Daily Archives: January 2, 2012

Investor-owned water companies have a cleaner record than public utilities

From the American Water Intelligence (AWI) report (click here):

“An AWI analysis of EPA data on serious violators of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act has shown that privately owned and operated water utilities – especially large investor-owned companies – have a much cleaner record than public utilities when it comes to SDWA violations and fines.”

“The analysis, which included data on water systems with serious violations and least 500 customers over the past three years, showed that only 13 percent of facilities with current, serious SDWA violations are run exclusively by private companies. Only one of the 1,369 serious violators in the list is a large, investor-owned water company.”
 

 

Figure source: American Water Intelligence

USEPA fluroide risk assessment and relative source contribution (2011)

 

 Click here for the risk assessment and relative source contribution documents.

 

Colford et al 2005: A randomized, controlled trial of in-home drinking water intervention to reduce gastrointestinal illness

This study examined the health benefit of in-home treatment of tap water from a well-run water utility in the United States (Iowa). No reduction in gastrointestinal illness was detected after in-home use of a device designed to be highly effective in removing microorganisms from water. In other words, the additional treatment in the home for tap water did not lower reported illnesses compared to having no additional tap water treatment in the home.

Colford, J.M. Jr., T.J. Wade, S.K. Sandhu, C.C. Wright, S. Lee, S. Shaw, K. Fox, S. Burns, A. Benker, M.A. Brookart, M. van der Laan, and D.A. Levy. 2005 A randomized, controlled trial of in-home drinking water intervention to reduce gastrointestinal illness. Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Mar 1;161(5):472-82.

Abstract: Trials have provided conflicting estimates of the risk of gastrointestinal illness attributable to tap water. To estimate this risk in an Iowa community with a well-run water utility with microbiologically challenged source water, the authors of this 2000-2002 study randomly assigned blinded volunteers to use externally identical devices (active device: 227 households with 646 persons; sham device: 229 households with 650 persons) for 6 months (cycle A). Each group then switched to the opposite device for 6 months (cycle B). The active device contained a 1-microm absolute ceramic filter and used ultraviolet light. Episodes of “highly credible gastrointestinal illness,” a published measure of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps, were recorded. Water usage was recorded with personal diaries and an electronic totalizer. The numbers of episodes in cycle A among the active and sham device groups were 707 and 672, respectively; in cycle B, the numbers of episodes were 516 and 476, respectively. In a log-linear generalized estimating equations model using intention-to-treat analysis, the relative rate of highly credible gastrointestinal illness (sham vs. active) for the entire trial was 0.98 (95% confidence interval: 0.86, 1.10). No reduction in gastrointestinal illness was detected after in-home use of a device designed to be highly effective in removing microorganisms from water.

Click here for the full paper (free).