Gunnarsdottir MJ, Gardarsson SM, Jonsson GS, Bartram J.Chemical quality and regulatory compliance of drinking water in Iceland. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2016 Sep 26. pii: S1438-4639(16)30175-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.09.011.
Assuring sufficient quality of drinking water is of great importance for public wellbeing and prosperity. Nations have developed regulatory system with the aim of providing drinking water of sufficient quality and to minimize the risk of contamination of the water supply in the first place. In this study the chemical quality of Icelandic drinking water was evaluated by systematically analyzing results from audit monitoring where 53 parameters were assessed for 345 samples from 79 aquifers, serving 74 water supply systems. Compliance to the Icelandic Drinking Water Regulation (IDWR) was evaluated with regard to parametric values, minimum requirement of sampling, and limit of detection. Water quality compliance was divided according to health-related chemicals and indicators, and analyzed according to size. Samples from few individual locations were benchmarked against natural background levels (NBLs) in order to identify potential pollution sources. The results show that drinking compliance was 99.97% in health-related chemicals and 99.44% in indicator parameters indicating that Icelandic groundwater abstracted for drinking water supply is generally of high quality with no expected health risks. In 10 water supply systems, of the 74 tested, there was an indication of anthropogenic chemical pollution, either at the source or in the network, and in another 6 water supplies there was a need to improve the water intake to prevent surface water intrusion. Benchmarking against the NBLs proved to be useful in tracing potential pollution sources, providing a useful tool for identifying pollution at an early stage.
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.
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.
Kim JI, Kim G. Relationship Between the Remaining Years of Healthy Life Expectancy in Older Age and National Income Level, Educational Attainment, and Improved Water Quality. International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 2016 Jul 7. pii: 0091415016657560.
The remaining years of healthy life expectancy (RYH) at age 65 years can be calculated as RYH (65) = healthy life expectancy-aged 65 years. This study confirms the associations between socioeconomic indicators and the RYH (65) in 148 countries. The RYH data were obtained from the World Health Organization. Significant positive correlations between RYH (65) in men and women and the socioeconomic indicators national income, education level, and improved drinking water were found. Finally, the predictors of RYH (65) in men and women were used to build a model of the RYH using higher socioeconomic indicators (R2 = 0.744, p <0.001). Overall country-level educational attainment, national income level, and improved water quality influenced the RYH at 65 years. Therefore, policymaking to improve these country-level socioeconomic factors is expected to have latent effects on RYH in older age.
Wedgworth JC, Brown J, Johnson P, Olson JB, Elliott M, Forehand R, Stauber CE. Associations between perceptions of drinking water service delivery and measured drinking water quality in rural Alabama. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 2014 Jul 18; Vol. 11 (7), pp. 7376-92.
Although small, rural water supplies may present elevated microbial risks to consumers in some settings, characterizing exposures through representative point-of-consumption sampling is logistically challenging. In order to evaluate the usefulness of consumer self-reported data in predicting measured water quality and risk factors for contamination, we compared matched consumer interview data with point-of-survey, household water quality and pressure data for 910 households served by 14 small water systems in rural Alabama. Participating households completed one survey that included detailed feedback on two key areas of water service conditions: delivery conditions (intermittent service and low water pressure) and general aesthetic characteristics (taste, odor and color), providing five condition values. Microbial water samples were taken at the point-of-use (from kitchen faucets) and as-delivered from the distribution network (from outside flame-sterilized taps, if available), where pressure was also measured. Water samples were analyzed for free and total chlorine, pH, turbidity, and presence of total coliforms and Escherichia coli. Of the 910 households surveyed, 35% of participants reported experiencing low water pressure, 15% reported intermittent service, and almost 20% reported aesthetic problems (taste, odor or color). Consumer-reported low pressure was associated with lower gauge-measured pressure at taps. While total coliforms (TC) were detected in 17% of outside tap samples and 12% of samples from kitchen faucets, no reported water service conditions or aesthetic characteristics were associated with presence of TC. We conclude that consumer-reported data were of limited utility in predicting potential microbial risks associated with small water supplies in this setting, although consumer feedback on low pressure-a risk factor for contamination-may be relatively reliable and therefore useful in future monitoring efforts.
Dawn N. King, Maura J. Donohue, Stephen J. Vesper, Eric N. Villegas, Michael W. Ware, Megan E. Vogel, Edward F. Furlong, Dana W. Kolpin, Susan T. Glassmeyer, Stacy Pfaller. Microbial pathogens in source and treated waters from drinking water treatment plants in the United States and implications for human health. Science of The Total Environment, Volume 562, 15 August 2016, Pages 987-995.
An occurrence survey was conducted on selected pathogens in source and treated drinking water collected from 25 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in the United States. Water samples were analyzed for the protozoa Giardia and Cryptosporidium (EPA Method 1623); the fungi Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus terreus (quantitative PCR [qPCR]); and the bacteria Legionella pneumophila (qPCR), Mycobacterium avium, M. avium subspecies paratuberculosis, and Mycobacterium intracellulare (qPCR and culture). Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected in 25% and in 46% of the source water samples, respectively (treated waters were not tested). Aspergillus fumigatus was the most commonly detected fungus in source waters (48%) but none of the three fungi were detected in treated water. Legionella pneumophila was detected in 25% of the source water samples but in only 4% of treated water samples. M. avium and M. intracellulare were both detected in 25% of source water, while all three mycobacteria were detected in 36% of treated water samples. Five species of mycobacteria, Mycobacterium mucogenicum, Mycobacterium phocaicum, Mycobacterium triplex, Mycobacterium fortuitum, and Mycobacterium lentiflavum were cultured from treated water samples. Although these DWTPs represent a fraction of those in the U.S., the results suggest that many of these pathogens are widespread in source waters but that treatment is generally effective in reducing them to below detection limits. The one exception is the mycobacteria, which were commonly detected in treated water, even when not detected in source waters.
Weiwu Yan, Jialong Li, Xiaohui Bai. Comprehensive assessment and visualized monitoring of urban drinking water quality. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, Volume 155, 15 July 2016, Pages 26-35.
It is important to comprehensively assess and monitor drinking water quality to ensure a safe and clean drinking water supply. A real-time comprehensive assessment based on modeling and visualized monitoring of urban drinking water quality is discussed in this paper. A weighted aggregative index, a method for evaluating problems with multiple indexes, is used to evaluate the drinking water quality in Shanghai city. Considering the disadvantages of the subjective and objective weighted methods, a combined weighted index method called the geometric mean weighted method is proposed to assign weights to the indexes of drinking water in order to make the weight distribution more scientific, reasonable and robust. Then, the drinking water quality is displayed visually by a distribution map of drinking water quality based on a geographic information system (GIS). This real application shows that the proposed methods are effective and promising for the assessment and monitoring of water quality.