In a survey of eighty-eight county districts within England and Wales, rates of Alzheimer's disease in people under the age of 70 years were estimated from the records of the computerised tomographic (CT) scanning units that served these districts. Rates were adjusted to compensate for differences in distance from the nearest CT scanning unit and for differences in the size of the population served by the units. Aluminium concentrations in water over the past 10 years were obtained from water authorities and water companies. The risk of Alzheimer's disease was 1.5 times higher in districts where the mean aluminium concentration exceeded 0.11 mg/l than in districts where concentrations were less than 0.01 mg/l. There was no evidence of a relation between other causes of dementia, or epilepsy, and aluminium concentrations in water.