Approximating Community Water System Service Areas to Explore the Demographics of SDWA Compliance in Virginia

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Date
2021-12-16
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Publisher
MDPI
Abstract

Although the United States Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) theoretically ensures drinking water quality, recent studies have questioned the reliability and equity associated with community water system (CWS) service. This study aimed to identify SDWA violation differences (i.e., monitoring and reporting (MR) and health-based (HB)) between Virginia CWSs given associated service demographics, rurality, and system characteristics. A novel geospatial methodology delineated CWS service areas at the zip code scale to connect 2000 US Census demographics with 2006–2016 SDWA violations, with significant associations determined via negative binomial regression. The proportion of Black Americans within a service area was positively associated with the likelihood of HB violations. This effort supports the need for further investigation of racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to safe drinking water within the United States in particular and offers a geospatial strategy to explore demographics in other settings where data on infrastructure extents are limited. Further interdisciplinary efforts at multiple scales are necessary to identify the entwined causes for differential risks in adverse drinking water quality exposures and would be substantially strengthened by the mapping of official CWS service boundaries.

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Citation
Marcillo, C.; Krometis, L.-A.; Krometis, J. Approximating Community Water System Service Areas to Explore the Demographics of SDWA Compliance in Virginia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 13254.