Navigation Links
UT study finds viruses in untreated East Tennessee drinking water
Date:5/19/2010

KNOXVILLE -- Do you know what is in your drinking water? A study by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor may have you thinking twice the next time you fill up that glass of tap water.

Larry McKay, an earth and planetary sciences professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, sampled eight community water supply sources in East Tennessee and found concentrations of viruses and bacteria linked to human feces that could potentially cause waterborne disease.

The study, "Viruses and Bacteria in Karst and Fractured Rock Aquifers in East Tennessee, USA" is published in the electronic version of Ground Water and will appear in a special edition of the journal Pathogens and Fecal Indicators in Ground Water later this year.

McKay surveyed samples of raw water from eight wells or springs throughout East Tennessee. Half of the water sources were considered high-risk for fecal contamination and the other were considered low-risk, based on previous data. McKay primarily sampled wells and springs in karst aquifers, which are made of limestone, because they are commonly used as water sources in the region and have a reputation for carrying bacteria.

"Karst aquifers have long been recognized as having high susceptibility to fecal contamination because they have features, such as sinkholes and caverns, which act as pathways for rapid flow and transport of contaminants," McKay said.

The water samples were analyzed for fecal bacteria, E.coli and coliforms, Bacteroides and infectious viruses.

All of the high-risk water sources contained E.coli, coliforms, Bacteroides and infectious viruses. One of the low-risk water sources had E.coli and coliforms; half had Bacteroides; and three-quarters had infectious viruses.

All of the wells and springs sampled in the study are used for public water supply, but the water is treated before being distributed, so the contamination measured in the study doesn't represent a direct risk to consumers.

However, these results shed light on a potential health hazard for part of the Tennessee population.

"The real concern is for the numerous small non-community water systems and household wells, where local residents typically drink groundwater that hasn't been filtered or disinfected," McKay said. "It's likely that many of these residents are being exposed to waterborne fecal contamination, both bacterial and viral, but it isn't clear how big a health risk this represents. Local and regional research is needed to assess the health impacts."

McKay noted waterborne fecal contamination affects people in varying degrees; some people may have no symptoms while others may become seriously ill or even die.


'/>"/>

Contact: Whitney Holmes
wholmes7@utk.edu
865-974-5460
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New study reveals ways to better inhibit blood clots
2. Hammerhead shark study shows cascade of evolution affected size, head shape
3. Gene fusions may be the smoking gun in prostate cancer development, U-M study finds
4. U of Minn. study finds rising levels of dioxins from common soap ingredient in Mississippi River
5. New study reveals link between climate footprints and mass mammal
6. Invasive kudzu is major factor in surface ozone pollution, study shows
7. Immune system compromised during spaceflight, study finds
8. Study raises new concerns about radiation and breast cancer
9. Opinion polls underestimate Americans concern about the environment, Stanford study finds
10. Study finds protein that plays key role in early embryonic development
11. Scripps Research study overturns decade-old findings in neurobiology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UT study finds viruses in untreated East Tennessee drinking water
(Date:4/4/2017)... 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader ... United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued ... linking of an iris image with a face image ... the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research ... system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D ... a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, ... an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017 The report ... (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by ... 2022. The base year considered for the study is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Wayne. NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a ... rinse one eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a ... you have Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, ... today. The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, ... significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... International research firm Parks Associates announced today that Tom ... 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona ... and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: