Daily Archives: December 15, 2014

Drinking Water Quality in Small Canadian Water Systems

Scheili A, Rodriguez MJ, Sadiq R. Seasonal and spatial variations of source and drinking water quality in small municipal systems of two Canadian regions. The Science of the total environment. 2014 Dec 3. pii: S0048-9697(14)01663-5. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.069.

A one-year sampling program covering twenty-five small municipal systems was carried out in two Canadian regions to improve our understanding of the variability of water quality in small systems from water source to the end of the distribution system (DS). The database obtained was used to develop a global portrait of physical, chemical and microbiological water quality parameters. More precisely, the temporal and the spatial variability of these parameters were investigated. We observed that the levels of natural organic matter (NOM) were variable during different seasons, with maxima in the fall for both provinces. In the regions under study, the highest trihalomethane (THM) and haloacetic acid (HAA) levels were achieved in warmer seasons (summer, fall), as observed in previous studies involving large systems. Observed THM and HAA levels were three times higher in systems in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador than in the province of Quebec. Taste and odor indicators were detected during the summer and fall, and higher heterotrophic plate count (HPC) levels were associated with lower free chlorine levels. To determine spatial variations, stepwise statistical analysis was used to identify parameters and locations in the DS that act as indicators of drinking water quality. As observed for medium and large systems, free chlorine consumption, THM and HAA levels were dependant on their location in the DS. We also observed that the degradation of HAAs is more important in small systems than in medium or large DS reported in the literature, and this degradation can occur from the beginning of the DS. The results of this research may contribute to providing precious information on drinking water quality to small system operators and pave the way for several opportunities to improve water quality management.

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Environmental Sources of H. pylori Infection

Hastings EV, Yasui Y, Hanington P, Goodman KJ, The CANHelp Working Group. Community-driven Research on Environmental Sources of H. pylori Infection in Arctic Canada. Gut microbes 2014 Sep 1:0.

The role of environmental reservoirs in H. pylori transmission remains uncertain due to technical difficulties in detecting living organisms in sources outside the stomach. Residents of some Canadian Arctic communities worry that contamination of the natural environment is responsible for the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in the region. This analysis aims to estimate associations between exposure to potential environmental sources of biological contamination and prevalence of H. pylori infection in Arctic Canada. Using data from 3 community-driven H. pylori projects in the Northwest and Yukon Territories, we estimated effects of environmental exposures on H. pylori prevalence, using odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from multilevel logistic regression models to adjust for household and community effects. Investigated exposures include: untreated drinking water; livestock; dogs; cats; mice or mouse droppings in the home; cleaning fish or game. Our analysis did not identify environmental exposures associated clearly with increased H. pylori prevalence, except any exposure to mice or mouse droppings (OR = 4.6, CI = 1.2-18), reported by 11% of participants. Our multilevel models showed H. pylori clustering within households, but environmental exposures accounted for little of this clustering; instead, much of it was accounted for by household composition (especially: having infected household members; number of children). Like the scientific literature on this topic, our results do not clearly implicate or rule out environmental reservoirs of H. pylori; thus, the topic remains a priority for future research. Meanwhile, H. pylori prevention research should seek strategies for reducing direct transmission from person to person.

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