Qualitative detection of E. coli in distributed drinking water using real-time reverse transcription PCR targeting 16S rRNA: Validation and practical experiences

Leo Heijnen , Hendrik Jan de Vries , Gabi van Pelt , Eline Stroobach , Adrie Atsma , Jerom Vranken , Katrien De Maeyer , Liesbeth Vissers , Gertjan Medema



  • A validated RT-PCR method targeting 16S ribosomal RNA to qualitatively E. coli in drinking water at a sensitivity of 1 CFU/100 ml.

  • The method is as sensitive as the reference culture method.

  • The E. coli RT-PCR showed high interlaboratory reproducibility.

  • An extensive comparison on practical samples showed good agreement between RT-PCR and the culture method.

  • Application of the RT-PCR will improve the safety of drinking water consumers.


Estimated Childhood Lead Exposure From Drinking Water in Chicago

Benjamin Q. Huynh, PhD1Elizabeth T. Chin, PhD2Mathew V. Kiang, ScD3

Key Points

Question  What is the extent and impact of lead-contaminated drinking water in Chicago, Illinois?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study, an estimated 68% of children younger than 6 years in Chicago are exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water, with 19% of affected children using unfiltered tap water as their primary drinking water source. Predominantly Black and Hispanic blocks were disproportionately less likely to be tested for lead yet disproportionately exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Meaning  Childhood lead exposure from drinking water is widespread in Chicago, with racial inequities in both testing rates and exposure levels.


Importance  There is no level of lead in drinking water considered to be safe, yet lead service lines are still commonly used in water systems across the US.

Objective  To identify the extent of lead-contaminated drinking water in Chicago, Illinois, and model its impact on children younger than 6 years.

Design, Setting, and Participants  For this cross-sectional study, a retrospective assessment was performed of lead exposure based on household tests collected from January 2016 to September 2023. Tests were obtained from households in Chicago that registered for a free self-administered testing service for lead exposure. Machine learning and microsimulation were used to estimate citywide childhood lead exposure.

Exposure  Lead-contaminated drinking water, measured in parts per billion.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Number of children younger than 6 years exposed to lead-contaminated water.

Results  A total of 38 385 household lead tests were collected. An estimated 68% (95% uncertainty interval, 66%-69%) of children younger than 6 years were exposed to lead-contaminated water, corresponding to 129 000 children (95% uncertainty interval, 128 000-131 000 children). Ten-percentage-point increases in block-level Black and Hispanic populations were associated with 3% (95% CI, 2%-3%) and 6% (95% CI, 5%-7%) decreases in odds of being tested for lead and 4% (95% CI, 3%-6%) and 11% (95% CI, 10%-13%) increases in having lead-contaminated drinking water, respectively.

Conclusions and Relevance  These findings indicate that childhood lead exposure is widespread in Chicago, and racial inequities are present in both testing rates and exposure levels. Machine learning may assist in preliminary screening for lead exposure, and efforts to remediate the effects of environmental racism should involve improving outreach for and access to lead testing services.

Four buildings and a flush: Lessons from degraded water quality and recommendations on building water management

Kyungyeon Ra , Caitlin Proctor , Christian Ley , Danielle Angert , Yoorae Noh , Tolulope Odimayomi , Andrew J. Whelton


A reduction in building occupancy can lead to stagnant water in plumbing, and the potential consequences for water quality have gained increasing attention. To investigate this, a study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on water quality in four institutional buildings. Two of these buildings were old (>58 years) and large (>19,000 m2), while the other two were new (>13 years) and small (<11,000 m2). The study revealed significant decreases in water usage in the small buildings, whereas usage remained unchanged in the large buildings. Initial analysis found that residual chlorine was rarely detectable in cold/drinking water samples. Furthermore, the pH, dissolved oxygen, total organic carbon, and total cell count levels in the first draw of cold water samples were similar across all buildings. However, the ranges of heavy metal concentrations in large buildings were greater than observed in small buildings. Copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and manganese (Mn) sporadically exceeded drinking water limits at cold water fixtures, with maximum concentrations of 2.7 mg Cu L−1, 45.4 μg Pb L−1, 1.9 mg Mn L−1. Flushing the plumbing for 5 min resulted in detectable residual at fixtures in three buildings, but even after 125 min of flushing in largest and oldest building, no residual chlorine was detected at the fixture closest to the building’s point of entry. During the pandemic, the building owner conducted fixture flushing, where one to a few fixtures were operated per visit in buildings with hundreds of fixtures and multiple floors. However, further research is needed to understand the fundamental processes that control faucet water quality from the service line to the faucet. In the absence of this knowledge, building owners should create and use as-built drawings to develop flushing plans and conduct periodic water testing.


Associations of the utilization of household water treatment devices with mortality

Huang, SW., Zhou, HL., Zeng, R. et al. Associations of the utilization of household water treatment devices with mortality. npj Clean Water 7, 5 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41545-024-00300-1


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the utilization of household water treatment devices (UHWTD) and both overall and cause-specific mortality, addressing the lack of comprehensive prospective research in this area. The study was a population-based prospective cohort study using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2010). Among the 30,322 participants included in the study, the group without UHWTD (No UHWTD) was younger but reported worse baseline health compared to the UHWTD group. During an average follow-up period of 14.3 years, 6811 participants died. After adjusting for age, sex, and other covariates, No UHWTD was significantly associated with a higher risk of overall (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 1.221, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.147–1.300), heart (aHR: 1.405, 95% CI: 1.241–1.589), cancer (aHR: 1.176, 95% CI: 1.003–1.379), Alzheimer’s disease (aHR: 1.404, 95% CI: 1.027–1.919), and nephrosis (aHR: 1.613, 95% CI: 1.026–2.537) mortality compared to UHWTD. Moreover, those main association almost remained after further adjustment for water source. Additionally, we observed a lower detection rate of bromoform, chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and dibromochloromethane in tap water when household water treatment devices was used compared to No UHWTD. The utilization of household water treatment devices in this prospective cohort was associated with modest reductions in the risk of overall, heart, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and nephrosis mortality. These findings suggest that the use of household water treatment devices may have the potential to influence health outcomes and extend life expectancy.


Association between drinking water quality and mental health and the modifying role of diet: a prospective cohort study

Zhou, S., Su, M., Shen, P. et al. Association between drinking water quality and mental health and the modifying role of diet: a prospective cohort study. BMC Med 22, 53 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-024-03269-3

Environmental factors play an important role in developing mental disorders. This study aimed to investigate the associations of metal and nonmetal elements in drinking water with the risk of depression and anxiety and to assess whether diets modulate these associations.


Water arsenic including in public water is linked to higher urinary arsenic totals among the U.S. population

Water arsenic including in public water is linked to higher urinary arsenic totals among the U.S. population

Highest concentrations found in the West and South and among Mexican American and other Hispanic participants

Date: April 20, 2023
Source: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
Summary: A new study shows that water arsenic levels are linked to higher urinary arsenic among the U.S. population for users of both private wells and public water systems.

Journal Reference:

  1. Maya Spaur, Melissa A. Lombard, Joseph D. Ayotte, Benjamin C. Bostick, Steven N. Chillrud, Ana Navas-Acien, Anne E. Nigra. Cross-sectional associations between drinking water arsenic and urinary inorganic arsenic in the United States: NHANES 2003–2014Environmental Research, 2023; 227: 115741 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115741

A national survey of lead and other metal(loids) in residential drinking water in the United States

Karen D Bradham 1, Clay M Nelson 2, Tyler D Sowers 3, Darren A Lytle 4, Jennifer Tully 4, Michael R Schock 4, Kevin Li 5, Matthew D Blackmon 3, Kasey Kovalcik 3, David Cox 6, Gary Dewalt 6, Warren Friedman 7, Eugene A Pinzer 7, Peter J Ashley 7
Affiliations expand
PMID: 35986209 DOI: 10.1038/s41370-022-00461-6


Background: Exposure to lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and copper (Cu) may cause significant health issues including harmful neurological effects, cancer or organ damage. Determination of human exposure-relevant concentrations of these metal(loids) in drinking water, therefore, is critical.

Objective: We sought to characterize exposure-relevant Pb, As, and Cu concentrations in drinking water collected from homes participating in the American Healthy Homes Survey II, a national survey that monitors the prevalence of Pb and related hazards in United States homes.

Methods: Drinking water samples were collected from a national survey of 678 U.S. homes where children may live using an exposure-based composite sampling protocol. Relationships between metal(loid) concentration, water source and house age were evaluated.

Results: 18 of 678 (2.6%) of samples analyzed exceeded 5 µg Pb L1 (Mean = 1.0 µg L1). 1.5% of samples exceeded 10 µg As L1 (Mean = 1.7 µg L1) and 1,300 µg Cu L1 (Mean = 125 µg L1). Private well samples were more likely to exceed metal(loid) concentration thresholds than public water samples. Pb concentrations were correlated with Cu and Zn, indicative of brass as a common Pb source is samples analyzed.

Significance: Results represent the largest national-scale effort to date to inform exposure risks to Pb, As, and Cu in drinking water in U.S. homes using an exposure-based composite sampling approach.

Impact statement: To date, there are no national-level estimates of Pb, As and Cu in US drinking water collected from household taps using an exposure-based sampling protocol. Therefore, assessing public health impacts from metal(loids) in drinking water remains challenging. Results presented in this study represent the largest effort to date to test for exposure-relevant concentrations of Pb, As and Cu in US household drinking water, providing a critical step toward improved understanding of metal(loid) exposure risk.

Keywords: Arsenic; Copper; Drinking water; Human exposure.; Lead.

Outside the Safe Operating Space of a New Planetary Boundary for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Ian T. Cousins, Jana H. Johansson, Matthew E. Salter, Bo Sha, and Martin Scheringer

Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56, 16, 11172–11179
Publication Date:August 2, 2022
Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

ABSTRACT: It is hypothesized that environmental contamina-
tion by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) defines a separate planetary boundary and that this boundary has been
exceeded. This hypothesis is tested by comparing the levels of four
selected perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) (i.e., perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane-
sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)) in various global environmental media (i.e., rainwater, soils, and
surface waters) with recently proposed guideline levels. On the
basis of the four PFAAs considered, it is concluded that (1) levels
of PFOA and PFOS in rainwater often greatly exceed US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lifetime Drinking
Water Health Advisory levels and the sum of the aforementioned four PFAAs (Σ4 PFAS) in rainwater is often above Danish
drinking water limit values also based on Σ4 PFAS; (2) levels of PFOS in rainwater are often above Environmental Quality Standard
for Inland European Union Surface Water; and (3) atmospheric deposition also leads to global soils being ubiquitously
contaminated and to be often above proposed Dutch guideline values. It is, therefore, concluded that the global spread of these four
PFAAs in the atmosphere has led to the planetary boundary for chemical pollution being exceeded. Levels of PFAAs in atmospheric
deposition are especially poorly reversible because of the high persistence of PFAAs and their ability to continuously cycle in the
hydrosphere, including on sea spray aerosols emitted from the oceans. Because of the poor reversibility of environmental exposure to
PFAS and their associated effects, it is vitally important that PFAS uses and emissions are rapidly restricted.
KEYWORDS: PFAS, planetary boundary, chemical pollution, environmental exposure

Ultra-Short-Chain PFASs in the Sources of German Drinking Water: Prevalent, Overlooked, Difficult to Remove, and Unregulated


Abstract Image

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have been a focal point of environmental chemistry and chemical regulation in recent years, culminating in a shift from individual PFAS regulation toward a PFAS group regulatory approach in Europe. PFASs are a highly diverse group of substances, and knowledge about this group is still scarce beyond the well-studied, legacy long-chain, and short-chain perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluorosulfonates (PFSAs). Herein, quantitative and semiquantitative data for 43 legacy short-chain and ultra-short-chain PFASs (≤2 perfluorocarbon atoms for PFCAs, ≤3 for PFSAs and other PFASs) in 46 water samples collected from 13 different sources of German drinking water are presented. The PFASs considered include novel compounds like hexafluoroisopropanol, bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, and tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate. The ultra-short-chain PFASs trifluoroacetate, perfluoropropanoate, and trifluoromethanesulfonate were ubiquitous and present at the highest concentrations (98% of sum target PFAS concentrations). “PFAS total” parameters like the adsorbable organic fluorine (AOF) and total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay were found to provide only an incomplete picture of PFAS contamination in these water samples by not capturing these highly prevalent ultra-short-chain PFASs. These ultra-short-chain PFASs represent a major challenge for drinking water production and show that regulation in the form of preventive measures is required to manage them.


Comparative effectiveness of membrane technologies and disinfection methods for virus elimination in water: A review

Chao Chen 1Lihui Guo 2Yu Yang 3Kumiko Oguma 4Li-An Hou 5



The pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought viruses into the public horizon. Since viruses can pose a threat to human health in a low concentration range, seeking efficient virus removal methods has been the research hotspots in the past few years. Herein, a total of 1060 research papers were collected from the Web of Science database to identify technological trends as well as the research status. Based on the analysis results, this review elaborates on the state-of-the-art of membrane filtration and disinfection technologies for the treatment of virus-containing wastewater and drinking water. The results evince that membrane and disinfection methods achieve a broad range of virus removal efficiency (0.5-7 log reduction values (LRVs) and 0.09-8 LRVs, respectively) that is attributable to the various interactions between membranes or disinfectants and viruses having different susceptibility in viral capsid protein and nucleic acid. Moreover, this review discusses the related challenges and potential of membrane and disinfection technologies for customized virus removal in order to prevent the dissemination of the waterborne diseases.

Keywords: Disinfection; Drinking water treatment; Membrane; Virus removal; Wastewater treatment.

Relationships between regulated DBPs and emerging DBPs of health concern in U.S. drinking water

Stuart W.Krasner1⁎⁎AiJia1Chih-Fen T.Lee1RahaShirkhani1Joshua M.Allen2⁎⁎⁎Susan D.Richardson2Michael J.Plewa34



A survey was conducted at eight U.S. drinking water plants, that spanned a wide range of water qualities and treatment/disinfection practices. Plants that treated heavily-wastewater-impacted source waters had lower trihalomethane to dihaloacetonitrile ratios due to the presence of more organic nitrogen and HAN precursors. As the bromide to total organic carbon ratio increased, there was more bromine incorporation into DBPs. This has been shown in other studies for THMs and selected emerging DBPs (HANs), whereas this study examined bromine incorporation for a wider group of emerging DBPs (haloacetaldehydes, halonitromethanes). Moreover, bromine incorporation into the emerging DBPs was, in general, similar to that of the THMs. Epidemiology studies that show an association between adverse health effects and brominated THMs may be due to the formation of brominated emerging DBPs of heath concern. Plants with higher free chlorine contact times before ammonia addition to form chloramines had less iodinated DBP formation in chloraminated distribution systems, where there was more oxidation of the iodide to iodate (a sink for the iodide) by the chlorine. This has been shown in many bench-scale studies (primarily for iodinated THMs), but seldom in full-scale studies (where this study also showed the impact on total organic iodine. Collectively, the THMs, haloacetic acids, and emerging DBPs accounted for a significant portion of the TOCl, TOBr, and TOI; however, ∼50% of the TOCl and TOBr is still unknown. The correlation of the sum of detected DBPs with the TOCl and TOBr suggests that they can be used as reliable surrogates.

Using Water Intake Dietary Recall Data to Provide a Window into US Water Insecurity

Asher Y Rosinger

The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 5, May 2022, Pages 1263–1273, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxac017



In the United States, problems with the provision of safe, affordable water have resulted in an increasing number of adults who avoid their tap water, which could indicate underlying water insecurity. Dietary recalls provide critical nutritional surveillance data, yet have been underexplored as a water insecurity monitoring tool.


This article aims to demonstrate how water intake variables from dietary recall data relate to and predict a key water insecurity proxy, that is, tap water avoidance.


Using 2005–2018 NHANES data from 32,329 adults, I examine distributions and trends of mean intakes of total, plain (sum of tap and bottled water), tap, and bottled water, and percentage consuming no tap and exclusive bottled water. Second, I use multiple linear and logistic regressions to test how tap water avoidance relates to plain water intake and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Next, I use receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves to test the predictive accuracy of no plain water, no tap, and exclusive bottled water intake, and varying percentages of plain water consumed from tap water compared with tap water avoidance.


Trends indicate increasing plain water intake between 2005 and 2018, driven by increasing bottled water intake. In 2017–18, 51.4% of adults did not drink tap water on a given day, whereas 35.8% exclusively consumed bottled water. Adults who avoided their tap water consumed less tap and plain water, and significantly more bottled water and SSBs on a given day. No tap intake and categories of tap water intake produced 77% and 78% areas under the ROC curve in predicting tap water avoidance.


This study demonstrates that water intake variables from dietary recalls can be used to accurately predict tap water avoidance and provide a window into water insecurity. Growing reliance on bottled water could indicate increasing concerns about tap water.

Factors Related to Water Filter Use for Drinking Tap Water at Home and Its Association With Consuming Plain Water and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among U.S. Adults

Sohyun Park 1Stephen J Onufrak 1Angie L Cradock 2Christina Hecht 3Anisha Patel 4Jennifer R Chevinsky 1Heidi M Blanck 1



Objective: To examine factors associated with water filter use (WFU) for drinking tap water at home and its association with consuming plain water and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).

Design: Quantitative, cross-sectional study.

Setting: The 2018 SummerStyles survey data.

Subjects: U.S. adults (≥18 years; N=4042).

Measures: Outcomes were intake of plain water (tap/bottled water) and SSBs. Exposure was WFU (yes, no, not drinking tap water at home). Covariates included sociodemographics, weight status, Census regions, and home ownership status.

Analysis: We used multivariable logistic regressions to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for consuming tap water, bottled water, or total plain water >3 cups/day (vs. ≤3 cups) and SSBs ≥1 time/day (vs. <1 time) by WFU.

Results: Overall, 36% of adults reported using a filter for drinking tap water at home; 14% did not drink tap water at home. Hispanics had significantly higher odds of using a water filter (AOR=1.50, 95% CI=1.14-1.98) vs non-Hispanic White. Factors significantly associated with lower odds of WFU were lower education (AOR=.69, 95% CI=.55-.86 for ≤high school; AOR=.78, 95% CI=.64-.95 for some college, vs college graduate), not being married (AOR=.81, 95% CI=.66-.98, vs married/domestic partnership), and lower household income (AOR=.68, 95% CI=.68-.90 for <$35,000, vs ≥$100,000). Using a water filter was associated with higher odds of drinking >3 cups/day of tap water (AOR=1.33, 95% CI=1.13-1.56) and lower odds of SSBs ≥1 time/day (AOR=.76, 95% CI=.62-.92). Not drinking tap water at home was associated with higher odds of drinking >3 cups/day bottled water (AOR=3.46, 95% CI=2.70-4.44).

Conclusions: WFU was associated with higher tap water intake and lower SSB intake among U.S. adults. WFU was higher among Hispanics, but lower among those with lower education and income and not married adults. Although WFU was associated with healthful beverage habits, additional considerations for WFU may include source water quality, oral health, cost, and proper use.

Keywords: characteristics; plain water; sociodemographic; sugar-sweetened beverages; water filter.

Occurrence of nitrosamines and their precursors in North American drinking waters.

Krasner, S. W.Roback, S.; (…); Bukhari, Z.

2020 | AWWA Water Science

Eight N-nitrosamines were measured at 37 water plants in the United States and Canada. Five tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) were measured in selected waters. N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was preferentially formed in chloraminated systems (maximum detention time: median 4.4ng/L). A small amount was detected in some chlorinated systems (90th percentile <2.0 ng/L). After ozone (before chloramines), NDMA was sometimes detected (90th percentile 2.9 ng/L), suggesting that the ozone did not react with precursors to form NDMA. The chloramine plants that temporarily switched to chlorine typically produced less NDMA (Plant 29 reduced NDMA formation, on average, from 34 to 4 ng). More NDMA was produced during spring runoff, when there were elevated levels of ammonia and NDMA precursors in the source water. More NDMA was formed when there were higher levels of poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (polyDADMAC) used. N-Nitrosomorpholene was found to be a contaminant and not a disinfection byproduct; it did not increase during chloramination. TSNAs were produced during spring runoff; source water ammonia impacted the chlor (am) ine chemistry. © 2020 American Water Works Association

Developing a framework for classifying water lead levels at private drinking water systems: A Bayesian Belief Network approach


The presence of lead in drinking water creates a public health crisis, as lead causes neurological damage at low levels of exposure. The objective of this research is to explore modeling approaches to predict the risk of lead at private drinking water systems. This research uses Bayesian Network approaches to explore interactions among household characteristics, geological parameters, observations of tap water, and laboratory tests of water quality parameters. A knowledge discovery framework is developed by integrating methods for data discretization, feature selection, and Bayes classifiers. Forward selection and backward selection are explored for feature selection. Discretization approaches, including domain-knowledge, statistical, and information-based approaches, are tested to discretize continuous features. Bayes classifiers that are tested include General Bayesian Network, Naive Bayes, and Tree-Augmented Naive Bayes, which are applied to identify Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs). Bayesian inference is used to fit conditional probability tables for each DAG. The Bayesian framework is applied to fit models for a dataset collected by the Virginia Household Water Quality Program (VAHWQP), which collected water samples and conducted household surveys at 2,146 households that use private water systems, including wells and springs, in Virginia during 2012 and 2013. Relationships among laboratory-tested water quality parameters, observations of tap water, and household characteristics, including plumbing type, source water, household location, and on-site water treatment are explored to develop features for predicting water lead levels. Results demonstrate that Naive Bayes classifiers perform best based on recall and precision, when compared with other classifiers. Copper is the most significant predictor of lead, and other important predictors include county, pH, and on-site water treatment. Feature selection methods have a marginal effect on performance, and discretization methods can greatly affect model performance when paired with classifiers. Owners of private wells remain disadvantaged and may be at an elevated level of risk, because utilities and governing agencies are not responsible for ensuring that lead levels meet the Lead and Copper Rule for private wells. Insight gained from models can be used to identify water quality parameters, plumbing characteristics, and household variables that increase the likelihood of high water lead levels to inform decisions about lead testing and treatment.

