Another GI Illness and Emergency Dept Visit Study, Atlanta, Georgia

The use of water residence time as a proxy for contamination by intrusion into a water distribution system is unsupported and speculative at best. It seems these researchers do not fully understand drinking water distribution systems.  Lastly, the ORs and CIs mentioned here are very low and are well within the range of no-effect.  Why speculate with such a weak finding?  Let’s use some common sense to operate and maintain water distribution systems and disinfectant residuals.

Levy K, Klein M, Sarnat SE, Panwhar S, Huttinger A, Tolbert P, Moe C. Refined assessment of associations between drinking water residence time and emergency department visits for gastrointestinal illness in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. Journal of Water and Health. 2016 Aug;14(4):672-681.

Recent outbreak investigations suggest that a substantial proportion of waterborne disease outbreaks are attributable to water distribution system issues. In this analysis, we examine the relationship between modeled water residence time (WRT), a proxy for probability of microorganism intrusion into the distribution system, and emergency department visits for gastrointestinal (GI) illness for two water utilities in Metro Atlanta, USA during 1993-2004. We also examine the association between proximity to the nearest distribution system node, based on patients’ residential address, and GI illness using logistic regression models. Comparing long (≥90th percentile) with intermediate WRTs (11th to 89th percentile), we observed a modestly increased risk for GI illness for Utility 1 (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.02-1.13), which had substantially higher average WRT than Utility 2, for which we found no increased risk (OR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.94-1.02). Examining finer, 12-hour increments of WRT, we found that exposures >48 h were associated with increased risk of GI illness, and exposures of >96 h had the strongest associations, although none of these associations was statistically significant. Our results suggest that utilities might consider reducing WRTs to <2-3 days or adding booster disinfection in areas with longer WRT, to minimize risk of GI illness from water consumption.

Flash Flood Impacts on Drinking Water Quality, 2012 Beijing Flood

Sun R, An D, Lu W, Shi Y, Wang L, Zhang C, Zhang P, Qi H, Wang Q. Impacts of a flash flood on drinking water quality: case study of areas most affected by the 2012 Beijing flood. Heliyon. 2016 Feb 19;2(2):e00071. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00071.

In this study, we present a method for identifying sources of water pollution and their relative contributions in pollution disasters. The method uses a combination of principal component analysis and factor analysis. We carried out a case study in three rural villages close to Beijing after torrential rain on July 21, 2012. Nine water samples were analyzed for eight parameters, namely turbidity, total hardness, total dissolved solids, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, total bacterial count, and total coliform groups. All of the samples showed different degrees of pollution, and most were unsuitable for drinking water as concentrations of various parameters exceeded recommended thresholds. Principal component analysis and factor analysis showed that two factors, the degree of mineralization and agricultural runoff, and flood entrainment, explained 82.50% of the total variance. The case study demonstrates that this method is useful for evaluating and interpreting large, complex water-quality data sets.

Atrazine in Drinking Water Not Associated with Overian Cancer, Iowa

Inoue-Choi M, Weyer PJ, Jones RR, Booth BJ, Cantor KP, Robien K, Ward MH Atrazine in public water supplies and risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016 Jul 1. pii: oemed-2016-103575. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2016-103575.

BACKGROUND: Few studies have evaluated environmental chemical exposures in relation to ovarian cancer. We previously found an increased risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women in Iowa associated with higher nitrate levels in public water supplies (PWS). However, elevated nitrate levels may reflect the presence of other agricultural chemicals, such as atrazine, one of the most commonly detected pesticides in Iowa PWS.

METHODS: We evaluated the association between atrazine in drinking water and incident ovarian cancer (N=145, 1986-2010) among 13 041 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study who used their PWS for ≥11 years as reported in 1989. Average levels of atrazine (1986-1987), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N, 1955-1988) and estimated levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM, 1955-1988) from PWS monitoring data were linked to the participants’ cities of residence. We computed HRs and 95% CIs by categories of the average atrazine level (not detected, ≤ or >0.37 parts per billion=median) using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusting for ovarian cancer risk factors.

RESULTS: Atrazine was detected in water samples from 69 cities where 4155 women (32%) lived and levels were moderately correlated with NO3-N (ρ=0.35) and TTHM (ρ=0.24). Atrazine levels were not associated with ovarian cancer risk with or without adjusting for NO3-N and TTHM levels (p-trend=0.50 and 0.81, respectively). Further, there was no evidence for effect modification of the atrazine association by NO3-N or TTHM levels.

CONCLUSIONS: In our study with low atrazine detection rates, we found no association between atrazine in PWS and postmenopausal ovarian cancer risk.

