Drinking Water

ERG works to protect the quality of and equitable access to our nation’s drinking water—from source to tap.

Our scientists, engineers, and policy analysts evaluate regulated and unregulated contaminants, screen and prioritize complex factors affecting drinking water quality, and develop integrated solutions for source water protection. They also apply their expertise to protect groundwater resources from underground injection practices. ERG technical specialists, including certified operators, inspect and survey water systems, sample drinking water, and provide technical assistance. In parallel, our engineers and policy analysts assess infrastructure needs and support federal loan and grant programs to facilitate local access to affordable funding and financing.

Our cutting-edge research supports development of frameworks and tools to assess drinking water system and supply vulnerability and resilience. In addition, ERG develops and supports product specifications and certification programs for water-efficient products and practices and builds and maintains safe drinking water data management and reporting systems. As nationally recognized experts, ERG drinking water specialists have served in leadership positions on federal and state workshops and conferences, and in national and international organizations.

Regulatory Development and Implementation
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Risk assessment
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Strategic outreach, training, and risk communication 
Utility Management and Operations
  • Infrastructure needs assessments
  • Technical, managerial, and financial capacity building
  • Asset management
  • Funding and finance
  • Equity and affordability
  • SOP and sampling plan development  
Source Water Protection
  • Watershed planning and management
  • Training and outreach
  • Program evaluation  
Compliance and Enforcement
  • Sampling and analysis
  • Sanitary surveys
  • Utility inspections  
Sustainability and Resilience
  • Water conservation and efficiency
  • Water reuse/enhanced aquifer recharge
  • Reservoir management support
  • Climate impacts on water supply and sources
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Life cycle assessment 
Research
  • Vulnerability assessments
  • Drinking water quality (including PFAS)
  • Groundwater   
Data Management and Information Tools
  • Use and modernization of SDWIS systems
  • Analytical web and geospatial services
  • Electronic reporting for drinking water laboratories
  • Surveys  


Service Area Leads

Photo of Sam Arden

Solving today’s complex environmental challenges is a daunting task. It requires the delicate balancing of many competing factors, from cost and convenience to public health protection and resource allocation. At ERG, I am fortunate to be able to work on projects that get to the core of this balance, surrounded by clients and colleagues who are equally passionate about finding mindful, objective solutions for our complex world.

Sam Arden

Julie Blue Bio

I enjoy supporting decision-makers who are working to protect human health and the environment, adapt to climate change, and build community resilience with limited resources. In data-rich environments, I develop new methodologies that allow resource managers to access and utilize large amounts of data in a flexible way. When data are lacking, I manage bottom-up assessments that incorporate the experience of local stakeholders into collaborative decision support tools.

Julie Blue

Photo of Lauren Brown

My public health career has been a joy because it allows me to combine my love of data and problem-solving with my passion for helping people in need. At ERG, I collaborate daily with mission-driven colleagues and clients to develop evidence-based solutions that make the world a healthier, more equitable place.

Lauren Brown

Meghan Camp

I feel so fortunate that, throughout my career, my work has been inspiring and rewarding. I particularly enjoy applying my engineering background and environmental program expertise to design data systems and tools that effectively convey complex environmental information in a way that provides context and meaning to the public.

Meghan Camp

Sarah Cashman

Increasingly, organizations are applying life cycle assessment to learn how they can most effectively reduce the environmental footprint of their products and processes. I take great pride in contributing to techniques and open-source databases that help move the science of LCA forward and facilitate access to more robust, current, and regionalized public life cycle inventory data.

Sarah Cashman

Carolyn Gillette

I have dedicated my career to helping clients develop practical, incremental solutions to environmental challenges that can sometimes feel very overwhelming. It is a privilege to work with colleagues and clients who are devoted to building a better world, on the foundations of science, information, and communication.

Carolyn Gillette

Photo of Linda Hills

As an environmental engineer living in Montana, I’m keenly aware of the value of preserving our nation’s natural resources and of my own part in helping to prevent the degradation of these irreplaceable assets. I work to ensure that wastewater is managed properly and that the water we drink is clean now and into the future.

Linda Hills

Jill Lucy

As someone who has long appreciated nature and the positive contributions that others make to this world, I am proud to participate in projects that help keep the world a healthy, safe, and beautiful place for the next generation.

Jill Lucy

Arleen O'Donnell

I cherish the connection with nature I feel from the strength of the ocean, the run of a river, the serenity of a lake, the intensity of estuaries, and the magic of vernal pools. It’s from this sense of appreciation that I apply my knowledge, experience, and passion to protect and restore the ecological integrity of water resources.

Arleen O'Donnell

Danny O’Connell

The operation and maintenance of water and wastewater utilities requires a clear understanding of diverse variables unique to each facility. I enjoy evaluating these variables and creating conditions or systems that enable water treatment and management systems to perform at their highest efficiencies.

Danny O’Connell

Chi Ho Sham Photo

Growing up in Hong Kong, I developed an appreciation of the importance of economic development while witnessing the drastic environmental and public health degradation it can cause. Inspired by this early experience, I have focused my life’s work at the intersection of environmental and economic issues. I feel fortunate to work collaboratively with so many devoted, creative, and smart individuals in seeking solutions in the balance of these often opposing public needs.

Chi Ho Sham

Roy Sieber

I am fascinated by the interaction of human behavior and technology, and the resulting impact on the environment. I really enjoy trying to understand and influence those interactions to create a more sustainable economy.

Roy Sieber

Photo of Mary Ellen Tucillo

Staring out of an airplane window not long after my first geology course, I was amazed at how the landscape features jumped out at me. I saw clearly how river flow, sediment, and time had interacted. That wonder is still with me as I apply what I know about geology and geochemistry to protect our nation’s groundwater, drinking water, and infrastructure. My work is diverse, and I like it that way because it allows me to bring a deep understanding of the earth and environmental sciences to a wide array of subsurface and surface environmental problems.

Mary Ellen Tuccillo