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dc.contributor.authorSmith, Tamara L.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-05T07:00:28Z
dc.date.available2014-12-05T07:00:28Z
dc.date.issued2013-06-12en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:899en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/50985
dc.description.abstractOver 1.7 million Virginians rely on private water systems to supply household water. The heaviest reliance on these systems occurs in rural areas, which are often underserved in terms of financial resources and access to environmental health education. As the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) does not regulate private water systems, it is the sole responsibility of the homeowner to maintain and monitor these systems.
    Previous limited studies indicate that microbial contamination of drinking water from private wells and springs is far from uncommon, ranging from 10% to 68%, depending on type of organism and geological region. With the exception of one thirty-year old government study on rural water supplies, there have been no documented investigations of links between private system water contamination and household demographic characteristics, making the design of effective public health interventions, very difficult.
    The goal of the present study is to identify potential associations between concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (e.g. coliforms, E. coli) in 831 samples collected at the point-of-use in homes with private water supply systems and homeowner-provided demographic data (e.g. homeowner age, household income, education, water quality perception). Household income and the education of the perceived head of household were determined to have an association with bacteria concentrations. However, when a model was developed to evaluate strong associations between total coliform presence and potential predictors, no demographic parameters were deemed significant enough to be included in the final model. Of the 831 samples tested, 349 (42%) of samples tested positive for total coliform and 55 (6.6%) tested positive for E. coli contamination. Chemical and microbial source tracking efforts using fluorometry and qPCR suggested possible E. coli contamination from human septage in 21 cases.  The findings of this research can ultimately aid in determining effective strategies for public health intervention and gain a better understanding of interactions between demographic data and private system water quality.
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dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectprivate water systemen_US
dc.subjectcoliform bacteriaen_US
dc.subjectE. colien_US
dc.subjectdrinking wateren_US
dc.subjectwell water qualityen_US
dc.subjectrural healthen_US
dc.subjectsource trackingen_US
dc.titleAssociations between Fecal Indicator Bacteria Prevalence and Demographic Data in Private Water Supplies in Virginiaen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentBiological Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineBiological Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairKrometis, Leigh Anne Henryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarmagas, Susan Westen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHagedorn, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBenham, Brian L.en_US


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