"Of course, there would need to be a careful screening before these competitive organisms were introduced," Pruden said.
Virginia Tech researchers Wang, Edwards, Falkinham, and Pruden, who is the corresponding author, concluded in their article, "Further studies on the interplay between target opportunistic pathogens and other microbes under different drinking water conditions are critical."
Pruden, Edwards, and Annie Pearce, an associate professor of building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, have received a $300,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation Environmental Sustainability Program to study the residential hot water infrastructure, looking at the overlapping and sometimes at-odds issues of public health, water savings, and energy savings.
For example, water heating consumes more energy than the water and waste water sectors combined. Energy conservation is an issue but public health requires temperature high enough to kill pathogens. However, high temperature can cause scalding and shorten tank life. The researchers will conduct integrated assessment of systems in terms of public health, energy goals, and water savings.
|Contact: John Pastor|