Phosphate Adsorption Using a Novel Filter Substrate

Wang W, Ma C, Zhang Y, Yang S, Shao Y, Wang X. Phosphate adsorption performance of a novel filter substrate made from drinking water treatment residuals. Journal of Environmental Sciences (China). 2016 Jul;45:191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2016.01.010. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Phosphate is one of the most predominant pollutants in natural waters. Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the phosphate adsorption performance of a (NFS) made from drinking water treatment residuals. The adsorption of phosphate on the NFS fitted well with the Freundlich isotherm and pseudo second-order kinetic models. At pH 7.0, the maximum adsorption capacity of 1.03mg/g was achieved at 15°C corresponding to the wastewater temperature in cold months, and increased notably to 1.31mg/g at 35°C. Under both acidic conditions (part of the adsorption sites was consumed) and basic conditions (negative charges formed on the surface of NFS, which led to a static repulsion of PO4(3-) and HPO4(2-)), the adsorption of phosphate was slightly inhibited. Further study showed that part of the adsorption sites could be recovered by 0.25mol/L NaOH. The activation energy was calculated to be above 8.0kJ/mol, indicating that the adsorption of phosphate on NFS was probably a chemical process. Considering the strong phosphate adsorption capacity and recoverability, NFS showed great promise on enhancing phosphate removal from the secondary treated wastewater in the filtration process.

NOM Composition and Biological Stability

Park JW, Kim HC, Meyer AS, Kim S, Maeng SK. Influences of NOM composition and bacteriological characteristics on biological stability in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant. Chemosphere 2016 Jul 1;160:189-198. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.06.079.

The influences of natural organic matter (NOM) and bacteriological characteristics on the biological stability of water were investigated in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant. We found that prechlorination decreased the hydrophobicity of the organic matter and significantly increased the high-molecular-weight (MW) dissolved organic matter, such as biopolymers and humic substances. High-MW organic matter and structurally complex compounds are known to be relatively slowly biodegradable; however, because of the prechlorination step, the indigenous bacteria could readily utilise these fractions as assimilable organic carbon. Sequential coagulation and sedimentation resulted in the substantial removal of biopolymer (74%), humic substance (33%), bacterial cells (79%), and assimilable organic carbon (67%). Rapid sand and granular activated carbon filtration induced an increase in the low-nucleic-acid content bacteria; however, these bacteria were biologically less active in relation to enzymatic activity and ATP. The granular activated carbon step was essential to securing biological stability (the ability to prevent bacterial growth) by removing the residual assimilable organic carbon that had formed during the ozone treatment. The growth potential of Escherichia coli and indigenous bacteria were found to differ in respect to NOM characteristics. In comparison with E. coli, the indigenous bacteria utilised a broader range of NOM as a carbon source. Principal component analysis demonstrated that the measured biological stability of water could differ, depending on the NOM characteristics, as well as on the bacterial inoculum selected for the analysis.

Iranian Missile Program Still a Threat to the State of Israel

“The Iranian threat is still the greatest threat to the State of Israel,” Liberman said. “Iran is still promoting its missile program with full force…and we don’t have to guess whom the missiles program is targeting.” click here

Spain, Italy THM Exposure and Colorectal Cancer; No Association Found

Villanueva CM, Gracia-Lavedan E, Bosetti C, Righi E, Molina AJ, Martín V, Boldo E, Aragonés N, Perez-Gomez B, Pollan M, Gomez Acebo I, Altzibar JM, Jiménez Zabala A, Ardanaz E, Peiró R, Tardón A, Chirlaque MD, Tavani A, Polesel J, Serraino D, Pisa F, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, Espejo-Herrera N, Palau M, Moreno V, La Vecchia C, Aggazzotti G, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Kogevinas M. Colorectal Cancer and Long-Term Exposure to Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water: A Multicenter Case-Control Study in Spain and Italy. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2016 Jul 6.

BACKGROUND: Evidence on the association between colorectal cancer and exposure to disinfection by-products in drinking water is inconsistent.

OBJECTIVES: We assessed long-term exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs), the most prevalent group of chlorination by-products, to evaluate the association with colorectal cancer.

METHODS: A multicentre case-control study was conducted in Spain and Italy in 2008-2013. Hospital-based incident cases, population-based (Spain) and hospital-based (Italy) controls were interviewed to ascertain residential histories, water type consumed in each residence, frequency and duration of showering/ bathing, and major recognized risk factors for colorectal cancer. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (OR) for colorectal cancer in association with quartiles of estimated average lifetime THM concentrations in each participant’s residential tap water (μg/L, from age 18 to two years before the interview) and estimated average lifetime THM ingestion from drinking residential tap water (μg/day).

RESULTS: Subjects analyzed were 2047 cases and 3718 controls. Median values (ranges) for average lifetime residential tap water concentrations of total THMs, chloroform, and brominated THMs were 30 (0-174), 17 (0-63), and 9 (0-145) μg/L, respectively. Total THM concentration in residential tap water was not associated with colorectal cancer (OR=0.92, 95%CI: 0.66-1.28 for highest vs. lowest quartile), but chloroform concentrations were inversely associated (OR=0.31, 95%CI: 0.24-0.41 for highest vs. lowest quartile). Brominated THMs concentrations showed a positive association among men at the highest vs. lowest quartile (OR=1.43, 95%CI: 0.83-2.46). Patterns of associations were similar for estimated average THM ingestion through residential water consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: We did not find clear evidence of an association between detailed estimates of lifetime total THM exposures and colorectal cancer in our large case-control study population. Negative associations with chloroform concentrations and ingestion suggest differences among specific THMs, but these findings need confirmation in other study populations.