Category Archives: Drinking Water Quality

Analysis of polonium, plutonium, americium and uranium in drinking water

Lemons, B.; Khaing, H.; Ward, A.; Thakur, P. A rapid method for the sequential separation of polonium, plutonium, americium and uranium in drinking water. Applied Radiation and Isotopes June 2018 136:10-17

A new sequential separation method for the determination of polonium and actinides (Pu, Am and U) in drinking water samples has been developed that can be used for emergency response or routine water analyses. For the first time, the application of TEVA chromatography column in the sequential separation of polonium and plutonium has been studied. This method utilizes a rapid Fe+3 co-precipitation step to remove matrix interferences, followed by plutonium oxidation state adjustment to Pu4+ and an incubation period of ~ 1 h at 50–60 °C to allow Po2+ to oxidize to Po4+. The polonium and plutonium were then separated on a TEVA column, while separation of americium from uranium was performed on a TRU column. After separation, polonium was micro-precipitated with copper sulfide (CuS), while actinides were micro co-precipitated using neodymium fluoride (NdF3) for counting by the alpha spectrometry. The method is simple, robust and can be performed quickly with excellent removal of interferences, high chemical recovery and very good alpha peak resolution. The efficiency and reliability of the procedures were tested by using spiked samples. The effect of several transition metals (Cu2+, Pb2+, Fe3+, Fe2+, and Ni2+) on the performance of this method were also assessed to evaluate the potential matrix effects. Studies indicate that presence of up to 25 mg of these cations in the samples had no adverse effect on the recovery or the resolution of polonium alpha peaks.

Nationwide drinking water sampling for exposure assessment, Denmark

Voutchkova DD, Hansen B, Ernstsen V, Kristiansen SM.Nationwide Drinking Water Sampling Campaign for Exposure Assessments in Denmark. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2018 Mar 7;15(3). pii: E467. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030467.

Nationwide sampling campaign of treated drinking water of groundwater origin was designed and implemented in Denmark in 2013. The main purpose of the sampling was to obtain data on the spatial variation of iodine concentration and speciation in treated drinking water, which was supplied to the majority of the Danish population. This data was to be used in future exposure and epidemiologic studies. The water supply sector (83 companies, owning 144 waterworks throughout Denmark) was involved actively in the planning and implementation process, which reduced significantly the cost and duration of data collection. The dataset resulting from this collaboration covers not only iodine species (I, IO₃, TI), but also major elements and parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, DOC, TC, TN, F, Cl, NO₃, SO₄2-, Ca²⁺, Mg²⁺, K⁺, Na⁺) and a long list of trace elements (n = 66). The water samples represent 144 waterworks abstracting about 45% of the annual Danish groundwater abstraction for drinking water purposes, which supply about 2.5 million Danes (45% of all Danish residents). This technical note presents the design, implementation, and limitations of such a sampling design in detail in order (1) to facilitate the future use of this dataset, (2) to inform future replication studies, or (3) to provide an example for other researchers.

House hold electrocoagulation filtration process produces potable water

Dhadge VL, Medhi CR, Changmai M, Purkait MK. House hold unit for the treatment of fluoride, iron, arsenic and microorganism contaminated drinking water. Chemosphere 2018 Feb 16;199:728-736. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.087.

A first of its kind hybrid electrocoagulation-filtration prototype unit was fabricated for the removal of fluoride, iron, arsenic and microorganisms contaminated drinking water. The unit comprised of 3 chambers, chamber A consisting of an inlet for the water to be treated and an outlet for the treated water along with one block of aluminum electrodes. Chamber B consisted of ceramic membrane filtration assembly at the bottom over a metallic support which filters the flocs so produced in chamber A and chamber C consisting of space to collect the treated water. Operating parameters were maintained as current density of 625 A m-2 and an electrode distance of 0.005 m. Contaminated drinking water containing mixture of fluoride (10 mg L-1), iron (25 mg L-1), arsenic (200 μg L-1) and microorganisms (35 CFU ml-1) was used for the experiment. A removal of 98.74%, 95.65%, 93.2% and 100% were obtained for iron, arsenic, fluoride and microorganisms, respectively. The apparatus and method made it possible to efficiently treat contaminated drinking water to produce drinkable water as per WHO specification. By-products obtained from the electrocoagulation bath were analyzed using SEM, EDX and XRD and explained.

Drinking Water Quality in Rural Oaxaca, Mexico

Rowles LS 3rd, Alcalde R, Bogolasky F, Kum S, Diaz-Arriaga FA, Ayres C, Mikelonis AM, Toledo-Flores LJ, Alonso-Gutiérrez MG, Pérez-Flores ME, Lawler DF, Ward PM, Lopez-Cruz JY, Saleh NB. Perceived versus actual water quality: Community studies in rural Oaxaca, Mexico. Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 6;622-623:626-634. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.309.

