Environmental Justice in Virginia’ s Rural Drinking Water: Analysis of Nitrate Concentrations and Bacteria Prevalence in the Household Wells of Augusta and Louisa County Residents

dc.contributor.authorArnold, David Fredericken
dc.contributor.committeechairCarstensen, Laurence W.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKolivras, Korine N.en
dc.contributor.committeememberHeatwole, Conrad D.en
dc.contributor.departmentGeographyen
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:40:34Zen
dc.date.adate2007-08-08en
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:40:34Zen
dc.date.issued2007-06-12en
dc.date.rdate2007-08-08en
dc.date.sdate2007-06-26en
dc.description.abstractThis research studied two predominantly rural counties in Virginia to understand whether residents have equal access to uncontaminated drinking water by socio-economic status. Statistical associations were developed with the total value of each residence based on county tax assessment data as the independent variable to explain levels of nitrate, the presence of bacteria (total coliform and Escherichia coli), and specific household well characteristics (well age, well depth, and treatment). Nearest neighbor analysis and chi-square tests based on land cover classifications were also conducted to evaluate the spatial distribution of contaminated and uncontaminated wells. Based on the results from the 336 samples analyzed in Louisa County, rural residents with private wells may have variable access to household drinking water free of bacteria; particularly if lower-value homes in the community tend to be older with more dated, shallower wells. This study also suggested that, in Louisa County, the presence of water treatment devices was also significantly related to total home value as an index of socio-economic status. Analysis of the 124 samples taken from household wells in Augusta County did not result in any significant associations among selected well characteristics, total home value, and water quality. Lower community participation in Augusta County as a result of a more expensive water quality testing fee may have contributed to the lack of hypothesized relationships in that county's case study.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.identifier.otheretd-06262007-160537en
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-06262007-160537/en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/33759en
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.relation.haspartD_Arnold_thesis.pdfen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectnitrateen
dc.subjectbacteriaen
dc.subjectsocio-economic status (SES)en
dc.subjectcontaminationen
dc.subjectgroundwateren
dc.titleEnvironmental Justice in Virginia’ s Rural Drinking Water: Analysis of Nitrate Concentrations and Bacteria Prevalence in the Household Wells of Augusta and Louisa County Residentsen
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen
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