The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

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Harper Collins, Jul 31, 2007 - Science - 320 pages
19 Reviews

With the keen eyes of a scientist and the sensibilities of a seasoned writer, Dr. Robert Morris chronicles the fascinating and at times frightening story of our drinking water. His gripping narrative vividly recounts the epidemics that have shaken cities and nations, the scientists who reached into the invisible and emerged with controversial truths that would save millions of lives, and the economic and political forces that opposed these researchers in a ferocious war of ideas.

In the gritty world of nineteenth-century England, amid the ravages of cholera, Morris introduces John Snow, the physician who proved that the deadly disease could be hidden in a drop of water. Decades later in the deserts of Africa, the story follows Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch as they raced to find the cause of cholera and a means to prevent its spread. In the twentieth century, burgeoning cities would subdue cholera and typhoid by bending rivers to their will, building massive filtration plants, and bubbling poisonous gas through their drinking water. However, with the arrival of the new millennium, the demon of waterborne disease is threatening to reemerge, and a growing body of research has linked the chlorine relied on for water treatment with cancer and stillbirths.

In The Blue Death, Morris dispels notions of fail-safe water systems. Along the way he reveals some shocking truths: the millions of miles of leaking water mains, constantly evolving microorganisms, and the looming threat of bioterrorism, which may lead to catastrophe. Across time and around the world, this riveting account offers alarming information about the natural and man-made hazards present in the very water we drink.

  

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Review: The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Wonderful book! Very easy to read - especially if you work in the water and wastewater industry! Read full review

Review: The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

User Review  - Michelle Heizelman - Goodreads

DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO DRINK TAP WATER! This was an excellent book that scared the crap out of me! I do like all the history of drinking water as well as the tips on how to make our water safer. Read full review

Contents

List of Illustrations
1
The Blue Death
7
Snow on Cholera
25
All Smell Is Disease
45
The Experimentum Crucis
61
The Doctor the Priest and the Outbreak at Golden Square
75
The Great Stink
96
Thirsty Cities and Dirty Water
109
Spring in Milwaukee
178
The Hidden Seed
192
At War with the Invisible
215
Death in Ontario
237
Surviving the Storm
247
The Worst Place on Earth
257
From E Coli to al Qaeda
269
Strategies for Safe Water A Modest Proposal
293

The Scramble for Pure Water
136
The TwoEdged Sword
163
Acknowledgments
308
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Dr. Robert D. Morris is an internationally recognized expert in the field of drinking water and health. His work has been featured throughout the media, including Dateline NBC, the New York Times, the BBC, and The Times of London. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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