Keywords: Bayesian Belief Network; Contamination Classification; Lead in Drinking Water; Water Quality.

Application of Capsid Integrity (RT-)qPCR to Assessing Occurrence of Intact Viruses in Surface Water and Tap Water in Japan


Capsid integrity (RT-)qPCR has recently been developed to discriminate between intact forms from inactivated forms of viruses, but its applicability to identifying integrity of viruses in drinking water has remained limited. In this study, we investigated the application of capsid integrity (RT-)qPCR using cis-dichlorodiammineplatinum (CDDP) with sodium deoxycholate (SD) pretreatment (SD-CDDP-(RT-)qPCR) to detect intact viruses in surface water and tap water. A total of 63 water samples (surface water, n = 20; tap water, n = 43) were collected in the Kanto region in Japan and quantified by conventional (RT)-qPCR and SD-CDDP-(RT-)qPCR for pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) and seven other viruses pathogenic to humans (Aichivirus (AiV), noroviruses of genotypes I and II, enterovirus, adenovirus type 40 and 41, and JC and BK polyomaviruses). In surface water, PMMoV (100%) was more frequently detected than other human pathogenic viruses (30%-60%), as determined by conventional (RT-)qPCR. SD-CDDP-(RT-)qPCR also revealed that intact PMMoV (95%) was more common than intact human pathogenic viruses (20%-45%). In the tap water samples, most of the target viruses were not detected by conventional (RT-)qPCR, except for PMMoV (9%) and AiV (5%). PMMoV remained positive (5%), whereas no AiV was detected when tested by SD-CDDP-(RT-)qPCR, indicating that some PMMoV had an intact capsid, whereas AiV had damaged capsids. The presence of AiV in the absence of PMMoV in tap water produced from groundwater may demonstrate the limitation of PMMoV as a viral indicator in groundwater. In addition to being abundant in surface water, PMMoV was detected in tap water, including PMMoV with intact capsids. Thus, the absence of intact PMMoV may be used to guarantee the viral safety of tap water produced from surface water.

Keywords: Capsid integrity (RT-)qPCR; drinking water; intact virus; viral indicator; virus occurrence.

A Methodology for Assessing Groundwater Pollution Hazard by Nitrates from Agricultural Sources: Application to the Gallocanta Groundwater Basin (Spain)

SUSTAINABILITY   Volume: ‏ 13   Issue: ‏ 11     Article Number: 6321   Published: ‏ JUN 2021 – https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116321

Groundwater pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources is a common environmental issue. In order to support risk analysis, hazard maps are used to classify land uses according to their potential of pollution. The aim of this study is to propose a new hazard index based on nitrogen input and its connection with nitrate concentration in groundwater. The effectiveness of the Nitrogen Input Hazard Index was tested in the Gallocanta Groundwater Basin (Spain), a highly polluted area, declared as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. Agricultural data at a plot scale were used to estimate the nitrogen fertilizer requirement of each crop, and the correlation between nitrogen input and nitrate concentration in groundwater was explored. The resulting hazard map allows us to delimit the most hazardous areas, which can be used to implement more accurate nitrate pollution control programs. The index was proven to successfully estimate nitrogen input influence over groundwater nitrate concentration, and to be able to create hazard maps. The criterion used to create categories was empirically based on nitrate concentration thresholds established by the EU Nitrate Directive. The Nitrogen Input Hazard Index may be a useful tool to support risk analyses of agricultural activities in vulnerable areas, where nitrate pollution could endanger human water supply. View Full-Text

Analysis of microplastics in drinking water and other clean water samples with micro-Raman and micro-infrared spectroscopy: minimum requirements and best practice guidelines

Authors:  Schymanski, D., Oßmann, B. E., Benismail, N., Boukerma, K., Dallmann, G., Esch, E. von der, Fischer, D., Fischer, F., Gilliland, D., Glas, K., Hofmann, T., Käppler, A., Lacorte, S., Marco, J., Rakwe, M. EL, Weisser, J., Witzig, C., Zumbülte, N., & Ivleva, N. P. (2021). Analysis of microplastics in drinking water and other clean water samples with micro-Raman and micro-infrared spectroscopy: minimum requirements and best practice guidelines. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2021, 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1007/S00216-021-03498-Y


Microplastics are a widespread contaminant found not only in various natural habitats but also in drinking waters. With spectroscopic methods, the polymer type, number, size, and size distribution as well as the shape of microplastic particles in waters can be determined, which is of great relevance to toxicological studies. Methods used in studies so far show a huge diversity regarding experimental setups and often a lack of certain quality assurance aspects. To overcome these problems, this critical review and consensus paper of 12 European analytical laboratories and institutions, dealing with microplastic particle identification and quantification with spectroscopic methods, gives guidance toward harmonized microplastic particle analysis in clean waters. The aims of this paper are to (i) improve the reliability of microplastic analysis, (ii) facilitate and improve the planning of sample preparation and microplastic detection, and (iii) provide a better understanding regarding the evaluation of already existing studies. With these aims, we hope to make an important step toward harmonization of microplastic particle analysis in clean water samples and, thus, allow the comparability of results obtained in different studies by using similar or harmonized methods. Clean water samples, for the purpose of this paper, are considered to comprise all water samples with low matrix content, in particular drinking, tap, and bottled water, but also other water types such as clean freshwater.


Discussion and conclusions

The lack of harmonized methods and analytical standard substances and the difficulty to validate methods for the variable and even sometimes contradictory data [15]. The proposed quality criteria by Koelmans and colleagues include the sampling method, sample size, sample processing and storage, laboratory preparation, clean air conditions, positive and negative controls, sample treatment, and polymer identification. The present consensus paper discusses and sums up details regarding the most important spectroscopic methods that can be used for MP analysis in clean water. All of the above-mentioned quality criteria were integrated in this guideline (see Table 1). It allows the reader to compare and evaluate existing studies. Furthermore, the guidelines can be used to better understand and thus make a more advantageous choice when setting up MP research studies. Given best practice approaches will contribute to a better harmonization of analytical methods for MP analysis in clean water samples down to 1 μm. A schematic overview of important precautions for MP analysis and sampling advices are given in Figure 1.

All these elements are intended to support the standardization processes throughout the different normalization committees. While this consensus paper from twelve European analytical laboratories and institutions has concentrated on (FT)IR/RM methods, for the purpose of monitoring as well as gaining a more comprehensive knowledge on MP contamination in food, water, air, and environmental samples, both spectroscopic and thermo-analytical methods are required. Therefore, it will also be important that a similar consideration be given to harmonizing thermo-analytical methods for MP detection. Above all, an ongoing exchange of scientists and laboratories, ILC studies with certified polymer standards and coordinating structures are required. These will pave the way to enable progress in the harmonization and standardization of MP detection and to allow for representative and reliable MP analysis in different environmental and food samples.

Associations between private well water and community water supply arsenic concentrations in the conterminous United States

Authors: Spaur, MayaLombard, Melissa A.Ayotte, Joseph D.; et al.


Geogenic arsenic contamination typically occurs in groundwater as opposed to surface water supplies. Groundwater is a major source for many community water systems (CWSs) in the United States (US). Although the US Environmental Protection Agency sets the maximum contaminant level (MCL enforceable since 2006: 10 μg/L) for arsenic in CWSs, private wells are not federally regulated. We evaluated county-level associations between modeled values of the probability of private well arsenic exceeding 10 μg/L and CWS arsenic concentrations for 2231 counties in the conterminous US, using time invariant private well arsenic estimates and CWS arsenic estimates for two time periods. Nationwide, county-level CWS arsenic concentrations increased by 8.4 μg/L per 100% increase in the probability of private well arsenic exceeding 10 μg/L for 2006-2008 (the initial compliance monitoring period after MCL implementation), and by 7.3 μg/L for 2009-2011 (the second monitoring period following MCL implementation) (1.1 μg/L mean decline over time). Regional differences in this temporal decline suggest that interventions to implement the MCL were more pronounced in regions served primarily by groundwater. The strong association between private well and CWS arsenic in Rural, American Indian, and Semi Urban, Hispanic counties suggests that future research and regulatory support are needed to reduce water arsenic exposures in these vulnerable subpopulations. This comparison of arsenic exposure values from major private and public drinking water sources nationwide is critical to future assessments of drinking water arsenic exposure and health outcomes.

What Is Groundwater? How to Manage and Protect Groundwater Resources

Authors: Lachassagne, Patrick

Abstract: Among the water resources on earth, groundwater is a resource hidden in the rocks of the earth’s crust. For various reasons, notably the fact that this water is not directly visible but also as a consequence of education and longstanding traditions, the properties and physical laws governing groundwater are not well known outside the circle of hydrogeologists, the scientists specialists of the survey, management, and protection of groundwater resources. This resource has lots of advantages, notably when compared to surface water, and is thus largely used worldwide for many purposes: agriculture, tap water, industries, bottling, etc. In fact, this resource is available year-long, even during the dry season and in arid countries, and is well protected from surface contaminations. It needs, however, to be appropriately managed and protected to ensure its sustainability (quantity and quality). Thus, this study intends to provide the basics of the groundwater science, “hydrogeology.” It is illustrated by examples taken from the Evian Natural Mineral Water, that is groundwater, and the way it is managed and protected. The groundwater resource is a sustainable water resource belonging to the earth’s water cycle, which flows thanks to the natural energy provided by the sun. The main physical processes of the groundwater water cycle are the infiltration of rainwater into the soil, its slow flow within the pervious rocks from the earth’s crust, called “aquifers,” and finally its natural outflow at springs and into rivers. It can also be reached with man-made wells and pumped. Groundwater contains dissolved minerals that are mostly the results of interactions between the water and the aquifers’ rocks.



Effect of concentration on virus removal for ultrafiltration membrane in drinking water production

Authors: Jacquet, N.Wurtzer, S.Darracq, G.; et al.

Removal of pathogenic microorganisms as viruses during drinking water production was evaluated by ultrafiltration. Two enteric viruses (ADV 41 and CV-B5) were compared to the MS2 bacteriophage, largely used in literature and by membrane producers as enteric virus surrogate. The effect of feed concentration of viruses on the ultrafiltration efficiency has been assessed. For the three viruses, low retentions about 1 log were observed at the lowest concentrations. At higher concentrations, an increase of removal up to 3.0 log for CV-B5 and MS2 phage and 3.5 log for ADV 41 was observed. These results highlight the potential overestimation of UF efficiency during laboratory experiments realized at high concentrations, compared to low concentrations found in environmental resources used for drinking water production. Virus removals with Evian water and real groundwater were compared and groundwater achieved similar or slightly higher removals for the three viruses. Finally, impact of membrane ageing after chlorine exposure was checked. It was observed that membrane degradations, visible by a water permeability increase with exposure dose did not affect the removal of viruses at low feed concentrations.


A Methodology for Assessing Groundwater Pollution Hazard by Nitrates from Agricultural Sources: Application to the Gallocanta Groundwater Basin (Spain)

Authors: Orellana-Macias, Jose Maria; Perles Rosello, Maria Jesus; Causape, Jesus

Abstract: Groundwater pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources is a common environmental issue. In order to support risk analysis, hazard maps are used to classify land uses according to their potential of pollution. The aim of this study is to propose a new hazard index based on nitrogen input and its connection with nitrate concentration in groundwater. The effectiveness of the Nitrogen Input Hazard Index was tested in the Gallocanta Groundwater Basin (Spain), a highly polluted area, declared as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. Agricultural data at a plot scale were used to estimate the nitrogen fertilizer requirement of each crop, and the correlation between nitrogen input and nitrate concentration in groundwater was explored. The resulting hazard map allows us to delimit the most hazardous areas, which can be used to implement more accurate nitrate pollution control programs. The index was proven to successfully estimate nitrogen input influence over groundwater nitrate concentration, and to be able to create hazard maps. The criterion used to create categories was empirically based on nitrate concentration thresholds established by the EU Nitrate Directive. The Nitrogen Input Hazard Index may be a useful tool to support risk analyses of agricultural activities in vulnerable areas, where nitrate pollution could endanger human water supply.


Epidemiology of Water-Associated Infectious Diseases

Authors: Kumar, Swatantra; Haikerwal, Amrita; Saxena, Shailendra K.

Abstract: Infection pervasiveness is significantly related to the exposure and rate of transmission which are influenced by ecological factors, for example, precipitation, air/water temperature, and seasonal variability. Vibrio cholerae is solely responsible for approximately 1.7 million cases annually with 525,000 deaths in children below 5 years. Similarly, enteric fever (typhoid) is a severe systemic infection and is the foremost public health water-borne infectious disease with an estimated 26 million cases annually in the same way. Giardia intestinalis is the foremost cause of parasitic infection in the USA with an estimated 1.2 million cases and 3581 reported hospitalizations annually. So far, three species of schistosome have been archived including Schistosoma haematobium which causes urogenital disease in sub-Saharan Africa. According to WHO-World Malaria Report-2016, 212 million cases along with 429,000 deaths were reported in the year 2015. Shigellosis is caused by a group of bacteria known as Shigella with an estimated 500,000 cases annually in the USA. Recently around 6000 cases of Legionellosis were reported in the USA in the year 2015.


Exposure, health effects, sensing, and remediation of the emerging PFAS contaminants – Scientific challenges and potential research directions

Authors: Erin M.Bella1SylvainDe Guiseb1Jeffrey R.McCutcheonc1YuLeic1MiltonLevinbBaikunLidJames F.RuslingeijDavid A.LawrenceafJennifer M.CavallarigCaitlinO’ConnellhBethanyJavidihXinyuWangdHeejeongRyuc


Abstract: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) make up a large group of persistent anthropogenic chemicals which are difficult to degrade and/or destroy. PFAS are an emerging class of contaminants, but little is known about the long-term health effects related to exposure. In addition, technologies to identify levels of contamination in the environment and to remediate contaminated sites are currently inadequate. In this opinion-type discussion paper, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University at Albany discuss the scientific challenges in their specific but intertwined PFAS research areas, including rapid and low-cost detection, energy-saving remediation, the role of T helper cells in immunotoxicity, and the biochemical and molecular effects of PFAS among community residents with measurable PFAS concentrations. Potential research directions that may be employed to address those challenges and improve the understanding of sensing, remediation, exposure to, and health effects of PFAS are then presented. We hope our account of emerging problems related to PFAS contamination will encourage a broad range of scientific experts to bring these research initiatives addressing PFAS into play on a national scale.


Coronavirus in water media: Analysis, fate, disinfection and epidemiological applications

Authors: AntonioBuonerbaabMary Vermi AizzaCorpuzcFlorencioBallesteroscKwang-HoChoodShadi W.HasaneGregory V.KorshinfVincenzoBelgiornoaDamiàBarcelógVincenzoNaddeo

Abstract: Considerable attention has been recently given to possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via water media. This review addresses this issue and examines the fate of coronaviruses (CoVs) in water systems, with particular attention to the recently available information on the novel SARS-CoV-2. The methods for the determination of viable virus particles and quantification of CoVs and, in particular, of SARS-CoV-2 in water and wastewater are discussed with particular regard to the methods of concentration and to the emerging methods of detection. The analysis of the environmental stability of CoVs, with particular regard of SARS-CoV-2, and the efficacy of the disinfection methods are extensively reviewed as well. This information provides a broad view of the state-of-the-art for researchers involved in the investigation of CoVs in aquatic systems, and poses the basis for further analyses and discussions on the risk associated to the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in water media. The examined data indicates that detection of the virus in wastewater and natural water bodies provides a potentially powerful tool for quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA) and for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) for the evaluation of the level of circulation of the virus in a population. Assays of the viable virions in water media provide information on the integrity, capability of replication (in suitable host species) and on the potential infectivity. Challenges and critical issues relevant to the detection of coronaviruses in different water matrixes with both direct and surrogate methods as well as in the implementation of epidemiological tools are presented and critically discussed.


Tracking reduction of water lead levels in two homes during the Flint Federal Emergency.

By: Mantha, A.Tang, M.Pieper, K. J.; et al.

Water Research X  Volume: ‏ 7   Pages: ‏ 100047   Published: ‏ 2020

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A Federal Emergency was declared in Flint, MI, on January 16,2016, 18-months after a switch to Flint River source water without phosphate corrosion control. Remedial actions to resolve the corresponding lead in water crisis included reconnection to the original Lake Huron source water with orthophosphate, implementing enhanced corrosion control by dosing extra orthophosphate, a “Flush for Flint” program to help clean out loose leaded sediment from service lines and premise plumbing, and eventually lead service line replacement. Independent sampling over a period of 37 months (January 2016-February 2019) was conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Tech to evaluate possible human exposure via normal flow (~2-3 L/min) sampling at the cold kitchen tap, and to examine the status of loose deposits from the service line and the premise plumbing via high-velocity flushing (~12-13 L/min) from the hose bib. The sampling results indicated that high lead in water persisted for more than a year in two Flint homes due to a large reservoir of lead deposits. The effects of a large reservoir of loose lead deposits persisted until the lead service line was completely removed in these two anomalous homes. As water conservation efforts are implemented in many areas of the country, problems with mobile lead reservoirs in service lines are likely to pose a human health risk. All rights reserved, Elsevier.


Proposal of new health risk assessment method for deficient essential elements in drinking water-case study of the Slovak Republic.

By: Rapant, S.Cveckova, V.Hiller, E.; et al.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  Volume: ‏ 17   Issue: ‏ 16   Pages: ‏ 5915   Published: ‏ 2020


The US EPA health risk assessment method is currently widely used to assess human health risks for many environmental constituents. It is used for risk assessment from the exposure to various contaminants exceeding tolerable or safe reference doses, determined e.g., for drinking water, soil, air and food. It accepts widely that excess contents of non-essential elements (e.g., As, Pb or Sb) in environmental compartments represent a general risk to human health. However, contrary to toxic trace elements, deficient contents of essential (biogenic) elements e.g., F, I, Se, Zn, Fe, Ca or Mg may represent even higher health risk. Therefore, we propose to extend the human health risk assessment by calculating the health risk for deficient content and intake of essential elements, and to introduce the terms Average Daily Missing Dose (ADMD), Average Daily Required Dose (ADRD) and Average Daily Accepted Dose (ADAD). We propose the following equation to calculate the Hazard Quotient (HQ) of health risk from deficient elements: HQd=ADRD/ADAD. At present, there are no reference concentrations or doses of essential elements in each environmental compartment in world databases (Integrated Risk Information System IRIS, The Risk Assessment Information System RAIS). ADRD and ADMD can be derived from different regulatory standards or guidelines (if they exist) or calculated from actual regional data on the state of population health and content of essential elements in the environment, e.g., in groundwater or soil. This methodology was elaborated and tested on inhabitants of the Slovak Republic supplied with soft drinking water with an average Mg content of 5.66 mg. L-1. The calculated ADMD of Mg for these inhabitants is 0.314 mg.kg-1.day-1 and HQd is equal to 2.94, indicating medium risk of chronic diseases. This method extending traditional health risk assessment is the first attempt to quantify deficient content of essential elements in drinking water. It still has some limitations but also has potential to be further developed and refined through its testing in other countries. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.



Challenges and Solutions for Sustainable Groundwater Usage: Pollution Control and Integrated Management

By: Syafiuddin, AchmadBoopathy, RajHadibarata, Tony



Purpose of Review This paper aims to critically review the current status of groundwater usage from the point of view of pollutant control and integrated management. Recent Findings This paper has shown that sustainable efforts must be encouraged to minimize the arsenic content from all the possible sources before entering the groundwater system. Excessive nitrate and pesticide utilization must be significantly reduced for a sustainable environment. Although various in situ remediation technologies are possible to remove some contaminants in the groundwater, the future concern is how it can be carried out in accordance with environmental sustainable goal such as the implementation of in situ bioremediation and bioelectroremediation which provide a cheaper and greener solution compared to physical and chemical approaches. To develop a successful integrated management for a sustainable groundwater usage in the future, conjunctive water management is recommended as it involves the management of ground and surface water resources to enhance security of water supply and environmental sustainability. This paper critically reviews the current state of knowledge concerning groundwater usage from the point of view of pollutant control and integrated management. Information presented in this paper is highly useful for the management of groundwater not only in the quality point of view but also in the sustainable quantity for future development.



Drinking-water nitrate and cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis

By: Essien, Eno E.Said Abasse, KassimCote, Andre; et al.


