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Frequently Asked Questions

  What is safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?
  What kinds of news does it cover?
  What about wastewater issues? Aren't they an important part of the water quality story?
  Who puts the newsletter together and where are they located?
  What does the newsletter cost, and how can I subscribe?
  How do I get access to safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?
  Why don't you publish the newsletter on a daily basis?
  Do I have to be on-line to read safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?
  Which web browser should I use to view the newsletter best?
  Can I print the newsletter and stories linked to safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?
  If I give you my email address, am I going to end up receiving a bunch of junk email messages?
  Do I need to be worried about any viruses hitchhiking along with the newsletter?
  If this newsletter is free, who is paying for all the expenses?
  Will there be advertising included in the newsletter?
  Why is it that sometimes when I click on a link, I get a message that the story is no longer available or I get an error message?
  How can I let you know about the news story that you missed completely about that critical water quality problem I have been tracking?
  What is PDF format and why won't my web browser display it?
  What does the safedrinkingwater.com NEWS logo mean?
  What if I have a question that is not included in the FAQ list?


Q: What is safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?

A: Safedrinkingwater.com NEWS is a free weekly newsletter distributed by email. We expect that it will become the premier newsletter for the drinking water quality community with links to news stories and information sources concerning drinking water quality issues in the U.S. and the world. You can also access the current and archived newsletters by going to the web page: http://www.safedrinkingwater.com/archive/news.htm.

Q: What kinds of news and information does the newsletter cover?

A: We are devoted exclusively to the drinking water quality community. We will not be covering water resource issues except as they directly involve water quality issues (such as contamination of groundwater). Drinking water quality issues include source water quality and protection, water treatment plants and processes and water quality issues in the distribution system. We are interested in covering the public's interests in drinking water quality and how that relates to use of bottled water and home treatment devices. The newsletter is comprised of links to news stories about water quality from all over the world although our initial focus is on California. We also cover important changes in drinking water regulations at the federal and state (California) level.

Q: What about wastewater issues? Aren't they an important part of the water quality story?

A: We had to make some tough choices and we did not want to duplicate the fine work being done by Ken Harlow and the So Cal Water Resources News. We will be covering wastewater issues to the extent that they impact potable uses of recycled wastewater and groundwater recharge of reclaimed effluents.

Q: Who puts the newsletter together and where are they located?

A: Jennifer Smith is the Managing Editor of the newsletter, and she makes it happen every week. She recently left the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California where she was providing an information service to member agencies on water quality regulatory issues. She recently moved to Austin, Texas with her family.

Chet Anderson is the Senior Editor and he works with Jennifer to create the newsletter and provide a quality control service. He claims to be " somewhat retired" in the woods of Northern California near Mendocino.

Mike McGuire is the Publisher and provides overall direction and some content. He and Jonathan Valdez, the Assistant Managing Editor, are located in the offices of McGuire Malcolm Pirnie Environmental Consultants, Inc. in Santa Monica, California.
Erica Rosen, the Webmaster, maintains the site and makes the newsletter look pretty every week, and works out of lovely Scituate, Massachusetts.

We also work with a number of guest editors and contributors who provide interesting content for the publication. They are located all over the place. As you can tell, we are doing this in a virtual world and in virtual time.

Q: What does the newsletter cost, and how can I subscribe?

A: Safedrinkingwater.com NEWS is free. All you have to do is click on the subscribe button on the newsletter or on the web site and you will be linked to our subscription form. Fill out the form and reply to the confirmation email, and your subscription will start with the next issue. Anyone can subscribe. We welcome water utility staff, directors, consultants, manufacturers, attorneys, students, professors, regulators and anyone else with an interest in drinking water quality. Consumers are also very welcome to subscribe and we hope they will find the technical and non-technical information interesting.

Q: How do I get access to Safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?

A: Safedrinkingwater.com NEWS is delivered to you each week (usually on Wednesday) as an attachment to an email message. To read the newsletter, all you have to do is double click on the attachment. The newsletter will be displayed using your default web browser. You can also access current and archived newsletters by going to the web page: http://www.safedrinkingwater.com/archive/news.htm.

