Joseph Cotruvo

Joseph Cotruvo

Joseph Cotruvo & Associates LLC
Washington, DC , United StatesGlobal citizen
Education: PhD

Joseph A. Cotruvo, PhD,

Board Certified in Environmental Science


Dr. Cotruvo’s career runs the gamut from basic water chemistry and technology, US and international regulatory development, health guidance and management, research in water science, technology and toxicology of drinking water components, point-of -use  and point-of-entry water technologies, and public water and wastewater technologies including water reuse and desalination. His PhD is in Physical Organic Chemistry. His experience in drinking water quality and health matters included being the first Director of USEPA’s Drinking Water Standards Division after passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act, and Director of USEPA’s Risk Assessment Division in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. He developed many of the existing regulations and much of the methodology being used in drinking water assessments to produce MCLGs and MCLs, and applied it initially to the THM regulations. After retiring from USEPA he was Vice President for Environmental Health Sciences for NSF International.

For many years he has been a core member of the World Health Organization’s Steering Committee for development of the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality and has engaged in numerous activities producing major water and health policy products for WHO. He has produced WHO monographs on Waterborne Zoonoses, HPC organisms, and Mineral Nutrients in Drinking Water, and the WHO/WPC monograph on Health Aspects of Plumbing. He developed and managed for WHO the IWA document on Guidance for Health and Environmental Aspects of Desalination. He has worked on disinfection and water quality and composition issues involving desalination in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, and currently on water quality in Qatar, and is a member of the Technical Committee on National Drinking Water Quality Standards in Singapore. 

Dr. Cotruvo has been principal investigator and co-principal investigator on numerous Water Research Foundation projects investigating drinking water safety, technology, security, decontamination, non traditional techniques for water provision, and disinfection byproducts formation and health issues. He recently completed a multiyear mechanistic study to elucidate the bromate risk in drinking water.


He is a former member of the Research Advisory Boards of the WateReuse Foundation and the National Water Research Institute and is current chairman of the WateReuse Association’s National Regulatory Committee. He currently serves on the expert water reuse health advisory committees for the Orange County, CA Ground Water Replenishment System and for Los Angeles and San Diego water reuse project studies, and on the expert committees for the States of Ohio, Arizona, and New Mexico, and previously the Santa Ana River Water Quality and Health study. He chaired development of the International Life Sciences Institute’s Guideline for Safe Application of Water Conservation Methods in Beverage Production and Food Processing.


He consults with several companies on water quality, health and technology issues. He is President of Joseph Cotruvo & Associates LLC, and is Board Certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. He is a former President of the US chapter of the InterAmerican Association of Environmental and Sanitary Engineering (USAidis), an honorary life member of AWWA and the Water Quality Association, and for several years he chaired the Water Quality Committee of the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority. Member of the JAWWA Peer Review Editorial Board, for Toxicology and Health. He is technical editor for Water Technology Magazine and writes 2 monthly columns on water issues: Point of Use and Point of Entry, and on Contaminant of the Month.

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