Early Access: NOV 2020


Nitrate is an inorganic compound that occurs naturally in all surface and groundwater, although higher concentrations tend to occur only where fertilizers are used on the land. The regulatory limit for nitrate in public drinking water supplies was set to protect against infant methemoglobinemia, but other health effects were not considered. Risk of specific cancers and congenital disabilities may be increased when the nitrate is ingested, and nitrate is reduced to nitrite, which can react with amines and amides by nitrosation to form N-nitroso compounds which are known animal carcinogens. This study aims to evaluate the association between nitrate ingested through drinking water and the risk of developing cancers in humans.


We performed a systematic review following PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines. A literature search was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library databases, Web of Science and Google Scholars in the time-frame from their inception to January 2020, for potentially eligible publications. STATA version 12.0 was used to conduct meta-regression and a two-stage meta-analysis.


A total of 48 articles with 13 different cancer sites were used for analysis. The meta-regression analysis showed stomach cancer had an association with the median dosage of nitrate from drinking water (t = 3.98, p = 0.0001, and adjusted R-squared = 50.61%), other types of cancers didn’t show any association. The first stage of meta-analysis showed there was an association only between the risk of brain cancer & glioma (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.24) and colon cancer (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.17) and nitrate consumption in the analysis comparing the highest ORs versus the lowest. The 2(nd) stage showed there was an association only between the risk colon cancer (OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.23) and nitrate consumption in the analysis comparing all combined higher ORs versus the lowest.


This study showed that there is an association between the intake of nitrate from drinking water and a type of cancer in humans. The effective way of controlling nitrate concentrations in drinking water is the prevention of contamination (water pollution). Further research work on this topic is needed.



Recent US State and Federal Drinking Water Guidelines for Per‐ and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

By: Post, Gloria B.


Early Access: NOV 2020

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of synthetic chemicals produced for over 70 years, are of increasing concern because of their widespread environmental presence, extreme persistence, bioaccumulative nature, and evidence for health effects from environmentally relevant exposures. In 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) established nonregulatory drinking water Health Advisories of 70 ng/L for individual and total concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the 8-carbon perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are the most thoroughly studied PFAS. As of May 2020, 9 US states had concluded that the USEPA Health Advisories are insufficiently protective and developed more stringent PFOA and PFOS guidelines. In addition, 10 states had developed guidelines for other PFAS, primarily PFAAs. This Critical Review discusses the scientific basis for state and USEPA drinking water guidelines for PFOA and PFOS; the same principles apply to guidelines for other PFAS. Similarities and differences among guidelines arise from both toxicity and exposure considerations. The approximately 4-fold range among state guidelines (8-35 ng/L for PFOA, 10-40 ng/L for PFOS) is not large or unexpected for guidelines developed by different scientists at different time points, especially when compared with older USEPA and state guidelines that were generally several orders of magnitude higher. Additional state guidelines for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS are expected to become available. Environ Toxicol Chem 2020;00:1-14. (c) 2020 SETAC


Trust in Drinking Water Quality: Understanding the Role of Risk Perception and Transparency

By: Brouwer, StijnHofman-Caris, Robertavan Aalderen, Nicolien

WATER   Volume: ‏ 12   Issue: ‏ 9     Article Number: 2608   Published: ‏ SEP 2020

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In the context of an increasing societal demand for transparency in parallel with rapidly increasing numbers and concentrations of substances found in drinking water, this paper investigates how different drinking water customers perceive their tap water quality, and possible risks involved. Empirically, the paper draws on results from a representative survey, a series of interviews and focus groups conducted in the Netherlands, applying both a traditional and modern segmentation approach based on four types of perspectives (“aware and committed”, “down to earth and confident”, “egalitarian and solidary”, and “quality and health concerned”). Although in general it was found that people’s trust in tap water is high, certain groups are more concerned about water quality and health effects than others. It was shown that transparency and the availability of more information about water treatment and quality would contribute to increasing customer trust. It was also observed that, at least in the Netherlands, people have a larger trust in drinking water companies than in other institutions. Therefore, instead of referring to standards made by other institutions, it is recommended that water companies themselves provide information on water quality and emphasize their treatment procedures.


Unveiling complex responses at the molecular level: Transcriptional alterations by mixtures of bisphenol A, octocrylene, and 2′-ethylhexyl 4- (dimethylamino)benzoate on Chironomus riparius


Living organisms are exposed to mixtures of pollutants in the wild. Inland aquatic ecosystems contain many compounds from different sources that pollute the water column and the sediment. However, majority of toxicological research is focused on the effects of single exposures to toxicants. Furthermore, studies have been principally oriented toward ecologically relevant effects of intoxication, and lack an analysis of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the response to toxicants. Effects of single, binary, and ternary mixtures of three compounds, bisphenol A, octocrylene, and 2′-ethylhexyl 4- (dimethylamino)benzoate, were assessed using a Real-Time PCR array. Forty genes, and additional six reference genes, were included in the array. The genes were selected based on their association with hormone responses, detoxification mechanisms, the stress response, DNA repair, and the immune system. The study was performed on Chironomus riparius, a benthic dipteran with an essential role in the food web. Transcriptional responses were assessed both 24 and 96 h post-exposure, to determinate short- and medium-term cellular responses. Individual fourth instar larvae were exposed to 0.1 and 1 mg/L of each of the toxic compounds and compound mixtures. A weak response was detected at 24 h, which was stronger in larvae exposed to mixtures than to individual toxicants. The response at 96 h was complex and principally involved genes related to the endocrine system, detoxification mechanisms, and the stress response. Furthermore, exposure to mixtures of compounds altered the expression patterns of an increased number of genes than did individual compound exposures, which suggested complex interactions between compounds affected the regulation of transcriptional activity. The results obtained highlight the importance of analyzing the mechanisms involved in the response to mixtures of compounds over extended periods and offer new insights into the basis of the physiological responses to pollution.

Keywords: Aquatic insect; Chironomids; Invertebrates; Mixture toxicity; Multi-stress; Transcriptional alterations.

Unravelling the composition of tap and mineral water microbiota: Divergences between next-generation sequencing techniques and culture-based methods


The complex and highly diverse microbial environment of drinking water, consisting mainly of bacteria at different metabolic states, is still underexplored. The aim of this work was to characterize the bacterial communities in tap water and bottled mineral water, the two predominant sources of drinking water in modern societies. A total of 11 tap water samples from a range of locations and distribution networks and 10 brands of bottled natural mineral water were analysed using two approaches: a) heterotrophic plate counts by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass-spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the culturable heterotrophic communities, and b) Illumina amplicon sequencing for total bacteria including non-culturable bacteria. Culturable heterotrophic bacteria were isolated in WPCA (ISO) agar at 22 ± 2 °C for 72 h and 2046 isolates were identified using MALDI-TOF MS. The Bruker Daltonics Library and a previously customized library (Drinking Water Library) were used as reference databases. For the total bacteria fraction, DNA was extracted from 6 L of water and submitted to Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing of the v4 region. Significant differences were observed between mineral and tap water, with a general dominance of Alphaproteobacteria (mainly the genus Blastomonas) in tap water and Gammaproteobacteria in mineral water with Acidovorax being the dominant genus in 3 out of 7 mineral water brands. The bacterial communities in the different brands of mineral water were highly diverse and characteristic of each one. Moreover, the season in which the water was bottled also affected the species distribution, with some of them identified in only one season. Among the culturable bacteria, the most abundant phylum was Proteobacteria (around 85% of the isolates), followed by Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Proteobacteria was also the most abundant phylum detected with Illumina sequencing (>99% of the reads). The two methods gave distinct results at the different taxonomic levels and could therefore have a complimentary application in the study of microbiota in mineral water environments. MALDI-TOF MS is a promising method for the rapid identification of heterotrophic bacteria in routine water analysis in the bottling industry. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The complementarity of MALDI-TOF MS and NGS in the assessment of bacterial community diversity has been demonstrated in water intended for human consumption. The two methods are suitable for routine use in the water industry for water quality management.

Keywords: 16S rRNA sequencing; Drinking water; MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry; Microbiota; Mineral water; Tap water.


Emerging contaminants affect the microbiome of water systems—strategies for their mitigation

By: Gomes, Ines B.Maillard, Jean-YvesSimoes, Lucia C.; et al.

NPJ CLEAN WATER   Volume: ‏ 3   Issue: ‏ 1     Article Number: 39   Published: ‏ SEP 18 2020

The presence of emerging contaminants (ECs) in the environment has been consistently recognized as a worldwide concern. ECs may be defined as chemicals or materials found in the environment at trace concentrations with potential, perceived, or real risk to the “One Health” trilogy (environment, human, and animal health). The main concern regarding pharmaceuticals and in particular antibiotics is the widespread dissemination of antimicrobial resistance. Nevertheless, non-antimicrobials also interact with microorganisms in both bulk phase and in biofilms. In fact, drugs not developed for antimicrobial chemotherapy can exert an antimicrobial action and, therefore, a selective pressure on microorganisms. This review aims to provide answers to questions typically ignored in epidemiological and environmental monitoring studies with a focus on water systems, particularly drinking water (DW): Do ECs exposure changes the behavior of environmental microorganisms? May non-antibiotic ECs affect tolerance to antimicrobials? Do ECs interfere with biofilm function? Are ECs-induced changes in microbial behavior of public health concern? Nowadays, the answers to these questions are still very limited. However, this study demonstrates that some ECs have significant effects in microbial behavior. The most studied ECs are pharmaceuticals, particularly antibiotics, carbamazepine and diclofenac. The pressure caused by antibiotic and other antimicrobial agents on the acquisition and spread of antibiotic resistance seems to be unquestionable. However, regarding the effects of ECs on the development and behavior of biofilms, the conclusions of different studies are still controversial. The dissimilar findings propose that standardized tests are needed for an accurate assessment on the effects of ECs in the microbiome of water systems. The variability of experimental conditions, combined with the presence of mixtures of ECs as well as the lack of information about the effects of non-pharmaceutical ECs constitute the main challenge to be overcome in order to improve ECs prioritization.


Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water


Although the Flint, Michigan, water crisis renewed concerns about lead (Pb) in city drinking water, little attention has been paid to Pb in private wells, which provide drinking water for 13% of the US population. This study evaluates the risk of Pb exposure in children in households relying on private wells. It is based on a curated dataset of blood Pb records from 59,483 North Carolina children matched with household water source information. We analyze the dataset for statistical associations between children’s blood Pb and household drinking water source. The analysis shows that children in homes relying on private wells have 25% increased odds (95% CI 6.2 to 48%, P < 0.01) of elevated blood Pb, compared with children in houses served by a community water system that is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This increased Pb exposure is likely a result of corrosion of household plumbing and well components, because homes relying on private wells rarely treat their water to prevent corrosion. In contrast, corrosion control is required in regulated community water systems. These findings highlight the need for targeted outreach to prevent Pb exposure for the 42.5 million Americans depending on private wells for their drinking water.

Keywords: blood lead; children’s health; drinking water; lead exposure; private well.


Drinking Water in the United States: Implications of Water Safety, Access, and Consumption


Recent water quality crises in the United States, and recognition of the health importance of drinking water in lieu of sugar-sweetened beverages, have raised interest in water safety, access, and consumption. This review uses a socioecological lens to examine these topics across the life course. We review water intakes in the United States relative to requirements, including variation by age and race/ethnicity. We describe US regulations that seek to ensure that drinking water is safe to consume for most Americans and discuss strategies to reduce drinking water exposure to lead, a high-profile regulated drinking water contaminant. We discuss programs, policies, and environmental interventions that foster effective drinking water access, a concept that encompasses key elements needed to improve water intake. We conclude with recommendations for research, policies, regulations, and practices needed to ensure optimal water intake by all in the United States and elsewhere.

Keywords: access; consumption; drinking water; life course; policy; water quality.


Opposing Consumption Trends for Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Plain Drinking Water: Analyses of NHANES 2011–16 Data

  • 1MS-Nutrition, 27 bld Jean Moulin, Faculté de Médecine la Timone, Laboratoire C2VN, Marseille, France
  • 2PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, NY, United States
  • 3Center for Public Health Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States

Background: Choosing water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) can reduce added sugars while maintaining adequate hydration. The present goal was to examine 2011–16 time trends in SSB vs. water consumption across US population subgroups.

Methods: Dietary intake data for 22,716 persons aged >4 years came from two 24-h dietary recalls in successive cycles of the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES 2011–16). Water intakes (in mL/d) from plain water (tap and bottled) and from beverages (SSB and not-SSB) were the principal outcome variables. Intakes were analyzed by age group, income to poverty ratio (IPR), and race/ethnicity. Time trends by demographics were also examined.

Results: SSB and water intakes followed distinct social gradients. Most SSB was consumed by Non-Hispanic Black and lower-income groups. Most tap water was consumed by Non-Hispanic White and higher-income groups. During 2011–16, water from SSB declined from 322 to 262 mL/d (p < 0.005), whereas plain water increased (1,011–1,144 mL/d) (p < 0.05). Groups aged <30 years reduced SSB consumption (p < 0.0001) but it was groups aged >30 years that increased drinking water (p < 0.001). Non-Hispanic White groups reduced SSB and increased tap water consumption. Non-Hispanic Black and lower income groups reduced SSB and increased bottled water, not tap.

Conclusion: The opposing time trends in SSB and water consumption were not uniform across age groups or sociodemographic strata. Only the non-Hispanic White population reduced SSB and showed a corresponding increase in tap water. Lower-income and minority groups consumed relatively little plain drinking water from the tap.


Genotoxicity of source, treated and distributed water from four drinking water treatment plants supplied by surface water in Sardinia, Italy



High levels of disinfection by-products (DBPs) are constantly found in drinking water distributed in Sardinia, an Italian island with a tourist vocation and critical issues related to the drinking water supply. To reduce the concentration of trihalomethanes the disinfectant in use was changed – chlorine dioxide was adopted instead of hypochlorite. However, this caused the appearance of other DBPs (e.g., chlorites) in water distributed to the population. Thus, the use of monochloramine as a secondary disinfectant (associated with chlorine dioxide as the primary disinfectant) was evaluated in four drinking water treatment plants supplied by artificial basins located in the central-northern part of Sardinia. Raw, disinfected and distributed waters were studied for genotoxicity using a battery of in vitro tests on different cells (bacteria, plant and mammalian cells) to detect different genetic endpoints (i.e., point and chromosome mutations and DNA damage). Moreover, a chemical and microbiological characterisation of water samples was performed. All samples of water distributed to the people showed mutagenic or genotoxic effects in different cells/organisms. In particular, chromosome aberrations in plant cells and DNA damage in human cells were observed. In this study, the use of chloramines associated with other disinfectants did not eliminate the mutagenicity present in the raw water and when the raw water was not mutagenic it introduced mutagenic/genotoxic substances. A careful management of drinking water is needed to reduce health hazards associated with the mutagenicity of drinking water.


Detecting community response to water quality violations using bottled water sales

Maura Allaire 1Taylor Mackay 2Shuyan Zheng 3Upmanu Lall 3 4


Drinking-water contaminants pose a risk to public health. When confronted with elevated levels of contaminants, individuals can take actions to reduce exposure. Yet, few studies address averting behavior due to impaired water, particularly in high-income countries. This is a problem of national interest, given that 9 million to 45 million people have been affected by water quality violations in each of the past 34 years. No national analysis has focused on the extent to which communities reduce exposure to contaminated drinking water. Here, we present an assessment that sheds light on how communities across the United States respond to violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, using consumer purchases of bottled water. This study provides insight into how averting behavior differs across violation types and community demographics. We estimate the change in sales due to water quality violations, using a panel dataset of weekly sales and violation records in 2,151 counties from 2006 to 2015. Critical findings show that violations which pose an immediate health risk are associated with a 14% increase in bottled water sales. Generally, greater averting action is taken against contaminants that might pose a greater perceived health risk and that require more immediate public notification. Rural, low-income communities do not take significant averting action for elevated levels of nitrate, yet experience a higher prevalence of nitrate violations. Findings can inform improvements in public notification and targeting of technical assistance from state regulators and public health agencies in order to reduce community exposure to contaminants.


Cognitive Assessments in Hydration Research Involving Children: Methods and Considerations

Westfall D.R.a · Logan N.E.a · Khan N.A.b,c · Hillman C.H.a,d



The effects of optimal and insufficient hydration on human health have received increasing investigation in recent years. Specifically, water is an essential nutrient for human health, and the importance of hydration on cognition has continued to attract research interest over the last decade. Despite this focus, children remain a relatively understudied population relative to the effects of hydration on cognition. Of those studies investigating children, findings have been inconsistent, resulting from utilizing a wide variety of cognitive domains and cognitive assessments, as well as varied hydration protocols. Here, our aim is to create a primer for assessing cognition during hydration research in children. Specifically, we review the definition of cognition and the domains of which it is composed, how cognition has been measured in both field- and laboratory-based assessments, results from neuroimaging methods, and the relationship between hydration and academic achievement in children. Lastly, future research considerations are discussed.

© 2019 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

Hydration Status and Cardiovascular Function

by Joseph C. Watso and William B. Farquhar

DOI: 10.3390/nu11081866


Hypohydration, defined as a state of low body water, increases thirst sensations, arginine vasopressin release, and elicits renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation to replenish intra- and extra-cellular fluid stores. Hypohydration impairs mental and physical performance, but new evidence suggests hypohydration may also have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health. This is alarming because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Observational studies have linked habitual low water intake with increased future risk for adverse cardiovascular events. While it is currently unclear how chronic reductions in water intake may predispose individuals to greater future risk for adverse cardiovascular events, there is evidence that acute hypohydration impairs vascular function and blood pressure (BP) regulation. Specifically, acute hypohydration may reduce endothelial function, increase sympathetic nervous system activity, and worsen orthostatic tolerance. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to present the currently available evidence linking acute hypohydration with altered vascular function and BP regulation. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

(Re)theorizing the Politics of Bottled Water: Water Insecurity in the Context of Weak Regulatory Regimes

Raul Pacheco-Vega – Public Administration Division, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Sede Región Centro, Aguascalientes 20313 Ciudad de México 01210, Mexico

DOI: 10.3390/w11040658


Water insecurity in developing country contexts has frequently led individuals and entire communities to shift their consumptive patterns towards bottled water. Bottled water is sometimes touted as a mechanism to enact the human right to water through distribution across drought-stricken or infrastructure-compromised communities. However, the global bottled water industry is a multi-billion dollar major business. How did we reach a point where the commodification of a human right became not only commonly accepted but even promoted? In this paper, I argue that a discussion of the politics of bottled water necessitates a re-theorization of what constitutes “the political” and how politics affects policy decisions regarding the governance of bottled water. In this article I examine bottled water as a political phenomenon that occurs not in a vacuum but in a poorly regulated context. I explore the role of weakened regulatory regimes and regulatory capture in the emergence, consolidation and, ultimately, supremacy of bottled water over network-distributed, delivered-by-a-public utility tap water. My argument uses a combined framework that interweaves notions of “the political”, ideas on regulatory capture, the concept of “the public”, branding, and regulation theory to retheorize how we conceptualize the politics of bottled water. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Historical and Future Needs for Geospatial Iodide Occurrence in Surface and Groundwaters of the United States of America

Authors: Sharma, N; Karanfil, T; Westerhoff, P ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS

DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00278


While iodide (I-) is critical for biological systems, it can serve as a precursor to organic iodinated disinfection byproducts (I-DBPs) of human health concern during water treatment. Thus, understanding potential I- occurrence in fresh waters is critical. Although I- occurrence data are sparse in surface water (SW) or groundwater (GW) used for drinking water supplies, data exist for other locations. We analyzed historical I- occurrence for similar to 9200 SW and GW sampling locations in the United States to understand potential I- sources and also spatial and temporal variability. I- ranged from below detection limits (<1 mu g/L) to 95th percentile concentrations of 320 and 1300 mu g/L (median = 12 and 13 mu g/L), respectively, in SW and GW. I- appears to be influenced by halite basins, organic-rich shale/oil formations, saltwater intrusion, and rainfall, with median Br-/I- mass ratios of 10 and 17 mu g/mu g in SW and GW, respectively. Our results demonstrated considerable variability in iodine sources and speciation, which can impact I-DBP formation at WTPs. We advocate for occurrence studies to measure I- IO3- and total iodine in raw and finished drinking waters to fill critical data gaps necessary to understand the potential formation of I-DBPs that impact public health.

Occurrence, Concentrations, and Risks of Pharmaceutical Compounds in Private Wells in Central Pennsylvania

Authors: Kibuye, FA; Gall, HE; Elkin, KR; Swistock, B; Veith, TL; Watson, JE; Elliott, HA JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

DOI: 10.2134/jeq2018.08.0301


Over-the-counter and prescription medications are routinely present at detectable levels in surface and groundwater bodies. The presence of these emerging contaminants has raised both environmental and public health concerns, particularly when the water is used for drinking either directly or with additional treatment. However, the frequency of occurrence, range of concentrations, and potential human health risks are not well understood, especially for groundwater supplies. Private wells are often not tested for contaminants regulated by drinking water standards and are even less frequently tested for emerging contaminants. By partnering with the Pennsylvania Master Well Owner Network, water samples were collected from 26 households with private wells in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River basin in central Pennsylvania in winter 2017. All samples were analyzed for six pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, ampicillin, naproxen, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and one over-the-counter stimulant (caffeine). At least one compound was detected at each site. Ofloxacin and naproxen were the most and least frequently detected compounds, respectively. Concentrations from the groundwater wells were higher than those of nearby surface water samples. However, risk calculations revealed that none of the concentrations measured in groundwater samples posed significant human health risk. A simple, physicochemical-based modeling approach was used to predict pharmaceutical transport from septic absorption field to groundwater and further elucidate variations in detection frequencies. Findings indicate that although septic tanks may act as contaminant sources for groundwater wells, the human health impacts from trace-level pharmaceuticals that may be present are likely minimal.

