public Health Practice, UI College of Public Health, Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Hospital Association and Iowa Medical Society. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,