Compromised water quality risks public health, which becomes particularly acute in economically marginalized communities. Although the majority of the clean-water-deprived population resides in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, a significant portion (32 million) lives in Meso- and Latin-America. Oaxaca is one of the marginalized southern states of Mexico, which has experienced high morbidity from infectious diseases and also has suffered from a high rate of infant mortality. However, there has been a paucity of reports on the status of water quality of culturally diverse rural Oaxaca. This study follows community-based participatory research methods to address the data gap by reporting on water quality (chemical and microbiological) and by exploring social realities and water use practices within and among communities. Surveys and water quality analyses were conducted on 73 households in three rural communities, which were selected based on the choice of water sources (i.e., river water, groundwater, and spring water). Statistically significant variations among communities were observed including the sanitation infrastructure (p-value 0.001), public perception on water quality (p-value 0.007), and actual microbiological quality of water (p-value 0.001). Results indicate a high prevalence of diarrheal diseases, a desire to improve water quality and reduce the cost of water, and a need for education on water quality and health in all the surveyed communities. The complexities among the three studied communities highlight the need for undertaking appropriate policies and water treatment solutions.

Is Trace Lithium in Tap Water Beneficial?

Small associations from ecological studies are questionable whether the effect is negative or as in this case positive.

Fajardo VA, LeBlanc PJ, Fajardo VA. Trace lithium in Texas tap water is negatively associated with all-cause mortality and premature death. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism 2017 Dec 5. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0653.

Lithium in tap water was previously found to have life-extending effects across 18 Japanese municipalities. Using a larger dataset with several Texas counties, our study shows that lithium concentrations in tap water are negatively associated with all-cause mortality (r = -0.18, p = 0.006, 232 counties) and years of potential life lost (r = -0.22, p = 0.001, 214 counties). Thus, our present findings extend and reinforce lithium’s purported life-prolonging effect in humans.

Providing Safe Drinking Water to Slum Households, Siliguri, West Bengal, India

Bhar D, Bhattacherjee S, Mukherjee A, Sarkar TK, Dasgupta S. Utilization of safe drinking water and sanitary facilities in slum households of Siliguri, West Bengal. Indian J Public Health. 2017 Oct-Dec;61(4):248-253. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_345_16.

BACKGROUND: With the rapid expansion of urban population, provision of safe water and basic sanitation is becoming a challenge; especially in slums. This is adversely affecting the health of the people living in such areas.

OBJECTIVES: The study was conducted to measure the proportion of households using improved drinking water and sanitation facilities and to determine the association between diarrhea in under-five children with water and sanitation facilities.

METHODS: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among 796 slum households in Siliguri from January to March 2016 by interviewing one member from each household using a predesigned and pretested questionnaire based on the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program Core questions on drinking water and sanitation for household surveys.

RESULTS: A majority 733 (92.1%) of slum households used an improved drinking water source; 565 (71%) used public tap. About two-thirds (65.7%) household used improved sanitation facilities. About 15.8% households had reported diarrheal events in children in the previous month. Unimproved drinking water sources (AOR = 4.13; 1.91, 8.96), houses without piped water supply (AOR = 4.43; 1.31, 15.00), and latrines located outside houses (AOR = 3.61; 1.44, 9.07) were significantly associated with the diarrheal events in children.

CONCLUSION: The utilization of improved drinking water source was high but piped water connection and improved sanitary toilet used was low. Association between diarrheal events and type of drinking water sources and place of sanitation might suggest fecal contamination of water sources. Awareness generation through family-centered educational programs could improve the situation.

Impact of water quality on corrosion of cast iron pipes

Hu J, Dong H, Xu Q, Ling W, Qu J, Qiang Z. Impacts of water quality on the corrosion of cast iron pipes for water distribution and proposed source water switch strategy. Water research. 2017 Oct 31;129:428-435. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.10.065.

Switch of source water may induce “red water” episodes. This study investigated the impacts of water quality on iron release, dissolved oxygen consumption (ΔDO), corrosion scale evolution and bacterial community succession in cast iron pipes used for drinking water distribution at pilot scale, and proposed a source water switch strategy accordingly. Three sets of old cast iron pipe section (named BP, SP and GP) were excavated on site and assembled in a test base, which had historically transported blended water, surface water and groundwater, respectively. Results indicate that an increasing Cl or SO42- concentration accelerated iron release, but alkalinity and calcium hardness exhibited an opposite tendency. Disinfectant shift from free chlorine to monochloramine slightly inhibited iron release, while the impact of peroxymonosulfate depended on the source water historically transported in the test pipes. The ΔDO was highly consistent with iron release in all three pipe systems. The mass ratio of magnetite to goethite in the corrosion scales of SP was higher than those of BP and GP and kept almost unchanged over the whole operation period. Siderite and calcite formation confirmed that an increasing alkalinity and hardness inhibited iron release. Iron-reducing bacteria decreased in the BP but increased in the SP and GP; meanwhile, sulfur-oxidizing, sulfate-reducing and iron oxidizing bacteria increased in all three pipe systems. To avoid the occurrence of “red water”, a source water switch strategy was proposed based on the difference between local and foreign water qualities.