Contaminants migrating from crossed-linked polyethylene pipes and their effect on drinking water odour

Authors: Kalweit, C; Stottmeister, E; Rapp, T WATER RESEARCH

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.06.001


The formation potential of contaminants diffusing from cross-linked polyethylene (PE-X) pipes and their impact on the odour of drinking water was determined. Three types of PE-X material, Pe-Xa, PE-Xb and PE-Xc, were extensively assessed by performing migration tests following EN 1420 and EN 12873-1. Migration waters were analysed for their threshold odour number (TON). The same samples were investigated by two gas chromatography-mass spectrometry methods: screening and olfactometry. Most of the PE-X materials failed the German regulation of TON <2 for cold water and TON <= 4 for warm water. PE-Xb material caused the strongest odour and also released the highest amount of contaminants. Metilox, 7,9-di-tert-butyl-1-oxaspiro(4,5)deca-6,9-diene-2,8-dione, 3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-benzoquinone (2,6-DtBQ) were the most often detected substances leaching from the tested plastic materials. However, no odour was perceived for most of these substances. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) and 2-tert-butylphenol are believed to contribute to the sensory problem in the migration water among other substances such as tert-amyl methyl ether, 2,2,2,5-tetramethyltetrahydrofuran, toluene or xylene. In total ten specific descriptions characterized the odour of the individual contaminants: ethereal, fresh, solvent, sweet, fruity, floral, unsavoury, pungent, aromatic and chemical. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Development and application of relevance and reliability criteria for water treatment removal efficiencies of chemicals of emerging concern

Authors: Fischer, A; Wezel, AP; Hollender, J; Cornelissen, E; Hofman, R; van der Hoek, JP WATER RESEARCH

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.05.088


With the growth in production and use of chemicals and the fact that many end up in the aquatic environment, there is an increasing need for advanced water treatment technologies that can remove chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) from water. The current lack of a homogenous approach for testing advanced water treatment technologies hampers the interpretation and evaluation of CEC removal efficiency data, and hinders informed decision making by stakeholders with regard to which treatment technology could satisfy their specific needs. Here a data evaluation framework is proposed to improve the use of current knowledge in the field of advanced water treatment technologies for drinking water and wastewater, consisting of a set of 9 relevance criteria and 51 reliability criteria. The two criteria sets underpin a thorough, unbiased and standardised method to select studies to evaluate and compare CEC removal efficiency of advanced water treatment technologies in a scientifically sound way. The relevance criteria set was applied to 244 papers on removal efficiency, of which only 20% fulfilled the criteria. The reliability criteria were applied to the remaining papers. In general these criteria were fulfilled with regards to information on the target compound, the water matrix and the treatment process conditions. However, there was a lack of information on data interpretation and statistics. In conclusion, a minority of the evaluated papers are suited for comparison across techniques, compounds and water matrixes. There is a clear need for more uniform reporting of water treatment studies for CEC removal. In the future this will benefit the selection of appropriate technologies. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Exploring the Efficacy of Nile Red in Microplastic Quantification: A Costaining Approach.

Stanton, T., Johnson, M., Nathanail, P., Gomes, R.L., Needham, T., Burson, A., 2019.

ABSTRACT: The presence of microplastic particles (<5 mm) in the environment has generated considerable concern across public, political, and scientific platforms. However, the diversity of microplastics that persist in the environment poses complex analytical challenges for our understanding of their prevalence. The use of the dye Nile red to quantify microplastics is increasingly common. However, its use in microplastic analysis rarely accounts for its affinity with the breadth of particles that occur in environmental samples. Here, we examine Nile red’s ability to stain a variety of microplastic particles and common natural and anthropogenic particles found in environmental samples. To better constrain microplastic estimates using Nile red, we test the coapplication of a second stain that binds to biological material, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). We test the potential inflation of microplastic estimates using Nile red alone by applying this costaining approach to samples of drinking water and freshwater. The use of Nile red dye alone resulted in a maximum 100% overestimation of microplastic particles. These findings are of particular significance for the public dissemination of findings from an emotive field of study.


A Perspective on the History of Environmental Regulations-Successes and Challenges in Reclaiming Polluted Waters

By:Bhatti, MI (Bhatti, M. Ilyas)1 ]


Edited by:Scott, GF; Hamilton, W

Pages: 160-165

Published: 2019

Document Type:Proceedings Paper


Conference: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress / 19th Annual Congress of the Environmental-and-Water-Resources-Institute (EWRI) / EWRI History and Heritage Symposium

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Date: MAY 19-23, 2019

Sponsor(s):Environm & Water Resources Inst; Amer Soc Civil Engineers, Environm & Water Resources Inst; Amer Soc Civil Engineers


There is always a political debate how environmental regulations inhibit economic progress. However, if we look closely at the situation prior to the enactment of major congressional actions in the early 1970s, one can understand that the pollution and contamination of our environment had reached an epidemic level that propelled the environmental movement of the 1960s. Rachel Carson in her book titled Silent Spring captured the impact of indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT. Her book served as a wake-up call for the nation to come together to fight for the protection of our environmental resources before environmental pollution would completely destroy our water we drink and the air we breathe. The author will focus on the environmental movement of the 1960s in the United States that resulted in the passage of a number of important pieces of legislation such as the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The author will examine the success of the early planning efforts undertaken under Section 208 of the Clean Water Act in developing wastewater management plans throughout the United States with specific focus on wastewater treatment and disposal activities in Massachusetts. This paper will also examine the deterioration of our water and wastewater infrastructure after the successes of the 1980s, and how a more robust policy and leadership is needed at the national and local level to check this trend. Not only public health is endangered but economic gains could be threatened.


Efficacy of Flushing and Chlorination in Removing Microorganisms from a Pilot Drinking Water Distribution System

By:van Bel, N (van Bel, Nikki)1 ] ; Hornstra, LM (Hornstra, Luc M.)1 ] ; van der Veen, A (van der Veen, Anita)1 ] ; Medema, G (Medema, Gertjan)1,2 ]


Volume: 11

Issue: 5

Article Number: 903

DOI: 10.3390/w11050903

Published: MAY 2019

Document Type:Article


To ensure delivery of microbiologically safe drinking water, the physical integrity of the distribution system is an important control measure. During repair works or an incident the drinking water pipe is open and microbiologically contaminated water or soil may enter. Before taking the pipe back into service it must be cleaned. The efficacy of flushing and shock chlorination was tested using a model pipe-loop system with a natural or cultured biofilm to which a microbial contamination (Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens spores and phiX174) was added. On average, flushing removed 1.5-2.7 log microorganisms from the water, but not the biofilm. In addition, sand added to the system was not completely removed. Flushing velocity (0.3 or 1.5 m/s) did not affect the efficacy. Shock chlorination (10 mg/L, 1-24 h) was very effective against E. coli and phiX174, but C. perfringens spores were partly resistant. Chlorination was slightly more effective in pipes with a natural compared to a cultured biofilm. Flushing alone is thus not sufficient after high risk repair works or incidents, and shock chlorination should be considered to remove microorganisms to ensure microbiologically safe drinking water. Prevention via hygienic working procedures, localizing and isolating the contamination source and issuing boil water advisories remain important, especially during confirmed contamination events.



Assessing the threats of organophosphate esters (flame retardants and plasticizers) to drinking water safety based on USEPA oral reference dose (RfD) and oral cancer slope factor (SFO)



As one group of emerging pollutants, the threat of organophosphate esters (flame retardants and plasticizers, OPEs) to drinking water safety is not well recognized. Now, the oral reference dose (RfD) and oral cancer slope factor (SFO) of OPEs have been updated by USPEA, therefore the threat of OPEs to drinking water safety could be assessed. In this study, occurrence, health risk and key impact factor of OPEs in drinking water of China were analyzed covering 79 cities, whose population and gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for 28.8% and 44.1% of them in China, respectively. Total concentration of 14 common OPEs in drinking water was 13.42–265.48 ng/L. The exposure level of OPEs via ingestion of drinking water was much lower than that of food ingestion but was comparable with dust ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption. A health assessment for OPEs via ingestion of drinking water suggested that the potential cancer risk occurred (>1.00E-6) but no obvious non-carcinogenic effects occurred (<1). Tris-(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate(TDBPP) contributed to about 72.4% of carcinogenic risk, which should be treated as “prior monitoring OPEs” in further studies. The occurrence and distribution of OPEs in drinking water of China have a good corresponding relationship with the Aihui-Tengchong Line, and drinking water treatment technology (DWTT) was found to be a key factor. Total OPEs, halogeno-OPEs and alkyl-OPEs in drinking water from advanced DWTT cities were much lower than those of conventional DWTT cities. Compared with conventional DWTT, advanced DWTT could reduce about 65.6% and 36.5% of carcinogenic risk and non-carcinogenic risk of OPEs, respectively. Considering the annual growth of OPEs consumption in China and world, further studies regarding the environmental threat of OPEs are required.


Presence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment in Europe and their analytical monitoring: Recent trends and perspectives

UrszulaSzymańskaaMarekWiergowskibIreneuszSołtyszewskicJarosławKuzemkodGabrielaWiergowskaefMateusz KacperWoźniak


The presence of antibiotics and their metabolites in the aquatic environment exerts a negative impact on all organisms. Moreover, the easy migration of these substances to drinking water may also have serious consequences for public health, such as drug resistance. Although antibiotics and their metabolites are detected in surface waters and wastewater, there are still no systemic solutions preventing environmental pollution with these substances. The procedure for quantification of antibiotics usually involves solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by instrumental analysis typically using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), which provides sensitivity, selectivity and reliability of results. Therefore, it is necessary to take decisive steps aimed at the determination of critical concentrations of antibiotics, which will make it possible to maintain safe values that will not exert a negative impact on the natural environment and human health. This work presents the current state of knowledge based on data from 2009 to 2018 (review of ten years of scientific papers) on the presence of antibiotics and their metabolites in the aquatic environment in Poland and Europe and methods used for the determination of antibiotics in different types of water (surface water and wastewater). The main strategies used for the removal of antibiotics during wastewater treatment processes in the context of antibiotics’ concentrations were also presented.


Prenatal exposure to PFOS and PFOA in a pregnant women cohort of Catalonia, Spain

By:Rovira, J (Rovira, Joaquim)1,2 ] ; Martinez, MA (Angeles Martinez, Maria)1 ] ; Sharma, RP (Prasad Sharma, Raju)1 ] ; Espuis, T (Espuis, Teresa)1 ] ; Nadal, M (Nadal, Marti)2 ] ; Kumar, V (Kumar, Vikas)1,2 ] ; Costopoulou, D (Costopoulou, Danae)3 ] ; Vassiliadou, I (Vassiliadou, Irene)3 ] ; Leondiadis, L (Leondiadis, Leondios)3 ] ; Domingo, JL (Domingo, Jose L.)2 ] …More


Volume: 175

Pages: 384-392

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.040

Published: AUG 2019

Document Type:Article


This study was aimed at assessing the prenatal exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in a cohort of pregnant women living in Reus (Tarragona County, Catalonia, Spain). These chemicals were biomonitored in maternal plasma during the first trimester of pregnancy, at delivery, and in cord blood. The dietary exposure of PFOS and PFOA was estimated by using questionnaires of food frequency and water intake, as well as data on food levels previously reported in the same area. In addition, the exposure through air inhalation and indoor dust ingestion was also calculated. Finally, a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was applied in order to establish the prenatal exposure of the fetus/child and to adjust exposure assessment vs. biomonitoring results. Probabilistic calculations of fetal exposure were performed by forward internal dosimetry and Monte-Carlo simulation. Mean plasma levels of PFOA were 0.45, 0.13 and 0.12 ng/mL at the first trimester, at delivery and in cord plasma, while those of PFOS were 2.93, 2.21, and 1.17 ng/mL, respectively. Traces of PFOS were found in all samples in the trimester and at delivery, and almost in all cord blood samples. Transplacental transfers of PFOS and PFOA were estimated to be around 70% and 60%, respectively. A temporal decrease trend in plasma levels of PFOS and PFOA was noticed, when comparing current values with data obtained 10 years ago in the same area. In agreement with many other studies, dietary intake was the main route of exposure to PFOS and PFOA in our cohort of pregnant women. It is an important issue to establish the exposure in critical windows periods such as fetal development to perfluoroalkylated substances, but also to other endocrine disrupting chemicals.

A Novel Method to Characterise Levels of Pharmaceutical Pollution in Large-Scale Aquatic Monitoring Campaigns

By:Wilkinson, JL (Wilkinson, John L.)1 ] ; Boxall, ABA (Boxall, Alistair B. A.)1 ] ; Kolpin, DW (Kolpin, Dana W.)2 ]

View ResearcherID and ORCID


Volume: 9

Issue: 7

Article Number: 1368

DOI: 10.3390/app9071368

Published: APR 1 2019

Document Type:Article


Much of the current understanding of pharmaceutical pollution in the aquatic environment is based on research conducted in Europe, North America and other select high-income nations. One reason for this geographic disparity of data globally is the high cost and analytical intensity of the research, limiting accessibility to necessary equipment. To reduce the impact of such disparities, we present a novel method to support large-scale monitoring campaigns of pharmaceuticals at different geographical scales. The approach employs the use of a miniaturised sampling and shipping approach with a high throughput and fully validated direct-injection High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry method for the quantification of 61 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their metabolites in tap, surface, wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent and WWTP effluent water collected globally. A 7-day simulated shipping and sample stability assessment was undertaken demonstrating no significant degradation over the 1-3 days which is typical for global express shipping. Linearity (r(2)) was consistently 0.93 (median = 0.99 +/- 0.02), relative standard deviation of intra- and inter-day repeatability and precision was <20% for 75% and 68% of the determinations made at three concentrations, respectively, and recovery from Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry grade water, tap water, surface water and WWTP effluent were within an acceptable range of 60-130% for 87%, 76%, 77% and 63% of determination made at three concentrations respectively. Limits of detection and quantification were determined in all validated matrices and were consistently in the ng/L level needed for environmentally relevant API research. Independent validation of method results was obtained via an interlaboratory comparison of three surface-water samples and one WWTP effluent sample collected in North Liberty, Iowa (USA). Samples used for the interlaboratory validation were analysed at the University of York Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry (York, UK) and the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory in Denver (Colorado, USA). These results document the robustness of using this method on a global scale. Such application of this method would essentially eliminate the interlaboratory analytical variability typical of such large-scale datasets where multiple methods were used.



Dietary intake, drinking water ingestion and plasma perfluoroalkyl substances concentration in reproductive aged Chinese women

By:Zhou, W (Zhou, Wei)1,2 ] ; Zhao, SS (Zhao, Shasha)1 ] ; Tong, CL (Tong, Chuanliang)3 ] ; Chen, L (Chen, Lin)1 ] ; Yu, XD (Yu, Xiaodan)4 ] ; Yuan, T (Yuan, Tao)5 ] ; Aimuzi, R (Aimuzi, Ruxianguli)1,6 ] ; Luo, F (Luo, Fei)1,6 ] ; Tian, Y (Tian, Ying)1,6 ] ; Zhang, J (Zhang, Jun)1,6 ]

Group Author(s):Shanghai Birth Cohort Study

View ResearcherID and ORCID


Volume: 127

Pages: 487-494

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.03.075

Published: JUN 2019

Document Type:Article


Background: Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that are widely used in industrial and consumer products. A growing body of literature suggests that exposure to these chemicals are associated with adverse reproductive outcomes in women. However, the sources of PFAS exposure are often poorly characterized in women of child-bearing age.


Epidemics caused by contamination of drinking water supplied by public water supply systems in terms of current legislation

Vít Vlček
Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, Brno, Czech Republic


Objectives. This paper describes and comments on contemporary legislation concerning prevention of epidemics caused by contaminated drinking water from public water supplies in the Czech Republic. Methods. Suggestions are made for removing existing legislative shortcomings, clarifying diction of existing laws and expanding sanctions and penalties for health injury caused by providers and operators of public drinking water. Results. The author reflects on improving legislation concerning the compensation of victims of contaminated water with reference to the aftermath of a local epidemic in the Dejvice District of Prague. Conclusion. The issues raised should be addressed since better legislation can significantly contribute to the limitation of water-borne epidemics and their consequences.



Exposure to Contaminants Among Private Well Users in North Carolina: Enhancing the Role of Public Health

Crystal Lee Pow Jackson, PhD, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Max Zarate-Bermudez, MSc, MPH, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


North Carolina has the second highest number of residents who rely on private wells for their drinking water supply. Studies report that about 3.3 million North Carolina residents (35% of the population) use private wells, with the highest county having 85.4% of the residents using private wells. Unlike public water systems that benefit from the regulatory safeguards of the Safe Drinking Water Act, there are no federal regulations for private wells in the U.S. Testing, treating, maintaining, and managing private wells are up to well owners, often with little to no technical or financial support.

In 2015, the Private Well and Health Program (PWHP) of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) Program to enhance services to private well users. PWHP was understaffed, had limited access to water quality data, and lacked established partnerships, which prevented it from enhancing services for private well users to better protect their health.

This month’s column highlights how PWHP used the funding to address vulnerabilities in its private wells and water quality, as well as initiatives to close the gaps in ensuring safe drinking water for its residents.



Seasonal Variation of Water Quality in Unregulated Domestic Wells

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, 1295 N. Martin Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Friends of the Santa Cruz River, P.O. Box 4275, Tubac, AZ 85646, USA
Department of Soil, Water & Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0038, USA
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0041, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201916(9), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091569
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health Risks)


In the United States (U.S.), up to 14% of the population depend on private wells as their primary drinking water source. The U.S. government does not regulate contaminants in private wells. The goals of this study were to investigate the quality of drinking water from unregulated private wells within one mile (1.6 kilometers) of an effluent-dominated river in the arid Southwest, determine differences in contaminant levels between wet and dry seasons, and identify contributions from human sources by specifically measuring man-made organic contaminants (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfate (PFOS), and sucralose). Samples were collected during two dry seasons and two wet seasons over the course of two years and analyzed for microbial (Escherichia coli), inorganic (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nitrate), and synthetic organic (PFOA, PFOS, and sucralose) contaminants. Arsenic, nitrate, and Escherichia coli concentrations exceeded their respective regulatory levels of 0.01 mg/L, 10 mg/L, and 1 colony forming unit (CFU)/100 mL, respectively. The measured concentrations of PFOA and PFOS exceeded the respective Public Health Advisory level. Arsenic, PFOA, PFOS, and sucralose were significantly higher during the dry seasons, whereas E. coli was higher during the wet seasons. While some contaminants were correlated (e.g., As and Hg ρ = 0.87; PFOA and PFOS ρ = 0.45), the lack of correlation between different contaminant types indicates that they may arise from different sources. Multi-faceted interventions are needed to reduce exposure to drinking water above health-based guidelines.


By:Damian, L (Damian, Laura)1 ] ; Patachia, S (Patachia, Silvia)1 ] ; Scarneciu, I (Scarneciu, Ioan)2 ]


Volume: 18

Issue: 5

Pages: 1089-1095

Published: MAY 2019

Document Type:Article


This study presents the influence of the storage recipients’ material and of the use and the type of stirring on the drinking water quality. The kinetics of drinkable water quality alteration under stationary conditions and under magnetic and sonical stirring have been monitored for a two weeks period. The microbiological parameters (total number of germs developed at 37 degrees C and 22 degrees C, lactose-positive and lactose-negative bacteria, coliform bacteria and Echerichia coli), as well as the physico-chemical ones (turbidity and chlorine amount) have been determined on a daily basis, indicating different alteration degrees of the drinkable water, as a function of storage period and regime. It was found that glass not stimulate microbial growth while polyethylene recipients represents a high risk factor from the bacterial growth point of view. Mechanical stirring as well as sonication are able to significantly reduce the formation of the biofilm on the wall of the storage tanks, irregarding of the material from which the recipients are made of. Sonication has been proven to be inefficient for water storage in polyethylene recipients, due to the increase of the temperature and consequently of the planktonic bacteria activity.



