The Healthy Homes Program / Healthy Homes Initiatives - Proactively Monitoring Environmental Safety Factors for Healthy Living

The Healthy Homes Program / Healthy Homes Initiatives - Proactively Monitoring Environmental Safety Factors for Healthy Living
It is sometimes assumed that it is someone else's responsibility to ensure that the quality of anything coming into our homes is at a regulated standard. This is unfortunately not the case. Only you can ensure the level of safety desired when it applies to the drinking water coming into your home as well as other environmental factors surrounding your location. Join Know Your H2O on a Path to Clean Water.

Because of a concern about children’s health, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in 1999, launched its Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI).

The focus of the program are the health and safety related issues that originate in a child’s home.  HUD designed the program so it followed the same strategy and approach as the successful Lead Hazard Control program. The objective of the new program is more inclusive and addresses a variety of environmental health and safety concerns including: allergens, carbon monoxide, home accidents/ safety, lead, lung disease, mold, pesticides, and radon.  This was outlined in the Healthy Homes Strategic Plan and on the HUD website.

Healthy Homes grants are awarded to non-profits, for-profit firms, state and local governments, federally-recognized Indian Tribes, colleges, and universities in the United States - not directly to individuals.

Healthy Communities

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) developed the Healthy Communities Program (HCP).  The program uses local, state, territory, and national partnerships to attempt to prevent chronic diseases and reduce health disparities (Note: For me this is a buzz word related to equity, we will never have equal outcomes in communities because of individual choice, culture, economics, genetic variability, and lifestyle issues, but we can attempt to treat all individuals equally). Nearly 50% of Americans die of one chronic disease, such as: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer (polycythemica vera), obesity, and arthritis.

Chronic diseases make up 7 of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. In addition to causing death, these seven chronic diseases are associated with chronic pain, inability to function and support an individual or family, limit daily activities, and significantly impact the sustainability of the family and community and directly impact health care cost and the economics of a community. From our recent experiences with COVID-19, the individuals with chronic diseases are more vulnerable to the negative and adverse impacts of other viral pathogens and pandemics. The approach of the Healthy Communities Program was to raise awareness and provide fact-based information, but also encourage citizens to make better choices, increase physical activity, make better food choices, and reduce the use of tobacco. The CDC initially funded 331 communities and 52 state and territorial health departments through the Healthy Communities Program  (HCP). The program was operational from 2008 to 2012.   (Archive)

Tools to protect your home and family outside of government initiatives:

Order a Neighborhood Hazard Report for Your Property -

By entering your address, selected government databases identify known and potential contamination sites within a 300-foot radius, potential environmental issues beyond 300 feet and up to 1 mile, and provide detailed information about the specific hazard along with contact information for the government agencies that provide the data.

EPA Wigets to search environmental factors individually -

The Envirofacts widgets are provided as a community service from the EPA through the Know Your H20 Portal. Enter your geographic location in the search box of any of the widgets to learn more about factors that may impact the environmental quality in your region. Zoom the maps in or out to expand the area around your home to a larger area of concern if needed.

Healthy Drinking Water/ Water Initiatives

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) implemented an education and informational program about healthy water initiatives, including drinking waterswimming / recreational water, diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene and waterborne disease, and how to make water safe to drink in emergencies for outbreaks, preparedness, and response. 

Our Know Your H2O education program started in 1989 to private well owners and homeowners was known as the Homeowner Outreach Program.  The program was self-funded and currently the program operates as the Know Your H20 Program.  The components of our program include

Drinking water comes from a variety of sources including public water systems , private wells , or bottled water.

In the past, it was assumed that safe and healthy drinking water was as simple as connecting to an EPA / State regulated public water supply system, but Flint Michigan and other examples have made it clear it is not that simple.

Water customers and users need to be proactive about this process and learn about where their drinking water originates (the source), the activities within the source area, how the water is treated and monitored, the quality and condition of the water distribution and pumping system, and the components of the service lines and household plumbing and fixtures in their own homes and residences, buildings, community buildings, and offices.   

The water customer can be proactive by reviewing the annual consumer confidence report for their water supplier, and using water professionals and licensed plumbers to conduct renovations and improvements, and getting their drinking water tested and screened at least annually. In some cases, the water customer may want or need to install and maintain point-of-use or whole house filtration systems or update plumbing and other water related appliances. 

The Know Your H20 Portal provides water customers with fact-based information, recommendations for self-monitoring tools, listing of case studies and other tools,   recommendations related to DIY water testing (Level 2), informational water testing (Level 3) and certified water testing (Level 4). In addition, our portal provides a guide to Level 1 or Self-Diagnostic Observational Water Testing based on your observations, aesthetic condition, and problems you may be experiencing with your drinking water. 

Level 1, or "Observational" Diagnostics are done with simple observations that you can make using your senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and readily available information about the home. These observations can be experienced in the moment or monitored as they change over time. What you see, smell, taste, or problems you are experiencing with your water, your home, or yourself should be noted and recorded. These are basic observations you can make that might help diagnose your water-quality-related problem or condition.  

Therefore, it is important to Know Your H20 and Get on the Path to Clean Water.

 Actions You Can Take Right Now:


Step 1: Get Informed
Step 2: Get Tested

Level 1 – Use the Know Your H2O Self Diagnostic Tool! 
Level 2- DIY Screening Tools

Level 4- Certified Water Testing

Step 3: Get Treatment