Microbial risk assessment for recreational use of the Chicago Area Waterway System

G. Rijal, J. K. Tolson, C. Petropoulou, T. C. Granato, A. Glymph, C. Gerba, M. F. Deflaun, C. O'Connor, L. Kollias, R. Lanyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

A microbial risk assessment was conducted to estimate the human health risks from incidental contact recreational activities such as canoeing, boating and fishing in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) receiving secondary treated, but non-disinfected, effluent from three municipal water reclamation plants. Actual concentrations of the pathogens (pathogenic E. coli [estimated], Giardia, Cryptosporidium, adenovirus, norovirus, enteric virus) detected from the waterway field data collection at locations upstream and downstream of the effluent outfall during dry and wet weather conditions within the recreation season were included in the risk assessment. The results under the current treatment scheme with no disinfection indicated that the total expected gastrointestinal illness (GI) rate per 1000 incidental contact recreational exposure events during combined weather (dry and wet) conditions ranged from 0.10 to 2.78 in the CAWS, which is below the eight illnesses per 1000 swimmers considered tolerable by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Wet weather conditions contribute to elevated pathogen load to the CAWS; therefore this study determined that disinfecting the effluents of three major WRPs that discharge to the CAWS would result in an extremely small reduction in the aggregate recreation season risk to incidental contact recreators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2011

Keywords

  • Disinfection
  • Microbial risk assessment
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • Pathogens
  • Probabilistic
  • Recreational exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Rijal, G., Tolson, J. K., Petropoulou, C., Granato, T. C., Glymph, A., Gerba, C., Deflaun, M. F., O'Connor, C., Kollias, L., & Lanyon, R. (2011). Microbial risk assessment for recreational use of the Chicago Area Waterway System. Journal of Water and Health, 9(1), 169-186. https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2010.020