Legionella growth potential of drinking water produced by a reverse osmosis pilot plant

K.L.G.LearbuchaM.C.LutbG.LiubcdH.SmidteP.W.J.J.van der Wielen


Treatment processes, such as membrane filtration with reverse osmosis (RO), are used to produce drinking water with a high degree of biostability. To our knowledge, the influence of RO water on biofilm formation and growth of L. pneumophila has not yet been investigated. Therefore, this study aimed (i) to determine the Legionella growth potential of (remineralised) RO-water produced by a pilot plant and to compare this to conventional treated groundwater, and (ii) to determine if different pipe materials, in contact with remineralised RO-water, can cause growth of L. pneumophila. The Legionella growth potential of water was determined with the boiler biofilm monitor (BBM) that mimics the flow of water in a premise plumbing system. The Legionella growth potential of materials in contact with remineralised RO-water was determined by using the biomass production potential (BPP)-test. ATP concentrations in the biofilm on the glass rings from the BBM fed with (remineralised) RO water fluctuated around 100 pg ATP cm−2. In contrast, BBMs fed with conventionally treated water resulted in ten-fold higher ATP concentrations in the biofilm. Moreover, conventionally treated water had a Legionella growth potential that was 1000-fold higher than that of (remineralised) RO-water. Furthermore, glass, copper and PVC-C had the lowest biofilm concentrations and Legionella growth potential in the BPP-test, followed by PE-Xb, PE-Xc and PE-100. The highest biofilm concentration and Legionella growth potential were with PVC-P. Hence, our study demonstrated that remineralised RO-water did not enhance growth of L. pneumophila in the BBM that mimics the premises plumbing system. However, when PE or PVC-P materials are used growth of L. pneumophila can still occur in the premises plumbing system despite the high quality of the supplied remineralised RO-water.


Non-tuberculous mycobacteria in drinking water systems: A review of prevalence data and control means

By:Loret, JF (Loret, Jean-Francois)1 ] ; Dumoutier, N (Dumoutier, Nadine)1 ]


Volume: 222

Issue: 4

Pages: 628-634

Special Issue: SI

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.01.002

Published: MAY 2019

Document Type:Review


Non-tuberculous species of Mycobacterium are commonly found in a large diversity of water environments, and epidemiological studies suggest that natural or drinking waters are the principal sources of human contamination. Controlling non-tuberculous mycobacteria in water systems is therefore important to prevent infection with these micro-organisms. This review article summarizes the information and data published up to now on the factors favoring the presence of these bacteria in natural and artificial water systems, the effectiveness of water treatment means, and based on this information, identifies possible means to control the presence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria in drinking water.


Inactivation of Adenovirus in Water by Natural and Synthetic Compounds


  • Lucas Ariel Totaro GarciaEmail author
  • Laurita Boff
  • Célia Regina Monte Barardi
  • Markus Nagl
Original Paper


Millions of people use contaminated water sources for direct consumption. Chlorine is the most widely disinfection product but can produce toxic by-products. In this context, natural and synthetic compounds can be an alternative to water disinfection. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the inactivation of human adenovirus by N-chlorotaurine (NCT), bromamine-T (BAT) and Grape seed extract (GSE) in water. Distilled water artificially contaminated with recombinant human adenovirus type 5 (rAdV-GFP) was treated with different concentrations of each compound for up to 120 min, and viral infectivity was assessed by fluorescence microscopy. The decrease in activity of the compounds in the presence of organic matter was evaluated in water supplemented with peptone. As results, NCT and GSE inactivated approximately 2.5 log10 of adenovirus after 120 min. With BAT, more than 4.0 log10decrease was observed within 10 min. The oxidative activity of 1% BAT decreased by 50% in 0.5% peptone within a few minutes, while the reduction was only 30% for 1% NCT in 5% peptone after 60 min. Organic matter had no effect on the activity of GSE. Moreover, the minimal concentration of BAT and GSE to kill viruses was lower than that known to kill human cells. It was concluded that the three compounds have potential to be used for water disinfection for drinking or reuse purposes.


QMRA of adenovirus in drinking water at a drinking water treatment plant using UV and chlorine dioxide disinfection

QMRA of adenovirus in drinking water at a drinking water treatment plant using UV and chlorine dioxide disinfection

By:Schijven, J (Schijven, Jack)1,2 ] ; Teunis, P (Teunis, Peter)3 ] ; Suylen, T (Suylen, Trudy)4 ] ; Ketelaars, H (Ketelaars, Henk)4 ] ; Hornstra, L (Hornstra, Luc)5 ] ; Rutjes, S (Rutjes, Saskia)1 ]


Volume: 158

Pages: 34-45

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.03.090

Published: JUL 1 2019

Document Type:Article


According to the Dutch Drinking Water Act of 2011, Dutch drinking water suppliers must conduct a Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) for infection by the following index pathogens: enterovirus, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium and Giardia at least once every four years in order to assess the microbial safety of drinking water. The health-based target for safe drinking water is set at less than one infection per 10 000 persons per year. At Evides Water Company, concern has arisen whether their drinking water treatment, mainly based on UV inactivation and chlorine dioxide, reduces levels of adenovirus (AdV) sufficiently. The main objective was, therefore, to conduct a QMRA for AdV. Estimates of the MV concentrations in source water were based on enumeration of total AdV by integrated cell culture PCR (iccPCR), most probable number PCR (mpnPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR), and on enumeration of AdV40/41 by mpnPCR and qPCR. AdV40/41 represents a large fraction of total AdV and only a small fraction of AdV is infectious (1/1700). By comparison of literature data and plant scale data, somatic coliphages appeared a good, conservative indicator for AdV disinfection by UV irradiation. Similarly, bacteriophage MS2 appeared to be a good, conservative indicator for disinfection by chlorine dioxide. Literature data on the efficiency of chlorine dioxide disinfection were fitted with the extended HOM model. Chlorine dioxide disinfection at low initial concentrations (0.05-0.1 mg/l) was found to be the major treatment step, providing sufficient treatment on its own for compliance with the health based target. UV disinfection of AdV at 40 mJ/cm(2) or 73 mJ/cm(2) was insufficient without chlorine dioxide disinfection. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Aquatic risks from human pharmaceuticals-modelling temporal trends of carbamazepine and ciprofloxacin at the global scale

By:Oldenkamp, R (Oldenkamp, Rik)1,2 ] ; Beusen, AHW (Beusen, Arthur H. W.)3,4 ] ; Huijbregts, MAJ (Huijbregts, Mark A. J.)1,3 ]

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Volume: 14

Issue: 3

Article Number: 034003

DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab0071

Published: MAR 2019

Document Type:Article


Despite the worldwide presence of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment, a comprehensive picture of their aquatic risk (AR) at the global scale has not yet been produced. Here, we present a procedure to estimate ARs of human pharmaceuticals at a freshwater ecoregion level. First, we predicted country- and year-specific per capita consumption with a regression model. Second, we calculated spatially explicit freshwater concentrations via a combination of mass balance models, addressing the pharmaceutical’s fate in respectively humans, wastewater treatment plants and the environment. Finally, we divided the freshwater concentrations at the level of individual freshwater ecoregions with the regulatory limit value derived from toxicity tests to come to an ecoregion-specific AR. We applied our procedure to model time-trends (1995-2015) of ARs of carbamazepine and ciprofloxacin, two widely detected and regulatory relevant human use pharmaceuticals. Our analysis of carbamazepine and ciprofloxacin showed that ARs, due to exposure to these human pharmaceuticals, typically increased 10-20 fold over the last 20 years. Risks due to carbamazepine exposure were still typically low for the time period assessed (AR < 0.1), although some more densely populated and/or arid ecoregions showed higher ARs (up to 1.1). Risks for ciprofloxacin were found to be much higher with ARs larger than 1 for 223 out of 449 freshwater ecoregions in 2015. Comparison with measured concentrations in ten river basins showed that carbamazepine concentrations were predicted well. Concentrations of ciprofloxacin, measured in four river basins, were, however, generally underestimated by our model with one to two orders of magnitude. We conclude that our procedure provides a good starting point to evaluate ARs of a wide range of human pharmaceuticals at the global scale.


Migration and potential risk of trace phthalates in bottled water: A global situation



Increasing attention has been dedicated to trace phthalates in bottled water due to the serious concerns on public health, while there is still a lack of systematic analysis and assessment of current global situation. Through analyzing five representative phthalates in bottled water over 20 countries, this work clearly revealed the phthalates-associated potential risks in both human daily intake and estrogenic effect. In the risk assessment, the kinetic models were also developed to describe and predict phthalates migration. In more than three hundred brands of bottled waters from twenty one countries, the detection frequency of the five targeted phthalates was found to be in the order of dibutyl phthalate (DBP, 67.6%), di-2-(ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP, 61.7%), diethyl phthalate (DEP, 47.1%), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP, 36.9%), and dimethyl phthalate (DMP, 30.1%). Among the countries studied relating concentrations of DEHP in bottled waters, the top five countries ranked in the order of high to low were ThailandCroatiaCzech RepublicSaudi Arabia and China with an average level of 61.1, 8.8, 6.3, 6.2 and 6.1 μg/L, respectively. The average levels of BBP, DBP, DMP and DEP in bottled water from Pakistan were high, in which DEP and DMP were ranked 1st among all countries with the average levels of 22.4 and 50.2 μg/L, while BBP and DBP were ranked 2nd and 3rd with the average levels of 7.5 and 17.8 μg/L, respectively. The human daily intake-based risk assessment revealed that phthalates in bottled waters studied would not pose a serious concern on public health. However, the adverse estrogenic effects of phthalates in bottled water from some countries appeared to be significant. This study just shed light on global situation of phthalates in bottled water, and more efforts should be needed to systematically examine the phthalates-related safety of bottled water.


Profiling of intracellular and extracellular antibiotic resistance genes in tap water



Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have gained global attention due to their public health threat. Extracelluar ARGs (eARGs) can result in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance via free-living ARGs in natural environments, where they promote ARB transmission in drinking water distribution systems. However, eARG pollution in tap water has not been well researched. In this study, concentrations of eARGs and intracellular ARGs (iARGs) in tap water, sampled at Tianjin, China, were investigated for one year. Fourteen eARG types were found at the highest concentration of 1.3 × 105 gene copies (GC)/L. TetC was detected in 66.7% of samples, followed by sul1, sul2, and qnrA with the same detection frequency of 41.7%. Fifteen iARGs (including tetA, tetB, tetM, tetQ, tetX, sul1, sul2, sul3, ermB, blaTEM, and qnrA)were continuously detected in all collected tap water samples with sul1 and sul2 the most abundant. Additionally, both eARG and iARG concentrations in tap water presented a seasonal pattern with most abundant prevalence in summer. The concentration of observed intracellular sulfonamide resistance genes showed a significantly positive correlation with total nitrogen concentrations. This study suggested that eARG and iARG pollution of drinking water systems pose a potential risk to human public health.


Perfluoroalkyl acids in drinking water of China in 2017: Distribution characteristics, influencing factors and potential risks

By:Li, YN (Li, Yuna)1 ] ; Li, JF (Li, Jiafu)2 ] ; Zhang, LF (Zhang, Lifen)1 ] ; Huang, ZP (Huang, Zhiping)1 ] ; Liu, YQ (Liu, Yunqing)3 ] ; Wu, N (Wu, Nan)3 ] ; He, JH (He, Jiahui)2 ] ; Zhang, ZZ (Zhang, Zhaozhao)2 ] ; Zhang, Y (Zhang, Ying)1 ] ; Niu, ZG (Niu, Zhiguang)2,3 ]

View ResearcherID and ORCID


Volume: 123

Pages: 87-95

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.11.036

Published: FEB 2019

Document Type:Article


Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a group of emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which have been ubiquitously detected in the environmental media. However, national scale investigations on their occurrence and distribution in drinking water are still insufficient. In this study, we detected the 17 priority PFAAs in drinking water from 79 cities of 31 provincial-level administrative regions throughout China, and investigated their occurrence and distribution. Additionally, we also analyzed the influencing factors on their profiles, such as the existence of industrial sources, socioeconomic factors (population density and GDP), and assessed levels of risk associated with contaminated drinking water. On the national scale, the sum concentrations of the 17 PFAAs (Sigma(17)PFAAs) in drinking water was in a range of 4.49-174.93 ng/L with a mean value of 35.13 ng/L. Among the 17 individual PFAAs, perfluorobutanoic acids (PFBA) was the most abundant individual PFAAs with the median concentration of 17.87 ng/L, followed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, 0.74 ng/L), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA, 0.40 ng/L) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS, 0.25 ng/L). The geographic distribution characteristic of Sigma(17)PFAAs in drinking water was in a descending order of Southwestern China (57.67 ng/L) > Eastern coastal China (32.85 ng/L) > Middle China (29.89 ng/L) > Northwestern China (28.49 ng/L) > Northeastern China (22.03 ng/L), and in general, the existence of the industrial sources could positively affect the contamination levels of PFAAs in drinking water. The pollution level of PFAAs in drinking water also varied among the three different city levels (medium-sized city > big city > town). In towns, the positive correlations were observed between the population density and the Sigma(17)PFAAs (R-2 = 0.45, p < 0.01), and the individual concentration of PFHxA, PFBS, and PFOA (p < 0.01). Moreover, besides PFAAs in Yunnan, Jiangsu, and Jiangxi, concentrations of related PFAAs in drinking water from 28 provinces were less than the suggested drinking water advisories. The relatively higher concentrations of PFAAs in Yunnan, Jiangsu, and Jiangxi suggest that further studies focusing on their sources and potential health risk to humans are needed.


Understanding nitrate contamination based on the relationship between changes in groundwater levels and changes in water quality with precipitation fluctuations

By:Kawagoshi, Y (Kawagoshi, Yasunori)1 ] ; Suenaga, Y (Suenaga, Yuichi)2 ] ; Chi, NL (Nguyen Linh Chi)3 ] ; Hama, T (Hama, Takehide)1 ] ; Ito, H (Ito, Hiroaki)1 ] ; Duc, LV (Luong Van Duc)1 ]


Volume: 657

Pages: 146-153

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.041

Published: MAR 20 2019

Document Type:Article


There are growing concerns about nitrate contamination in Kumamoto City, where >700,000 people completely depend on groundwater as a source of drinking water. We found that some groundwater samples showed considerably different nitrate concentrations although their sampling locations were close to one another, and we speculated that this phenomenon was due to the differences in subsurface geological properties. In order to verify this hypothesis, we carried out temporally intensive long-term monitoring of the groundwater levels and water qualities at three of the closely related sampling wells, and the results revealed that the changes in water level and water quality were different at each well. The water level at well T1, where nitrate concentrations ranged from 12 to 26 mg N/L, showed a significantly sensitive and unique response to heavy rain, which indicated that the subsurface at this site might be highly permeable; this would have allowed for the influent water to easily reach the groundwater aquifer over a short period. However, wells T2 and T3, which were located within 0.6 and 1.9 km from well T1, respectively, had nitrate concentrations that were lower than that in well T1 (45-8.0 mg N/L) and showed only gradual responses to heavy rain. These observations suggest that the highly permeable subsurface properties in the vicinity of well T1 contributed to the more serious nitrate contamination in well T1 than those at wells T2 and T3. This study demonstrates the importance of temporally intensive, long-term monitoring for capturing changes in groundwater level and water quality with precipitation fluctuations, and we showed how this approach can lead to a better understanding of the nitrate contamination situation. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Transformation of endocrine disrupting chemicals, pharmaceutical and personal care products during drinking water disinfection

By:Leusch, FDL (Leusch, Frederic D. L.)1 ] ; Neale, PA (Neale, Peta A.)1 ] ; Busetti, F (Busetti, Francesco)2,3 ] ; Card, M (Card, Marcella)4,9 ] ; Humpage, A (Humpage, Andrew)5 ] ; Orbell, JD (Orbell, John D.)6 ] ; Ridgway, HF (Ridgway, Harry F.)7 ] ; Stewart, MB (Stewart, Matthew B.)6 ] ; van de Merwe, JP (van de Merwe, Jason P.)1 ] ; Escher, BI (Escher, Beate, I)1,4,8 ]

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Volume: 657

Pages: 1480-1490

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.106

Published: MAR 20 2019

Document Type:Article


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are frequently detected in drinking water sources. This raises concerns about the formation of potentially more toxic transformation products (TPs) after drinking water disinfection. This study applied a combination of computational and experimental methods to investigate the biological activity of eight EDCs and PPCPs commonly detected in source waters (acetaminophen, bisphenol A, carbamazepine, estrone, 17 alpha-ahinylestradiol, gemfibrozil, naproxen and triclosan) before and after disinfection. Using a Stepped Forced Molecular Dynamics (SFMD) method, we detected 911 unique TPs, 36% of which have been previously reported in the scientific literature. We calculated the likelihood that TPs would cause damage to biomolecules or DNA relative to the parent compound based on lipophilicity and the occurrence of structural alerts, and applied two Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) tools to predict toxicity via receptor-mediated effects. In parallel, batch experiments were performed with three disinfectants, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and chloramine. After solid-phase extraction, the resulting TP mixtures were analyzed by chemical analysis and a battery of eleven in vitro bioassays covering a variety of endpoints. The laboratory results were in good agreement with the predictions. Overall, the combination of computational and experimental chemistry and toxicity methods used in this study suggest that disinfection of the studied EDCs and PPCPs will produce a large number of TPs, which are unlikely to increase specific toxicity (e.g., endocrine activity), but may result in increased reactive and non-specific toxicity. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Trends in neonicotinoid pesticide residues in food and water in the United States, 1999-2015

By:Craddock, HA (Craddock, Hillary A.)1 ] ; Huang, D (Huang, Dina)2 ] ; Turner, PC (Turner, Paul C.)1 ] ; Quiros-Alcala, L (Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam)1 ] ; Payne-Sturges, DC (Payne-Sturges, Devon C.)1 ]

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Volume: 18

Article Number: 7

DOI: 10.1186/s12940-018-0441-7

Published: JAN 11 2019

Document Type:Article


BackgroundNeonicotinoids are a class of systemic insecticides widely used on food crops globally. These pesticides may be found in off-target food items and persist in the environment. Despite the potential for extensive human exposure, there are limited studies regarding the prevalence of neonicotinoid residues in foods sold and consumed in the United States.MethodsResidue data for seven neonicotinoid pesticides collected between 1999 and 2015 by the US Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) were collated and summarized by year across various food commodities, including fruit, vegetable, meat, dairy, grain, honey, and baby food, as well as water to qualitatively describe and examine trends in contamination frequency and residue concentrations.ResultsThe highest detection frequencies (DFs) for neonicotinoids by year on all commodities were generally below 20%. Average DFs over the entire study period, 1999-2015, for domestic and imported commodities were similar at 4.5%. For all the samples (both domestic and imported) imidacloprid was the neonicotinoid with the highest overall detection frequency at 12.0%. However, higher DFs were observed for specific food commodity-neonicotinoid combinations such as: cherries (45.9%), apples (29.5%), pears (24.1%) and strawberries (21.3%) for acetamiprid; and cauliflower (57.5%), celery (20.9%), cherries (26.3%), cilantro (30.6%), grapes (28.9%), collard greens (24.9%), kale (31.4%), lettuce (45.6%), potatoes (31.2%) and spinach (38.7%) for imidacloprid. Neonicotinoids were also detected in organic commodities, (DF<6%). Individual commodities with at least 5% of samples testing positive for two or more neonicotinoids included apples, celery, and cherries. Generally, neonicotinoid residues on food commodities did not exceed US Environmental Protection Agency tolerance levels. Increases in detection trends for both finished and untreated water samples for imidacloprid were observed from 2004 to 2011.ConclusionsAnalysis of PDP data indicates that low levels of neonicotinoids are present in commonly-consumed fruits and vegetables sold in the US. Trends in detection frequencies suggest an increase in use of acetamiprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam as replacements for imidacloprid. Given these findings, more extensive surveillance of the food and water supply is warranted, as well as biomonitoring studies and assessment of cumulative daily intake in high risk groups, including pregnant women and infants.


Moving from the traditional paradigm of pathogen inactivation to controlling antibiotic resistance in water – Role of ultraviolet irradiation

By:Umar, M (Umar, Muhammad)1 ] ; Roddick, F (Roddick, Felicity)2 ] ; Fan, LH (Fan, Linhua)2 ]

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Volume: 662

Pages: 923-939

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.289

Published: APR 20 2019

Document Type:Review


Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation has proven an effective tool for inactivating microorganisms in water. There is, however, a need to look at disinfection from a different perspective because microbial inactivation alone may not be sufficient to ensure the microbiological safety of the treated water since pathogenic genes may still be present, even after disinfection. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are of a particular concern since they enable microorganisms to become resistant to antibiotics. UV irradiation has been widely used for disinfection and more recently for destroying ARGs. While UV lamps remain the principal technology to achieve this objective, UV light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) are novel sources of UV irradiation and have increasingly been reported in lab-scale investigations as a potential alternative. This review discusses the current state of the applications of UV technology for controlling antibiotic resistance during water and wastewater treatment. Since UV-LEDs possess several attractive advantages over conventional UV lamps, the impact of UV-LED characteristics (single vs combined wavelengths, and operational parameters such as periodic or pulsed and continuous irradiation, pulse repetition frequencies, duty cycle), type of organism, and fluence response, are critically reviewed with a view to highlighting the research needs for addressing future disinfection challenges. The energy efficiency of the reported UV processes is also evaluated with a focus on relating the findings to disinfection efficacy. The greater experience with UV lamps could be useful for investigating UV-LEDs for similar applications (i.e., antibiotic resistance control), and hence identification of future research directions. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Review of perchlorate occurrence in large public drinking water systems in the United States of America

By:Luis, SJ (Luis, Steven J.)1 ] ; Miesner, EA (Miesner, Elizabeth A.)2 ] ; Enslin, CL (Enslin, Clarissa L.)1 ] ; Heidecorn, K (Heidecorn, Keith)3 ]


Volume: 19

Issue: 3

Pages: 681-694

DOI: 10.2166/ws.2018.135

Published: MAY 2019

Document Type:Review


When deciding whether or not to regulate a chemical, regulatory bodies often evaluate the degree to which the public may be exposed by evaluating the chemical’s occurrence in food and drinking water. As part of its decision-making process, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) evaluated the occurrence of perchlorate in public drinking water by sampling public water systems (PWSs) as part of the first implementation of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 1) between 2001 and 2005. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the current representativeness of the UCMR 1 dataset. To achieve this objective, publicly available sources were searched to obtain updated perchlorate data for the majority of large PWSs with perchlorate detections under UCMR 1. Comparison of the updated and UCMR 1 perchlorate datasets shows that the UCMR 1 dataset is no longer representative because the extent and degree of occurrence has decreased since implementation of UCMR 1. Given this finding, it seems appropriate for regulatory bodies engaged in decision-making processes over several years to periodically re-evaluate the conditions that prompted the regulatory effort, thereby ensuring that rules and regulations address actual conditions of concern.