Q: Why don't you publish the newsletter on a daily basis?

A: At some point in the future, we may. There appears to be enough information to make it a daily publication. However for now, we will stick with weekly publication with Water News Alerts that will be sent out from time to time on particularly important issues.

Q: Do I have to be on-line to read safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?

A: No, but it sure helps. The newsletter is written in the HTML and looks like a web page, but you can view it off-line. However, the best way to take advantage of all the links to news stories and web pages is to open the newsletter while you are on-line. By clicking on the hyper-linked headlines, you will be automatically transported to the web site with the story that will open as a new web browser window. To get back to the newsletter, click on the appropriate web browser button on your button bar. You can keep any number of web browser windows open while you sort through the stories.

Q: Which web browser should I use to view the newsletter best?

A: We are captives of Microsoft. The newsletter can best be viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0; however, earlier versions will work. Mozilla Firefox will also work fine.

Q: Can I print the newsletter and stories linked to safedrinkingwater.com NEWS?

A: Our Fair Use Statement gives you permission to print the newsletter for your personal use and information. A principle under copyright law called the "fair use doctrine" also gives you permission to print individual stories for your own personal use. Beyond that, you should seek a legal opinion about any other uses.

Q: If I give you my email address, am I going to end up receiving a bunch of junk email messages?

A: No. You need to check out our Privacy Statement which should reassure you that we will not sell or give out your email address to third parties.

Q: Do I need to be worried about any viruses hitchhiking along with the newsletter?

A: Every issue of Safedrinkingwater.com NEWS is checked with the latest version of Trend Micro anti-virus software that has been updated on a regular basis to detect recent computer viruses, worms, etc. We do everything we can to make sure that we never transmit a virus.

Q: If this newsletter is free, who is paying for all the expenses?

A: The sponsor of the newsletter and corresponding web site is McGuire Malcolm Pirnie Environmental Consultants, Inc. We are a consulting engineering firm devoted to the drinking water community and we are providing this free service to our clients and to others who may be interested in the information. If you would like to find out more about us, check out our company web site http://www.mcguireinc.com.

Q: Will there be advertising included in the newsletter?

A: No. All of us find banner advertisements on newsletters to be really annoying. We do not intend to ever include ads in the newsletter. The web site may include job postings or other such services that may be of interest to our readers.

Q: Why is it that sometimes when I click on a link, I get a message that the story is no longer available or I get an error message.

A: A lot of newspapers take their stories off-line and archive them every few days to once per week. Obviously, they want you to pay their modest fee to obtain an archived story. It would be a violation of copyright law for us to copy the story published by a newspaper and post it on our web site. We hope that the headline for the story will entice you to look up those stories that you are immediately interested in and copy them or print them for your personal use. Links to web sites maintained by the USEPA, California Department of Health Services, AWWA, etc. generally have a longer "shelf life" and can be found weeks or even months after they are published in safedrinkingwater.com NEWS.

Q: How can I let you know about the news story that you missed completely about that critical water quality problem I have been tracking?

A: We use Newsbots (literally software robots that search the web for news) as well as visit key web sites that we know have information that our readers want to see. But we cannot find everything ourselves. We would be very grateful if you would send the Managing Editor the URL (web address) for stories or information sources that you think should be included in the newsletter.

Q: What is PDF format and why won't my web browser display it?

A: PDF format is a special format that can be viewed using a free Reader from Adobe Acrobat. We have included links in the newsletter and on the web site to the Adobe Acrobat web page where you can get a copy of the free software.  Or, just go here.  The Reader is free, and is all you need to read PDF documents, although Adobe will be thrilled if you purchase one of their more full-featured products.

Q: What does the safedrinkingwater.com NEWS logo mean?

A: Well, we thought it was obvious, but we were wrong. Click on the logo to get several explanations of what people think it means (and what we originally intended). If you have a new interpretation, email us and we will post it. Doesn't anyone play Trivial Pursuit anymore?

Q: What if I have a question that is not included in this FAQ list?

A: Terrific!  Please send your question to info@safedrinkingwater.com and we will post it if it appears to be of broad interest to our readers.


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Version 08-05
Updated August 15, 2005