Association of Caloric Intake From Sugar-Sweetened Beverages With Water Intake Among US Children and Young Adults in the 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Asher Y. Rosinger, PhD, MPH1,2Hilary Bethancourt, PhD, MPH1Lori A. Francis, PhD1

JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 22, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.0693

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) add empty calories to children’s diets1 and may increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.2 Substituting water for SSBs may reduce total energy intake.3 Furthermore, school-based interventions to displace SSBs by increasing water access were associated with decreased body mass index.4 However, how water consumption in daily life is associated with children’s caloric intake from SSBs is unclear. We examined whether the number of calories and percentage of total energy intake from SSBs differs among US children by water intake status on a given day.


Occupational Heat Stress and Kidney Health: From Farms to Factories

Nerbass F.B., Pecoits-Filho R., Clark W.F., Sontrop J.M., McIntyre C.W., Moist L.
(2017), Occupational Heat Stress and Kidney Health: From Farms to Factories,
Kidney International Reports, 2 (6) , pp. 998-1008. 

Chronic dehydration as one of the risk factors for the development of CKD.

  • This descriptive review summarizes emerging evidence that extreme occupational heat stress combined with chronic dehydration may contribute to the development of CKD and ultimately kidney failure.
  • Rising global temperatures, coupled with decreasing access to clean drinking water, may exacerbate the effects of heat exposure in both outdoor and indoor workers who are exposed to chronic heat stress and recurrent dehydration.
  • Preventing occupational heat stress presents a great challenge for a concerted multidisciplinary effort from employers, health authorities, engineers, researchers, and governments.


Dehydration and cognition: an understated relation

Rita Merhej, (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon)

Another evidence of the relation between dehydration and cognition.

  • Water is essential for mental health. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the necessity to integrate water as an essential nutrient for healthy cognitive functioning in nutrition research.
  • This study is based on a general review and show that dehydration, even at mild levels, is associated with impairments in basic and higher order cognitive functions.
  • Websites from international authoritative nutrition sources understate the role of water in healthy nutrition, and omit the discussion of the impact of dehydration on cognitive functioning.


Water intake and hydration state in children

  • HyunGyu Suh
  • Stavros A. Kavouras



Although low water intake has been associated with adverse health outcomes, available literature indicated that the majority of children do not meet the water intake guidelines and they are underhydrated based on elevated hydration biomarkers. This review examined the water intake habits and hydration status in children from 32 observational studies (n = 36813).


PubMed, Web of Science, and CINAHL were used to identify relevant articles. Total water/fluid intake from 25 countries was compared with water intake recommendations and underhydration (urine osmolality greater than 800 mmol kg−1) was assessed. Risk of bias was assessed using customized categories following the review guideline for observational studies.


From 32 studies, only 11 studies reported both water intake and hydration status. 12 out of 24 studies reported mean/median water/fluid intake below the guidelines, while 4 out of 13 studies that assessed hydration status indicated underhydration based on urine osmolality (greater than 800 mmol kg−1). Among the 19 countries that reported comparison of water/fluid intake with guidelines, 60 ± 24% of children (range 10–98%) failed to meet them.


These findings suggest that children are not consuming enough water to be adequately hydrated.


Analysis of endocrine activity in drinking water, surface water and treated wastewater from six countries.

Water Research – Volume: 139     Pages: 10-18     Published: 2018      Publication Type: J Document type: Journal Article – DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.056

The aquatic environment can contain numerous micropollutants and there are concerns about endocrine activity in environmental waters and the potential impacts on human and ecosystem health. In this study a complementary chemical analysis and in vitro bioassay approach was applied to evaluate endocrine activity in treated wastewater, surface water and drinking water samples from six countries (Germany, Australia, France, South Africa, the Netherlands and Spain). The bioassay test battery included assays indicative of seven endocrine pathways, while 58 different chemicals, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals and industrial compounds, were analysed by targeted chemical analysis. Endocrine activity was below the limit of quantification for most water samples, with only two of six treated wastewater samples and two of six surface water samples exhibiting estrogenic, glucocorticoid, progestagenic and/or anti-mineralocorticoid activity above the limit of quantification. Based on available effect-based trigger values (EBT) for estrogenic and glucocorticoid activity, some of the wastewater and surface water samples were found to exceed the EBT, suggesting these environmental waters may pose a potential risk to ecosystem health. In contrast, the lack of bioassay activity and low detected chemical concentrations in the drinking water samples do not suggest a risk to human endocrine health, with all samples below the relevant EBTs. All rights reserved, Elsevier


Health protective behavior following required arsenic testing under the New Jersey Private Well Testing Act.

Author(s): Flanagan, S. V.; Gleason, J. A.; Spayd, S. E.; Procopio, N. A.; Rockafellow-Baldoni, M.; Braman, S.; Chillrud, S. N.; Yan Zheng

Source: International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 221 (6):929-940; 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.05.008 2018

Abstract: Exposure to naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater is a public health concern, particularly for households served by unregulated private wells. At present, one of the greatest barriers to exposure reduction is a lack of private well testing due to difficulties in motivating individual private well owners to take protective actions. Policy and regulations requiring testing could make a significant contribution towards universal screening of private well water and arsenic exposure reduction. New Jersey’s Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) requires tests for arsenic during real estate transactions; however, the regulations do not require remedial action when maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) are exceeded. A follow-up survey sent to residents of homes where arsenic was measured above the state MCL in PWTA-required tests reveals a range of mitigation behavior among respondents (n = 486), from taking no action to reduce exposure (28%), to reporting both treatment use and appropriate maintenance and monitoring behavior (15%). Although 86% of respondents recall their well was tested during their real estate transaction, only 60% report their test showed an arsenic problem. Treatment systems are used by 63% of households, although half were installed by a previous owner. Among those treating their water (n = 308), 57% report that maintenance is being performed as recommended, although only 31% have tested the treated water within the past year. Perceived susceptibility and perceived barriers are strong predictors of mitigation action. Among those treating for arsenic, perceived severity is associated with recent monitoring, and level of commitment is associated with proper maintenance. Mention of a treatment service agreement is a strong predictor of appropriate monitoring and maintenance behavior, while treatment installed by a previous owner is less likely to be maintained. Though the PWTA requires that wells be tested, this study finds that not all current well owners are aware the test occurred or understood the implications of their arsenic results. Among those that have treatment installed to remove arsenic, poor monitoring and maintenance behaviors threaten to undermine intentions to reduce exposure. Findings suggest that additional effort, resources, and support to ensure home buyers pay attention to, understand, and act on test results at the time they are performed may help improve management of arsenic water problems over the long term and thus the PWTA’s public health impact.


Exploratory Assessment of Risks from Drinking and Recreational Water Exposure to Children in the State of New Jersey

Brandon M. Owen and Neha Sunger * 

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


In this study, we conducted a worst-case risk assessment for children’s health from ingestion exposure to water sources in two densely populated counties of the Piedmont province of New Jersey—Hunterdon and Mercer counties. Carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risk estimates for 19 contaminants, representing 3 different chemical classes—organic, inorganic and contaminants of emerging concern (CEC), for which environmental monitoring data are available—were generated. The three exposure scenarios examined were: (1) ingestion exposure to untreated groundwater from contaminated private wells; (2) recreational exposure through incidental ingestion of water from the Delaware River; and (3) ingestion exposure through fish consumption sourced from the Delaware River. The total health hazard posed by each contaminant across all the three exposure scenarios was compared to prioritize contaminants based on health risk potential. As a result of this analysis, arsenic and trichloroethylene in private well water were identified as key drivers of health risk and, hence, are proposed as the contaminants of primary concern for the target population. Significantly high total excess cancer risk of 2.13 × 10−3 from arsenic exposure was estimated, highlighting the need for testing and treating water sources as well as setting a framework for more detailed work in the future.


Drinking water in West Virginia (USA): tap water or bottled water – what is the right choice for college students?

J Water Health (2018) 16 (5): 827-838.


West Virginia has had a history of water quality issues. In parallel, the world is facing a plastic pollution crisis. In order to better understand behavioral responses to perceived water quality, a survey was conducted at a major research university to ask participants about water quality perceptions and drinking water behaviors. A total of 4,188 students completed the survey during the Spring 2017 semester. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict behaviors. Results indicated that a third of the student population primarily used bottled water for drinking purposes at home, while 39% used a filter at home and 26% drank water directly from the tap. On campus, bottled water use was reported by 36% of the students, water fountain use represented 31%, and 29% of the students brought their own water with reusable cups/bottles. Health risk perceptions, organoleptic perceptions (i.e., taste, odor, color), and environmental concern were predictors of the different behaviors. Students originally from West Virginia had a higher propensity of using bottled water. We argue that bottled water consumption should be reduced in areas where water quality is not an issue. In this sense, there is a need for education among the student population in West Virginia.https://iwaponline.com/jwh/article-abstract/16/5/827/63663/Drinking-water-in-West-Virginia-USA-tap-water-or?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Finished Water Storage and Quality Concerns

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

The municipal drinking-water distribution system is a complex delivery network designed to provide adequate potable water needs to entire communities. Much information has been published relative to concerns of the distribution system integrity and ability to provide safe, consistent water to consumers. Needs for infrastructure improvements, rapid response to main breaks and leaks, biofilm control and preventing intrusion events, dead legs and pressure losses, are just some of the prevalent water quality delivery issues. Less common are discussions around safe water storage prior to delivery. Although industry standards and guidelines exist, maintaining water quality over prolonged storage presents additional challenges and uncertainties for end users.


Environmentally Relevant Chemical Mixtures of Concern in Waters of United States Tributaries to the Great Lakes

Elliott, SM; Brigham, ME; Kiesling, RL; Schoenfuss, HL; Jorgenson, ZG


Abstract: The North American Great Lakes are a vital natural resource that provide fish and wildlife habitat, as well as drinking water and waste assimilation services for millions of people. Tributaries to the Great Lakes receive chemical inputs from various point and nonpoint sources, and thus are expected to have complex mixtures of chemicals. However, our understanding of the co-occurrence of specific chemicals in complex mixtures is limited. To better understand the occurrence of specific chemical mixtures in the US Great Lakes Basin, surface water from 24 US tributaries to the Laurentian Great Lakes was collected and analyzed for diverse suites of organic chemicals, primarily focused on chemicals of concern (e.g., pharmaceuticals, personal care products, fragrances). A total of 181 samples and 21 chemical classes were assessed for mixture compositions. Basin wide, 1664 mixtures occurred in at least 25% of sites. The most complex mixtures identified comprised 9 chemical classes and occurred in 58% of sampled tributaries. Pharmaceuticals typically occurred in complex mixtures, reflecting pharmaceutical-use patterns and wastewater facility outfall influences. Fewer mixtures were identified at lake or lake-influenced sites than at riverine sites. As mixture complexity increased, the probability of a specific mixture occurring more often than by chance greatly increased, highlighting the importance of understanding source contributions to the environment. This empirically based analysis of mixture composition and occurrence may be used to focus future sampling efforts or mixture toxicity assessments. (C) 2018 SETAC


Comparative case study of legislative attempts to require private well testing in New Jersey and Maine

Flanagan, Sara V.; Zheng, Yan

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY, 85 40-46; SI 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.03.022 JUL 2018

Abstract: At present one of the greatest barriers to reducing exposure to naturally occurring arsenic from unregulated private well water is a lack of well testing. The New Jersey Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) has since 2002 required testing during real estate transactions. Due to limitations in relying on individual well owners to take protective actions, such state-wide testing regulations have been shown to make a significant contribution towards exposure reduction. This study examines the New Jersey PWTA as a case of testing requirements successfully adopted into law, and failed attempts to pass equivalent requirements in Maine for comparison. Although New Jersey’s long history of drinking water quality problems due to population density, an industrial past, and vulnerable aquifers was the root of the PWTA and earlier local testing ordinances, several high-profile events immediately prior focused public and legislator attention and mobilized environmental advocacy groups to gain political support statewide. Viewed through Kingdon’s Multiple Streams framework, the PWTA was the result of problem, policy, and politics streams successfully aligned during a significant and unique political window of opportunity. In Maine, where naturally occurring arsenic, not industrial contamination, is the primary concern, private sector opposition and a conservative administration resistant to government involvement in “private” well water, all played a role in blocking legislative attempts to require testing. A modest education and outreach bill without testing mandates passed in 2017 after compromise among stakeholders. For policy to be an effective tool to achieve universal well water screening, a philosophical evolution on the role of government in private water may be necessary.


Toxicological risk assessment and prioritization of drinking water relevant contaminants of emerging concern

Baken, Kirsten A.; Sjerps, Rosa M. A.; Schriks, Merijn; van Wezel, Annemarie P.

ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL, 118 293-303; 10.1016/j.envint.2018.05.006 SEP 2018

Abstract: Toxicological risk assessment of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in (sources of) drinking water is required to identify potential health risks and prioritize chemicals for abatement or monitoring. In such assessments, concentrations of chemicals in drinking water or sources are compared to either (i) health-based (statutory) drinking water guideline values, (ii) provisional guideline values based on recent toxicity data in absence of drinking water guidelines, or (iii) generic drinking water target values in absence of toxicity data. Here, we performed a toxicological risk assessment for 163 CEC that were selected as relevant for drinking water. This relevance was based on their presence in drinking water and/or groundwater and surface water sources in downstream parts of the Rhine and Meuse, in combination with concentration levels and physicochemical properties. Statutory and provisional drinking water guideline values could be derived from publically available toxicological information for 142 of the CEC. Based on measured concentrations it was concluded that the majority of substances do not occur in concentrations which individually pose an appreciable human health risk. A health concern could however not be excluded for vinylchloride, trichloroethene, bromodichloromethane, aniline, phenol, 2-chlorobenzenamine, mevinphos, 1,4-dioxane, and nitrolotriacetic acid. For part of the selected substances, toxicological risk assessment for drinking water could not be performed since either toxicity data (hazard) or drinking water concentrations (exposure) were lacking. In absence of toxicity data, the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach can be applied for screening level risk assessment. The toxicological information on the selected substances was used to evaluate whether drinking water target values based on existing TTC levels are sufficiently protective for drinking water relevant CEC. Generic drinking water target levels of 37 mu g/L for Cramer class I substances and 4 mu g/L for Cramer class III substances in drinking water were derived based on these CEC. These levels are in line with previously reported generic drinking water target levels based on original TTC values and are shown to be protective for health effects of the majority of contaminants of emerging concern evaluated in the present study. Since the human health impact of many chemicals appearing in the water cycle has been studied insufficiently, generic drinking water target levels are useful for early warning and prioritization of CEC with unknown toxicity in drinking water and its sources for future monitoring.




Recently detected drinking water contaminants: genX and other Per- and polyfluoroalkyl ether acids.

Hopkins, Z. R.; Sun, M.; DeWitt, J. C.; Knappe, D. R. U.

Journal – American Water Works Association, 110 (7):13-28; 10.1002/awwa.1073 2018

Abstract:For several decades, a common processing aid in the production of fluoropolymers was the ammonium salt of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Because PFOA is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, its production and use are being phased out in the United States. In 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency stipulated conditions for the manufacture and commercial use of GenX, a PFOA replacement. While GenX is produced for commercial purposes, the acid form of GenX is also generated as a byproduct during the production of fluoromonomers. The discovery of high concentrations of GenX and related perfluoroalkyl ether acids (PFEAs) in the Cape Fear River and in finished drinking water of more than 200,000 North Carolina residents required quick action by researchers, regulators, public health officials, commercial laboratories, drinking water providers, and consulting engineers. Information about sources and toxicity of GenX as well as an analytical method for the detection of GenX and eight related PFEAs is presented. GenX/PFEA occurrence in water and GenX/PFEA removal by different drinking water treatment processes are also discussed. © 2018 American Water Works Association.


Differential development of Legionella sub-populations during short- and long-term starvation

Schrammel, Barbara; Cervero-Arago, Silvia; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Walochnik, Julia; Lueck, Christian; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander

WATER RESEARCH, 141 417-427; 10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.027 SEP 15 2018

Abstract: Legionellae are among the most important waterborne pathogens in industrialized countries. Monitoring and surveillance of Legionella in engineered water systems is usually performed with culture-based methods. Since the advent of culture-independent techniques, it has become clear that Legionella concentrations are often several orders of magnitude higher than those measured by culture-based techniques and that a variable proportion of these non-culturable cells are viable. In engineered water systems, the formation of these viable but non-culturable (VBNC) cells can be caused by different kinds of stress, such as, and most importantly, nutrient starvation, oxidative stress and heat. In this study, the formation of VBNC cells of six Legionella strains under conditions of starvation was monitored in mono species microcosms for up to one year using a combination of different viability indicators. Depending on the strain, complete loss of culturability was observed from 11 days to 8 weeks. During the starvation process, three distinct phases and different sub-populations of VBNC cells were identified. Until complete loss of culturability, the number of membrane-intact cells decreased rapidly to 5.5-69% of the initial cell concentration. The concentration of the sub-population with low esterase activity dropped to 0.03-55%, and the concentration of the highly esterase-active sub-population dropped to 0.01-1.2% of the initial concentration; these sub-populations remained stable for several weeks to months. Only after approximately 200 days of starvation, the number of VBNC cells started to decrease below detection limits. The most abundant VBNC sub-populations were characterized by partially damaged membranes and low esterase-activity. With this study, we showed that upon starvation, a stable VBNC Legionella community may be present over several months in a strain-dependent manner even under harsh conditions. Even after one year of starvation, a small proportion of L pneumophila cells with high esterase-activity was detected. We speculate that this highly active VBNC subpopulation is able to infect amoebae and human macrophages. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.



Risk factors for sporadic Giardia infection in the USA: a case-control study in Colorado and Minnesota

Reses, H. E.; Gargano, J. W.; Liang, J. L.; Cronquist, A.; Smith, K.; Collier, S. A.; Roy, S. L.; Vanden Eng, J.; Bogard, A.; Lee, B.; Hlavsa, M. C.; Rosenberg, E. S.; Fullerton, K. E.; Beach, M. J.; Yoder, J. S.

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION, 146 (9):1071-1078; 10.1017/S0950268818001073 JUL 2018

Abstract: Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9-39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0-20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5-7.0), male-male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8-362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01-2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2-5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1-3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1-0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.


Occurrence of Legionella spp. in Water-Main Biofilms from Two Drinking Water Distribution Systems

Waak, Michael B.; LaPara, Timothy M.; Halle, Cynthia; Hozalski, Raymond M.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 52 (14):7630-7639; 10.1021/acs.est.8b01170 JUL 17 2018

Abstract: The maintenance of a chlorine or chloramine residual to suppress waterborne pathogens in drinking water distribution systems is common practice in the United States but less common in Europe. In this study, we investigated the occurrence of Bacteria and Legionella spp. in water-main biofilms and tap water from a chloraminated distribution system in the United States and a system in Norway with no residual using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Despite generally higher temperatures and assimilable organic carbon levels in the chloraminated system, total Bacteria and Legionella spp. were significantly lower in watermain biofilms and tap water of that system (p < 0.05). Legionella spp. were not detected in the biofilms of the chloraminated system (0 of 35 samples) but were frequently detected in biofilms from the no-residual system (10 of 23 samples; maximum concentration = 7.8 x 10(4) gene copies cm(-2)). This investigation suggests water-main biofilms may serve as a source of Legionella for tap water and premise plumbing systems, and residual chloramine may aid in reducing their abundance.



Detection of Pathogenic and Non-pathogenic Bacteria in Drinking Water and Associated Biofilms on the Crow Reservation, Montana, USA

Richards, Crystal L.; Broadaway, Susan C.; Eggers, Margaret J.; Doyle, John; Pyle, Barry H.; Camper, Anne K.; Ford, Timothy E.

MICROBIAL ECOLOGY, 76 (1):52-63; SI 10.1007/s00248-015-0595-6 JUL 2018

Abstract: Private residences in rural areas with water systems that are not adequately regulated, monitored, and updated could have drinking water that poses a health risk. To investigate water quality on the Crow Reservation in Montana, water and biofilm samples were collected from 57 public buildings and private residences served by either treated municipal or individual groundwater well systems. Bacteriological quality was assessed including detection of fecal coliform bacteria and heterotrophic plate count (HPC) as well as three potentially pathogenic bacterial genera, Mycobacterium, Legionella, and Helicobacter. All three target genera were detected in drinking water systems on the Crow Reservation.Species detected included the opportunistic and frank pathogens Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium gordonae, Mycobacterium flavescens, Legionella pneumophila, and Helicobacter pylori. Additionally, there was an association between HPC bacteria and the presence of Mycobacterium and Legionella but not the presence of Helicobacter. This research has shown that groundwater and municipal drinking water systems on the Crow Reservation can harbor potential bacterial pathogens.



Assessment of the Water Treatment Process’s Empirical Model Predictions for the Management of Aesthetic and Health Risks Associated with Cyanobacteria

Zamyadi, Arash; Henderson, Rita K.; Newton, Kelly; Capelo-Neto, Jose; Newcombe, Gayle

WATER, 10 (5):10.3390/w10050590 MAY 2018

Abstract: Potentially toxic cyanobacteria have been increasingly detected worldwide in water supply systems in recent years. The management of cyanobacteria in source water and through drinking water treatment processes has been a focus of global research for over thirty years. However, despite the volume of research outcomes and the publication of guidance documents, gaps still exist in the knowledge base that inhibits the confident application of individual treatment strategies for the mitigation of aesthetic and health risks associated with cyanobacteria and their metabolites at the full-scale. The main objective of this project is to deliver a suite of tools and other resources to the water industry to support the implementation of a regulatory framework for the management of water quality for the assessment and management of aesthetic and toxicity risks associated with cyanobacteria. This study includes (1) the development of a guide (based on real-world examples) for treatment plant operators to perform plant audits and investigative sampling to assess the risk associated with cyanobacteria in their plants, and validate the performance of existing unit processes, and (2) the validation of a treatment model that can be applied at any plant and used to as a guide to the removals of cyanobacteria and metabolites and the expected quality of treated water under a range of challenges from cyanobacteria. Full-scale sampling was undertaken at three Australian regions in 14 water treatment plants to validate the model. The results presented in this paper represent a comprehensive database of full-scale removal efficiencies of 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) and geosmin for a range of water quality and treatment processes. The major findings and conclusions from this project include: (1) the investigative sampling procedures developed are effective and have been successfully applied by utilities; and (2) while routine monitoring data is important, investigative sampling within the water treatment plant provides more detailed and insightful information about the effectiveness of unit processes within the plant. This paper also identifies the knowledge gaps and needs for further studies.




Real-Time Online Monitoring for Assessing Removal of Bacteria by Reverse Osmosis

Fujioka, Takahiro; Hoang, Anh T.; Aizawa, Hidenobu; Ashiba, Hiroki; Fujimaki, Makoto; Leddy, Menu

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS, 5 (6):389-393; 10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00200 JUN 2018

Abstract: Rigorous monitoring of microbial water quality is essential to ensure the safety of recycled water after advanced treatment for indirect and direct potable reuse. This study evaluated real-time bacterial monitoring for assessing reverse osmosis (RO) treatment for removal of bacteria. A strategy was employed to monitor bacterial counts online and in real time in the RO feed and permeate water using a real time continuous bacteriological counter. Over the course of 68 h pilot-scale testing, bacterial counts were monitored in real time over approximate ranges from 1 x 10(3) to 4 x 10(4) and from 4 to 342 counts/mL in the RO feed (ultrafiltration treated wastewater) and permeate, respectively. The results indicate that the bacteriological counter can track the variations in bacterial counts in the RO feed and permeate. Bacterial concentrations were confirmed by epi-fluorescence microscopy for total bacterial counts. A high correlation (R-2 = 0.83) was identified between the online bacterial counts and epi-fluorescence counts in the RO feed; a negligible correlation was observed for RO permeate. In this study, we evaluated a real-time bacteriological counter (i.e., counts per milliliter every second) to ensure continuous removal of bacterial contaminants by RO treatment.


Comparison of Database Search Methods for the Detection of Legionella Pneumophila in Water Samples Using Metagenomic Analysis

Borthong, Jednipit; Omori, Ryosuke; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Suthienkul, Orasa; Nakao, Ryo; Ito, Kimihito

FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 9 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01272 JUN 19 2018

Abstract: Metagenomic analysis has become a powerful tool to analyze bacterial communities in environmental samples. However, the detection of a specific bacterial species using metagenomic analysis remains difficult due to false positive detections of sequences shared between different bacterial species. In this study, 16S rRNA amplicon and shotgun metagenomic analyses were conducted on samples collected along a stream and ponds in the campus of Hokkaido University. We compared different database search methods for bacterial detection by focusing on Legionella pneumophila. In this study, we used L. pneumophila-specific nested PCR as a gold standard to evaluate the results of the metagenomic analysis. Comparison with the results from L. pneumophila-specific nested PCR indicated that a blastn search of shotgun reads against the NCBI-NT database led to false positive results and had problems with specificity. We also found that a blastn search of shotgun reads against a database of the catalase-peroxidase (katB) gene detected L. pneumophila with the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve among the tested search methods; indicating that a blastn search against the katB gene database had better diagnostic ability than searches against other databases. Our results suggest that sequence searches targeting long genes specifically associated with the bacterial species of interest is a prerequisite to detecting the bacterial species in environmental samples using metagenomic analyses.


Hydration for Health Conference Emphasizes Vasopressin and Kidney Diseases

Armstrong L.E.

Ann Nutr Metab 2018;72(suppl 2):1–2
The Hydration for Health Scientific Conference remains unique as the world’s only annual gathering that focuses solely on the health benefits of water consumption and creates dialogues among clinicians, scientists, physiologists, dieticians, and global healthcare organizations. The July 4–5, 2017 program included speakers from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their presentations considered (a) the positive influences of water consumption on kidney diseases and urinary tract infection (UTI), (b) human neuroendocrine regulation of water and electrolytes, and (c) low daily water consumption as an epidemiologic risk factor for chronic diseases. Three speakers focused on the essential roles of vasopressin (i.e., the antidiuretic hormone) and its surrogate (copeptin) in the sensation of thirst and as a biomarker of renal diseases.

National trends in drinking water quality violations

Allaire, M.; Haowei Wu; Lall, U.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115 (9):2078-2083; 10.1073/pnas.1719805115 2018


Ensuring safe water supply for communities across the United States is a growing challenge in the face of aging infrastructure, impaired source water, and strained community finances. In the aftermath of the Flint lead crisis, there is an urgent need to assess the current state of US drinking water. However, no nationwide assessment has yet been conducted on trends in drinking water quality violations across several decades. Efforts to reduce violations are of national concern given that, in 2015, nearly 21 million people relied on community water systems that violated health-based quality standards. In this paper, we evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in health-related violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act using a panel dataset of 17,900 community water systems over the period 1982–2015. We also identify vulnerability factors of communities and water systems through probit regression. Increasing time trends and violation hot spots are detected in several states, particularly in the Southwest region. Repeat violations are prevalent in locations of violation hot spots, indicating that water systems in these regions struggle with recurring issues. In terms of vulnerability factors, we find that violation incidence in rural areas is substantially higher than in urbanized areas. Meanwhile, private ownership and purchased water source are associated with compliance. These findings indicate the types of underperforming systems that might benefit from assistance in achieving consistent compliance. We discuss why certain violations might be clustered in some regions and strategies for improving national drinking water quality.


A Progress Report on Efforts to Address Lead by Public School Districts

Sanborn, L. H.; Carpenter, A. T.

Journal – American Water Works Association, 110 (3):E18-E33; 10.1002/awwa.1022 2018


Media reports in 2016 brought lead contamination of drinking water to public attention, particularly at schools where young students can be exposed to lead by drinking at contaminated outlets. In an effort to assess nationwide progress on addressing this potential health risk, this study sought to determine the status of lead testing, remediation, and long‐term management strategies in public school districts serving the nation’s 15 most populous urbanized areas. Data were collected from publicly available information and through direct interaction with school districts. All districts under consideration have implemented some form of US Environmental Protection Agency‐recommended lead testing program, and districts with elevated lead levels have performed corrective actions including flushing, outlet repairs/replacement, and filtration. This study outlines districts’ testing programs, approaches to lead‐management, plans for continued monitoring, communication strategies, and self‐assessed successes and challenges.


The Case for Universal Screening of Private Well Water Quality in the U.S. and Testing Requirements to Achieve It: Evidence from Arsenic

Yan Zheng; Flanagan, S. V.

Environmental Health Perspectives, 125 (8):085002; 10.1289/EHP629 2017


BACKGROUND:The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulates >170,000 public water systems to protect health, but not >13 million private wells. State and local government requirements for private well water testing are rare and inconsistent; the responsibility to ensure water safety remains with individual households. Over the last two decades, geogenic arsenic has emerged as a significant public health concern due to high prevalence in many rural American communities.

OBJECTIVES:We build the case for universal screening of private well water quality around arsenic, the most toxic and widespread of common private water contaminants. We argue that achieving universal screening will require policy intervention, and that testing should be made easy, accessible, and in many cases free to all private well households in the United States, considering the invisible, tasteless, odorless, and thus silent nature of arsenic.

DISCUSSION:Our research has identified behavioral, situational and financial barriers to households managing their own well water safety, resulting in far from universal screening despite traditional public health outreach efforts. We observe significant socioeconomic disparities in arsenic testing and treatment when private water is unregulated. Testing requirements can be a partial answer to these challenges.

CONCLUSIONS:Universal screening, achieved through local testing requirements complemented by greater community engagement targeting biologically and socioeconomically vulnerable groups, would reduce population arsenic exposure greater than any promotional efforts to date. Universal screening of private well water will identify the dangers hidden in America’s drinking water supply and redirect attention to ensure safe water among affected households. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP629

Variability in the chemistry of private drinking water supplies and the impact of domestic treatment systems on water quality

Ander, E. L.; Watts, M. J.; Smedley, P. L.; Hamilton, E. M.; Close, R.; Crabbe, H.; Fletcher, T.; Rimell, A.; Studden, M.; Leonardi, G.

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY AND HEALTH, 38 (6):1313-1332; 10.1007/s10653-016-9798-0 DEC 2016


Tap water from 497 properties using private water supplies, in an area of metalliferous and arsenic mineralisation (Cornwall, UK), was measured to assess the extent of compliance with chemical drinking water quality standards, and how this is influenced by householder water treatment decisions. The proportion of analyses exceeding water quality standards were high, with 65 % of tap water samples exceeding one or more chemical standards. The highest exceedances for health-based standards were nitrate (11 %) and arsenic (5 %). Arsenic had a maximum observed concentration of 440 µg/L. Exceedances were also high for pH (47 %), manganese (12 %) and aluminium (7 %), for which standards are set primarily on aesthetic grounds. However, the highest observed concentrations of manganese and aluminium also exceeded relevant health-based guidelines. Significant reductions in concentrations of aluminium, cadmium, copper, lead and/or nickel were found in tap waters where households were successfully treating low-pH groundwaters, and similar adventitious results were found for arsenic and nickel where treatment was installed for iron and/or manganese removal, and successful treatment specifically to decrease tap water arsenic concentrations was observed at two properties where it was installed. However, 31 % of samples where pH treatment was reported had pH < 6.5 (the minimum value in the drinking water regulations), suggesting widespread problems with system maintenance. Other examples of ineffectual treatment are seen in failed responses post-treatment, including for nitrate. This demonstrates that even where the tap waters are considered to be treated, they may still fail one or more drinking water quality standards. We find that the degree of drinking water standard exceedances warrant further work to understand environmental controls and the location of high concentrations. We also found that residents were more willing to accept drinking water with high metal (iron and manganese) concentrations than international guidelines assume. These findings point to the need for regulators to reinforce the guidance on drinking water quality standards to private water supply users, and the benefits to long-term health of complying with these, even in areas where treated mains water is widely available.


Determining the presence of chemicals with suspected endocrine activity in drinking water from the Madrid region (Spain) and assessment of their estrogenic, androgenic and thyroidal activities

Valcarcel, Y.; Valdehita, A.; Becerra, E.; Alda, M. L. de; Gil, A.; Gorga, M.; Petrovic, M.; Barcelo, D.; Navas, J. M.

Chemosphere, 201 388-398; 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.099 2018


Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are natural or man-made chemicals that can affect the health of organisms by interfering with their normal hormonal functions. Many of these substances can cause their effects at very low doses and, considering the key role played by the endocrine system on development, organisms in early phases of growth (foetal, childhood, puberty) are especially sensitive to the action of EDs. In addition, when combined, they can show additive, antagonistic and synergistic activities. Taking all this into account it is essential to determine the presence of this kind of compounds in drinking water. Thus the main aim of the present study was to monitor the presence of substances with suspected or known endocrine activity in drinking water of the Madrid Region (MR) (Central Spain) and determine possible estrogenic, androgenic, or thyroidal activities. Water samples were collected at different times from a number of supply points that received water from reservoirs or rivers. The sampling point with the highest concentration of the analysed substances (up to 30 compounds) was DW1 (1203 ng L−1). This sampling point receives water from a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) that serves the population from the south of the MR with treated water from the Tajuña River. DW2 was the second point with the highest concentration of the analysed substances (1021 ng L−1). DW2 receives water from one of the reservoirs in the north of the MR. The highest daily concentrations detected corresponded to the flame retardant Tris (2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) (266.55 ng L−1) and to the nonylphenol diethoxylate (188.57 ng L−1) at points DW1 and DW4, respectively, both of which are supplied with treated river water. None of the water samples exhibited androgenic, oestrogenic, or thyroidal activities in in vitro assays based on cells stably transfected with the receptors of interest and luciferase as reporter gene. These results demonstrate that water quality in the MR is high and does not present a health risk for the population, although the concentrations of some substances justify the need for local authorities to continually monitor the presence of these contaminants in order to implement any corrective measures if necessary.


Risk governance of potential emerging risks to drinking water quality: Analysing current practices

Hartmann, Julia; van der Aa, Monique; Wuijts, Susanne; Husman, Ana Maria de Roda; van der Hoek, Jan Peter

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY, 84 97-104; 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.02.015 JUN 2018


The presence of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment may affect human health via exposure to drinking water. And, even if some of these emerging contaminants are not a threat to human health, their presence might still influence the public perception of drinking water quality. Over the last decades, much research has been done on emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment, most of which has focused on the identification of emerging contaminants and the characterisation of their toxic potential. However, only limited information is available on if, and how, scientific information is implemented in current policy approaches. The opportunities for science to contribute to the policy of emerging contaminants in drinking water have, therefore, not yet been identified.

A comparative analysis was performed of current approaches to the risk governance of emerging chemical contaminants in drinking water (resources) to identify any areas for improvement. The policy approaches used in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the state of Minnesota were analysed using the International Risk Governance Council framework as a normative concept. Quality indicators for the analysis were selected based on recent literature. Information sources used were scientific literature, policy documents, and newspaper articles.

Subsequently, suggestions for future research for proactive risk governance are given. Suggestions include the development of systematic analytical approaches to various information sources so that potential emerging contaminants to drinking water quality can be identified quickly. In addition, an investigation into the possibility and benefit of including the public concern about emerging contaminants into the risk governance process was encouraged.


Drinking water microbiome assembly induced by water stagnation

Ling, Fangqiong; Whitaker, Rachel; LeChevallier, Mark W.; Liu, Wen-Tso

ISME JOURNAL, 12 (6):1520-1531; 10.1038/S41396-018-0101-5 JUN 2018


What happens to tap water when you are away from home? Day-to-day water stagnation in building plumbing can potentially result in water quality deterioration (e.g., lead release or pathogen proliferation), which is a major public health concern. However, little is known about the microbial ecosystem processes in plumbing systems, hindering the development of biological monitoring strategies. Here, we track tap water microbiome assembly in situ, showing that bacterial community composition changes rapidly from the city supply following ~6-day stagnation, along with an increase in cell count from 103 cells/mL to upwards of 7.8 × 105 cells/mL. Remarkably, bacterial community assembly was highly reproducible in this built environment system (median Spearman correlation between temporal replicates = 0.78). Using an island biogeography model, we show that neutral processes arising from the microbial communities in the city water supply (i.e., migration and demographic stochasticity) explained the island community composition in proximal pipes (Goodness-of-fit = 0.48), yet declined as water approached the faucet (Goodness-of-fit = 0.21). We developed a size-effect model to simulate this process, which indicated that pipe diameter drove these changes by mediating the kinetics of hypochlorite decay and cell detachment, affecting selection, migration, and demographic stochasticity. Our study challenges current water quality monitoring practice worldwide which ignore biological growth in plumbing, and suggests the island biogeography model as a useful framework to evaluate building water system quality.


Economic Assessment of Waterborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis

Chyzheuskaya, A.; Cormican, M.; Raghavendra Srivinas; O’Donovan, D.; Prendergast, M.; O’Donoghue, C.; Morris, D.

Emerging Infectious Diseases, 23 (10):1650-1656; 10.3201/eid2310.1520372017


In 2007, a waterborne outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis infection occurred in western Ireland, resulting in 242 laboratory-confirmed cases and an uncertain number of unconfirmed cases. A boil water notice was in place for 158 days that affected 120,432 persons residing in the area, businesses, visitors, and commuters. This outbreak represented the largest outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Ireland. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost of this outbreak. We adopted a societal perspective in estimating costs associated with the outbreak. Economic cost estimated was based on totaling direct and indirect costs incurred by public and private agencies. The cost of the outbreak was estimated based on 2007 figures. We estimate that the cost of the outbreak was >€19 million (≈€120,000/day of the outbreak). The US dollar equivalent based on today’s exchange rates would be $22.44 million (≈$142,000/day of the outbreak). This study highlights the economic need for a safe drinking water supply.

Bottled aqua incognita: microbiota assembly and dissolved organic matter diversity in natural mineral waters

Lesaulnier, Celine C.; Herbold, Craig W.; Pelikan, Claus; Berry, David; Gerard, Cedric; Le Coz, Xavier; Gagnot, Sophie; Niggemann, Jutta; Dittmar, Thorsten; Singer, Gabriel A.; Loy, Alexander

MICROBIOME, 5 10.1186/s40168-017-0344-9SEP 22 2017



Non-carbonated natural mineral waters contain microorganisms that regularly grow after bottling despite low concentrations of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Yet, the compositions of bottled water microbiota and organic substrates that fuel microbial activity, and how both change after bottling, are still largely unknown.


We performed a multifaceted analysis of microbiota and DOM diversity in 12 natural mineral waters from six European countries. 16S rRNA gene-based analyses showed that less than 10 species-level operational taxonomic units (OTUs) dominated the bacterial communities in the water phase and associated with the bottle wall after a short phase of post-bottling growth. Members of the betaproteobacterial genera CurvibacterAquabacterium, and Polaromonas (Comamonadaceae) grew in most waters and represent ubiquitous, mesophilic, heterotrophic aerobes in bottled waters. Ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry of DOM in bottled waters and their corresponding source waters identified thousands of molecular formulae characteristic of mostly refractory, soil-derived DOM.


The bottle environment, including source water physicochemistry, selected for growth of a similar low-diversity microbiota across various bottled waters. Relative abundance changes of hundreds of multi-carbon molecules were related to growth of less than ten abundant OTUs. We thus speculate that individual bacteria cope with oligotrophic conditions by simultaneously consuming diverse DOM molecules.


Distribution System Operational Deficiencies Coincide with Reported Legionnaires’ Disease Clusters in Flint, Michigan

Rhoads, William J.; Garner, Emily; Ji, Pan; Zhu, Ni; Parks, Jeffrey; Schwake, David Otto; Pruden, Amy; Edwards, Marc A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 51 (20):11986-11995; 10.1021/acs.est.7b01589OCT 17 2017

Abstract: We hypothesize that the increase in reported Legionnaires’ disease from June 2014 to November 2015 in Genesee County, MI (where Flint is located) was directly linked to the switch to corrosive Flint River water from noncorrosive Detroit water from April 2014 to October 2015. To address the lack of epidemiological data linking the drinking water supplies to disease incidence, we gathered physiochemical and biological water quality data from 2010 to 2016 to evaluate characteristics of the Flint River water that were potentially conducive to Legionella growth. The treated Flint River water was 8.6 times more corrosive than Detroit water in short-term testing, releasing more iron, which is a key Legionella nutrient, while also directly causing disinfectant to decay more rapidly. The Flint River water source was also 0.8–6.7 °C warmer in summer months than Detroit water and exceeded the minimum Legionella growth temperature of 20 °C more frequently (average number of days per year for Detroit was 63 versus that for the Flint River, which was 157). The corrosive water also led to 1.3–2.2 times more water main breaks in 2014–2015 compared to 2010–2013; such disruptions have been associated with outbreaks in other locales. Importantly, Legionella spp. and Legionella pneumophila decreased after switching back to Detroit water, in terms of both gene markers and culturability, when August and October 2015 were compared to November 2016.


Improved Detection of Norovirus and Hepatitis A Virus in Surface Water by Applying Pre-PCR Processing

Borgmastars, E.; Jazi, M. M.; Persson, S.; Jansson, L.; Radstrom, P.; Simonsson, M.; Hedman, J.; Eriksson, R.

Food and Environmental Virology, 9 (4):395-405; 10.1007/s12560-017-9295-32017

Abstract: Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) detection of waterborne RNA viruses generally requires concentration of large water volumes due to low virus levels. A common approach is to use dead-end ultrafiltration followed by precipitation with polyethylene glycol. However, this procedure often leads to the co-concentration of PCR inhibitors that impairs the limit of detection and causes false-negative results. Here, we applied the concept of pre-PCR processing to optimize RT-qPCR detection of norovirus genogroup I (GI), genogroup II (GII), and hepatitis A virus (HAV) in challenging water matrices. The RT-qPCR assay was improved by screening for an inhibitor-tolerant master mix and modifying the primers with twisted intercalating nucleic acid molecules. Additionally, a modified protocol based on chaotropic lysis buffer and magnetic silica bead nucleic acid extraction was developed for complex water matrices. A validation of the modified extraction protocol on surface and drinking waters was performed. At least a 26-fold improvement was seen in the most complex surface water studied. The modified protocol resulted in average recoveries of 33, 13, 8, and 4% for mengovirus, norovirus GI, GII, and HAV, respectively. The modified protocol also improved the limit of detection for norovirus GI and HAV. RT-qPCR inhibition with C q shifts of 1.6, 2.8, and 3.5 for norovirus GI, GII, and HAV, respectively, obtained for the standard nucleic acid extraction were completely eliminated by the modified protocol. The standard nucleic acid extraction method worked well on drinking water with no RT-qPCR inhibition observed and average recoveries of 80, 124, 89, and 32% for mengovirus, norovirus GI, GII, and HAV, respectively.


Development of a Cryptosporidium-arsenic multi-risk assessment model for infant formula prepared with tap water in France

Boue, G.; Wasiewska, L. A.; Cummins, E.; Antignac, J. P.; Bizec, B. le; Guillou, S.; Membre, J. M.

Food Research International, 108 558-570; 10.1016/j.foodres.2018.03.0542018


Tap water is used in France to reconstitute powder infant formula, although it is not sterile and possibly contaminated by microbiological and chemical hazards. The present study aims to quantify risks of using tap water in France for the preparation of infant formula, during the first six months of life.

Cryptosporidium and arsenic were selected as hazards of greatest concern in microbiology and chemistry, respectively. A probabilistic model was developed using French (when available) and European (alternatively) data. Second order Monte Carlo simulation was used to separate uncertainty and variability of inputs. Outputs were expressed at the individual level as probability of illness and at the population level, using a common metric, the DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Year). Two scenarios of milk preparation were considered: with un-boiled or boiled tap water.

Consuming infant formula rehydrated with un-boiled tap water during the first six months of life led to a total of 2250 DALYs per 100,000 infants (90% uncertainty interval [960; 7650]) for Cryptosporidium due to diarrhea, and 1 DALY [0.4; 2] for arsenic due to expected lifetime risk of lung and bladder cancer as a result of early exposure in life. For the entire population, boiling water would suppress the risk from Cryptosporidium. In contrast, the incremental cancer risk was low at the population level but elevated for 5% of the population exposed to high levels of arsenic. A stringent monitoring of tap water supply points should be continued. This multi-risk assessment model could help public health authorities and managers in evaluating both microbiological and chemical safety issues associated with using infant formula prepared with tap water.


Assessing the origin of bacteria in tap water and distribution system in an unchlorinated drinking water system by SourceTracker using microbial community fingerprints

Gang Liu; Ya Zhang; Mark, E. van der; Magic-Knezev, A.; Pinto, A.; Bogert, B. van den; Wentso Liu; Meer, W. van der; Medema, G

Water Research, 138 86-96; 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.0432018


The general consensus is that the abundance of tap water bacteria is greatly influenced by water purification and distribution. Those bacteria that are released from biofilm in the distribution system are especially considered as the major potential risk for drinking water bio-safety. For the first time, this full-scale study has captured and identified the proportional contribution of the source water, treated water, and distribution system in shaping the tap water bacterial community based on their microbial community fingerprints using the Bayesian “SourceTracker” method. The bacterial community profiles and diversity analyses illustrated that the water purification process shaped the community of planktonic and suspended particle-associated bacteria in treated water. The bacterial communities associated with suspended particles, loose deposits, and biofilm were similar to each other, while the community of tap water planktonic bacteria varied across different locations in distribution system. The microbial source tracking results showed that there was not a detectable contribution of source water to bacterial community in the tap water and distribution system. The planktonic bacteria in the treated water was the major contributor to planktonic bacteria in the tap water (17.7–54.1%). The particle-associated bacterial community in the treated water seeded the bacterial community associated with loose deposits (24.9–32.7%) and biofilm (37.8–43.8%) in the distribution system. In return, the loose deposits and biofilm showed a significant influence on tap water planktonic and particle-associated bacteria, which were location dependent and influenced by hydraulic changes. This was revealed by the increased contribution of loose deposits to tap water planktonic bacteria (from 2.5% to 38.0%) and an increased contribution of biofilm to tap water particle-associated bacteria (from 5.9% to 19.7%) caused by possible hydraulic disturbance from proximal to distal regions. Therefore, our findings indicate that the tap water bacteria could possibly be managed by selecting and operating the purification process properly and cleaning the distribution system effectively.


Understanding human infectious Cryptosporidium risk in drinking water supply catchments

Swaffer, B.; Abbott, H.; King, B.; Linden, L. van der; Monis, P.

Water Research, 138 282-292; 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.0632018


Treating drinking water appropriately depends, in part, on the robustness of source water quality risk assessments, however quantifying the proportion of infectious, human pathogenic Cryptosporidium oocysts remains a significant challenge. We analysed 962 source water samples across nine locations to profile the occurrence, rate and timing of infectious, human pathogenic Cryptosporidium in surface waters entering drinking water reservoirs during rainfall-runoff conditions. At the catchment level, average infectivity over the four-year study period reached 18%; however, most locations averaged <5%. The maximum recorded infectivity fraction within a single rainfall runoff event was 65.4%, and was dominated by C. parvum. Twenty-two Cryptosporidium species and genotypes were identified using PCR-based molecular techniques; the most common being C. parvum, detected in 23% of water samples. Associations between landuse and livestock stocking characteristics with Cryptosporidium were determined using a linear mixed-effects model. The concentration of pathogens in water were significantly influenced by flow and dominance of land-use by commercial grazing properties (as opposed to lifestyle properties) in the catchment (p < 0.01). Inclusion of measured infectivity and human pathogenicity data into a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) could reduce the source water treatment requirements by up to 2.67 log removal values, depending on the catchment, and demonstrated the potential benefit of collating such data for QMRAs.


Enrichment of free-living amoebae in biofilms developed at upper water levels in drinking water storage towers: An inter- and intra-seasonal study

Taravaud, Alexandre; Ali, Myriam; Lafosse, Bernard; Nicolas, Valerie; Feliers, Cedric; Thibert, Sylvie; Levi, Yves; Loiseau, Philippe M.; Pomel, Sebastien

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 633 157-166; 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.178AUG 15 2018


Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous organisms present in various natural and artificial environments, such as drinking water storage towers (DWST). Some FLA, such as Acanthamoeba sp., Naegleria fowleri, and Balamuthia mandrillaris, can cause severe infections at ocular or cerebral level in addition to being potential reservoirs of other pathogens. In this work, the abundance and diversity of FLA was evaluated in two sampling campaigns: one performed over five seasons in three DWST at three different levels (surface, middle and bottom) in water and biofilm using microscopy and PCR, and one based on the kinetics analysis in phase contrast and confocal microscopy of biofilm samples collected every two weeks during a 3-month period at the surface and at the bottom of a DWST. In the seasonal study, the FLA were detected in each DWST water in densities of ~20 to 25 amoebae L−1. A seasonal variation of amoeba distribution was observed in water samples, with maximal densities in summer at ~30 amoebae L−1 and minimal densities in winter at ~16 amoebae L−1. The FLA belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba were detected in two spring sampling campaigns, suggesting a possible seasonal appearance of this potentially pathogenic amoeba. Interestingly, a 1 log increase of amoebae density was observed in biofilm samples collected at the surface of all DWST compared to the middle and the bottom where FLA were at 0.1–0.2 amoebae/cm2. In the kinetics study, an increase of amoebae density, total cell density, and biofilm thickness was observed as a function of time at the surface of the DWST, but not at the bottom. To our knowledge, this study describes for the first time a marked higher FLA density in biofilms collected at upper water levels in DWST, constituting a potential source of pathogenic micro-organisms.


A Systematic Review of the Time Series Studies Addressing the Endemic Risk of Acute Gastroenteritis According to Drinking Water Operation Conditions in Urban Areas of Developed Countries

Pascal Beaudeau
Santé Publique France, 14 rue du Val-d’Osne, 94415 Saint-Maurice CEDEX, France
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018


Time series studies (TSS) can be viewed as an inexpensive way to tackle the non-epidemic health risk from fecal pathogens in tap water in urban areas. Following the PRISMA recommendations, I reviewed TSS addressing the endemic risk of acute gastroenteritis risk according to drinking water operation conditions in urban areas of developed countries. Eighteen studies were included, covering 17 urban sites (seven in North-America and 10 in Europe) with study populations ranging from 50,000 to 9 million people. Most studies used general practitioner consultations or visits to hospitals for acute gastroenteritis (AGE) as health outcomes. In 11 of the 17 sites, a significant and plausible association was found between turbidity (or particle count) in finished water and the AGE indicator. When provided and significant, the interquartile excess of relative risk estimates ranged from 3–13%. When examined, water temperature, river flow, and produced flow were strongly associated with the AGE indicator. The potential of TSS for the study of the health risk from fecal pathogens in tap water is limited by the lack of specificity of turbidity and its site-sensitive value as an exposure proxy. Nevertheless, at the DWS level, TSS could help water operators to identify operational conditions most at risk, almost if considering other water operation indicators, in addition to turbidity, as possible relevant proxies for exposure. View Full-Text

Applicability of the direct injection liquid chromatographic tandem mass spectrometric analytical approach to the sub-ng L-1 determination of perfluoro-alkyl acids in waste, surface, ground and drinking water samples

Author Full Names: Ciofi, Lorenzo; Renai, Lapo; Rossini, Daniele; Ancillotti, Claudia; Falai, Alida; Fibbi, Donatella; Bruzzoniti, Maria Concetta; Juan Santana-Rodriguez, Jose; Orlandini, Serena; Del Bubba, Massimo
Source: TALANTA, 176 412-421; 10.1016/j.talanta.2017.08.052JAN 1 2018
Language: English

Abstract: The applicability of a direct injection UHPLC-MS/MS method for the analysis of several perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in a wide range of water matrices was investigated. The method is based on the direct injection of 100 mu L of centrifuged water sample, without any other sample treatment. Very good method detection limits (0.014-0.44 mu g L-1) and excellent intra and inter-day precision (RSD% values in the range 1.8-4.4% and 2.7-5.7%, respectively) were achieved, with a total analysis time of 20 min per sample. A high number of samples i.e. 8 drinking waters (DW), 12 ground waters (GW), 13 surface waters (SW), 8 influents and 11 effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPIN and WWTPOUT) were processed and the extent of matrix effect (ME) was calculated, highlighting the strong prevalence of vertical bar ME vertical bar < 20%. The occurrence of vertical bar ME vertical bar > 50% was occasionally observed only for perfluorooctanesulphonic and perfluorodecanoic acids. Linear discriminant analysis highlighted the great contribution of the sample origin (i.e. DW, GW, SW, WWTPIN and WWTPOUT) to the ME. Partial least square regression (PLS) and leave-one-out cross-validation were performed in order to interpret and predict the signal suppression or enhancement phenomena as a function of physicochemical parameters of water samples (i.e. conductivity, hardness and chemical oxygen demand) and background chromatographic area. The PLS approach resulted only in an approximate screening, due to the low prediction power of the PLS models. However, for most analytes in most samples, the fitted and cross-validated values were such as to correctly distinguish between vertical bar ME vertical bar higher than 20% or below this limit. PFAAs in the aforementioned water samples were quantified by means of the standard addition method, highlighting their occurrence mainly in WWTP influents and effluents, at concentrations as high as one hundred of mu g L-1.

Climate change-induced increases in precipitation are reducing the potential for solar ultraviolet radiation to inactivate pathogens in surface waters

Author Full Names: Williamson, Craig E.; Madronich, Sasha; Lal, Aparna; Zepp, Richard G.; Lucas, Robyn M.; Overholt, Erin P.; Rose, Kevin C.; Schladow, S. Geoffrey; Lee-Taylor, Julia
Source: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7 10.1038/s41598-017-13392-2OCT 12 2017
Language: English

Abstract: Climate change is accelerating the release of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to inland and coastal waters through increases in precipitation, thawing of permafrost, and changes in vegetation. Our modeling approach suggests that the selective absorption of ultraviolet radiation (UV) by DOM decreases the valuable ecosystem service wherein sunlight inactivates waterborne pathogens. Here we highlight the sensitivity of waterborne pathogens of humans and wildlife to solar UV, and use the DNA action spectrum to model how differences in water transparency and incident sunlight alter the ability of UV to inactivate waterborne pathogens. A case study demonstrates how heavy precipitation events can reduce the solar inactivation potential in Lake Michigan, which provides drinking water to over 10 million people. These data suggest that widespread increases in DOM and consequent browning of surface waters reduce the potential for solar UV inactivation of pathogens, and increase exposure to infectious diseases in humans and wildlife.

Occurrence of illicit drugs in water and wastewater and their removal during wastewater treatment.

Author(s): Meena K. Yadav; Short, M. D.; Rupak Aryal; Gerber, C.; Akker, B. van der; Saint, C. P.
Source: Water Research, 124 713-727; 10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.0682017

Abstract: This review critically evaluates the types and concentrations of key illicit drugs (cocaine, amphetamines, cannabinoids, opioids and their metabolites) found in wastewater, surface water and drinking water sources worldwide and what is known on the effectiveness of wastewater treatment in removing such compounds. It is also important to amass information on the trends in specific drug use as well as the sources of such compounds that enter the environment and we review current international knowledge on this. There are regional differences in the types and quantities of illicit drug consumption and this is reflected in the quantities detected in water. Generally, the levels of illicit drugs in wastewater effluents are lower than in raw influent, indicating that the majority of compounds can be at least partially removed by conventional treatment processes such as activated sludge or trickling filters. However, the literature also indicates that it is too simplistic to assume non-detection equates to drug removal and/or mitigation of associated risks, as there is evidence that some compounds may avoid detection via inadequate sampling and/or analysis protocols, or through conversion to transformation products. Partitioning of drugs from the water to the solids fraction (sludge/biosolids) may also simply shift the potential risk burden to a different environmental compartment and the review found no information on drug stability and persistence in biosolids. Generally speaking, activated sludge-type processes appear to offer better removal efficacy across a range of substances, but the lack of detail in many studies makes it difficult to comment on the most effective process configurations and operations. There is also a paucity of information on the removal effectiveness of alternative treatment processes. Research is also required on natural removal processes in both water and sediments that may over time facilitate further removal of these compounds in receiving environments.

Models for estimation of the presence of non-regulated disinfection by-products in small drinking water systems

Author Full Names: Guilherme, Stephanie; Rodriguez, Manuel J.
Source:ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, 189 (11):10.1007/s10661-017-6296-5NOV 2017

Abstract: Among all the organic disinfection by-products (DBPs), only trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) are regulated in drinking water, while most DBPs are not. Very little information exists on the occurrence of non-regulated DBPs, particularly in small water systems (SWS). Paradoxically, SWS are more vulnerable to DBPs because of a low capacity to implement adequate treatment technologies to remove DBP precursors. Since DBP analyses are expensive, usually SWS have difficulties to implement a rigorous characterization of these contaminants. The purpose of this study was to estimate non-regulated DBP levels in SWS from easy measurements of relevant parameters regularly monitored. Since no information on non-regulated DBPs in SWS was available, a sampling program was carried out in 25 SWS in two provinces of Canada. Five DBP families were investigated: THMs, HAAs, haloacetonitriles (HANs), halonitromethanes (HNMs), and haloketones (HKs). Multivariate linear mixed regression models were developed to estimate HAN, HK, and HNM levels from water quality characteristics in the water treatment plant, concentrations of regulated DBPs, and residual disinfectant levels. The models obtained have a good explanatory capacity since R-2 varies from 0.77 to 0.91 according to compounds and conditions for application (season and type of treatment). Model validation with an independent database suggested their ability for generalization in similar SWS in North America.

Children’s Lead Exposure: A Multimedia Modeling Analysis to Guide Public Health Decision-Making

Author Full Names: Zartarian, Valerie; Xue, Jianping; Tornero-Velez, Rogelio; Brown, James

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Drinking water and other sources for lead are the subject of public health concerns around the Flint, Michigan, drinking water and East Chicago, Indiana, lead in soil crises. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) recommended establishment of a “health-based, household action level” for lead in drinking water based on children’s exposure.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to develop a coupled exposure-dose modeling approach that can be used to determine what drinking water lead concentrations keep children’s blood lead levels (BLLs) below specified values, considering exposures from water, soil, dust, food, and air. Related objectives were to evaluate the coupled model estimates using real-world blood lead data, to quantify relative contributions by the various media, and to identify key model inputs.

METHODS: A modeling approach using the EPA’s Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulation (SHEDS)-Multimedia and Integrated Exposure Uptake and Biokinetic (IEUBK) models was developed using available data. This analysis for the U.S. population of young children probabilistically simulated multimedia exposures and estimated relative contributions of media to BLLs across all population percentiles for several age groups.

RESULTS: Modeled BLLs compared well with nationally representative BLLs (0-23% relative error). Analyses revealed relative importance of soil and dust ingestion exposure pathways and associated Pb intake rates; water ingestion was also a main pathway, especially for infants.

CONCLUSIONS: This methodology advances scientific understanding of the relationship between lead concentrations in drinking water and BLLs in children. It can guide national health-based benchmarks for lead and related community public health decisions. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1605.

Strategies to Improve Private-Well Water Quality: A North Carolina Perspective

Author Full Names: Gibson, Jacqueline MacDonald; Pieper, Kelsey J.

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that the 44.5 million U.S. residents drawing their drinking water from private wells face higher risks of waterborne contaminant exposure than those served by regulated community water supplies. Among U.S. states, North Carolina (N.C.) has the second-largest population relying on private wells, making it a useful microcosm to study challenges to maintaining private-well water quality.

OBJECTIVES: This paper summarizes recommendations from a two-day summit to identify options to improve drinking-water quality for N.C. residents served by private wells. METHODS: The Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative invited 111 participants with knowledge of private-well water challenges to attend the Summit. Participants worked in small groups that focused on specific aspects and reconvened in plenary sessions to formulate consensus recommendations.

DISCUSSION: Summit participants highlighted four main barriers to ensuring safe water for residents currently relying on private wells: (1) a database of private well locations is unavailable; (2) racial disparities have perpetuated reliance on private wells in some urbanized areas; (3) many private well users lack information or resources to monitor and maintain their wells; and (4) private-well support programs are fragmented and lack sufficient resources. The Summit produced 10 consensus recommendations for ways to overcome these barriers.

CONCLUSIONS: The Summit recommendations, if undertaken, could improve the health of North Carolinians facing elevated risks of exposure to waterborne contaminants because of their reliance on inadequately monitored and maintained private wells. Because many of the challenges in N.C. are common nationwide, these recommendations could serve as models for other states.

Still Treating Lead Poisoning After All These Years

Twenty-five years ago, in a commentary published in Pediatrics, Drs Needleman and Jackson1 asked whether we would still be treating lead poisoning in the 21st century. Unfortunately, despite considerable progress, our public health system is still failing to prevent children from being lead poisoned and the specter of lead poisoning continues to cast a shadow over the country: over 500 000 American children have a blood lead level of >5 μg/dL (>50 ppb); 23 million homes have 1 or more lead hazards; an unknown number of Americans drink water from lead service lines; and federal standards for lead in house dust, soil, and water fail to protect children. We have understandably focused on the plight of children in Flint, Michigan, but children in hundreds of other cities have blood lead levels higher than the children of Flint.



Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water — United States, 2013–2014

Benedict KM, Reses H, Vigar M, et al. Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water — United States, 2013–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1216–1221. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6644a3

Provision of safe water in the United States is vital to protecting public health (1). Public health agencies in the U.S. states and territories* report information on waterborne disease outbreaks to CDC through the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) (https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/surveillance/index.html). During 2013–2014, 42 drinking water–associated outbreaks were reported, accounting for at least 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths. Legionella was associated with 57% of these outbreaks and all of the deaths. Sixty-nine percent of the reported illnesses occurred in four outbreaks in which the etiology was determined to be either a chemical or toxin or the parasite Cryptosporidium. Drinking water contamination events can cause disruptions in water service, large impacts on public health, and persistent community concern about drinking water quality. Effective water treatment and regulations can protect public drinking water supplies in the United States, and rapid detection, identification of the cause, and response to illness reports can reduce the transmission of infectious pathogens and harmful chemicals and toxins.