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McLaughlin C.L.,WRc Plc. | Blake S.,WRc Plc. | Hall T.,WRc Plc. | Harman M.,WRc Plc. | And 3 more authors.
Water and Environment Journal | Year: 2011

A well-known use of perchlorate is as a rocket fuel propellant; however, more widespread uses include in munitions and fireworks, and it also occurs naturally. Perchlorate suppresses the thyroid, which can lead to a variety of adverse effects. It is a widespread contaminant in the United States, but limited occurrence data in the United Kingdom exist, and even less for drinking water. Monitoring of 20 raw and treated drinking water sites in England and Wales, covering four seasonal periods, showed that perchlorate is a low-level background contaminant of raw and treated drinking water. Low concentrations (treated drinking water: <0.020-2.073μg/L, mean 0.747μg/L) were detected at every higher-risk site. The concentrations were comparable in each of the four sampling exercises and no significant trends were apparent relating to the time of year, the type of risk or the method of chlorination. Limited data showed that removal by ion exchange and granular-activated carbon may occur. © 2010 WRc plc. Water and Environment Journal © 2010 CIWEM.

Brown L.E.,University of Leeds | Mitchell G.,University of Leeds | Holden J.,University of Leeds | Folkard A.,Lancaster University | And 27 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

Several recent studies have emphasised the need for a more integrated process in which researchers, policy makers and practitioners interact to identify research priorities. This paper discusses such a process with respect to the UK water sector, detailing how questions were developed through inter-disciplinary collaboration using online questionnaires and a stakeholder workshop. The paper details the 94 key questions arising, and provides commentary on their scale and scope. Prioritisation voting divided the nine research themes into three categories: (1) extreme events (primarily flooding), valuing freshwater services, and water supply, treatment and distribution [each >. 150/1109 votes]; (2) freshwater pollution and integrated catchment management [100-150 votes] and; (3) freshwater biodiversity, water industry governance, understanding and managing demand and communicating water research [50-100 votes]. The biggest demand was for research to improve understanding of intervention impacts in the water environment, while a need for improved understanding of basic processes was also clearly expressed, particularly with respect to impacts of pollution and aquatic ecosystems. Questions that addressed aspects of appraisal, particularly incorporation of ecological service values into decision making, were also strongly represented. The findings revealed that sustainability has entered the lexicon of the UK water sector, but much remains to be done to embed the concept operationally, with key sustainability issues such as resilience and interaction with related key sectors, such as energy and agriculture, relatively poorly addressed. However, the exercise also revealed that a necessary condition for sustainable development, effective communication between scientists, practitioners and policy makers, already appears to be relatively well established in the UK water sector. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Hayes C.R.,University of Swansea | Hydes O.D.,Drinking Water Inspectorate
Journal of Water and Health | Year: 2012

At the zonal scale (e.g. a city or town), random daytime (RDT) sampling succeeded in demonstrating both the need for corrective action and the benefits of optimised orthophosphate dosing for plumbosolvency control, despite initial concerns about sampling reproducibility. Stagnation sampling techniques were found to be less successful. Optimised treatment measures to minimise lead in drinking water, comprising orthophosphate at an optimum dose and at an appropriate pH, have succeeded in raising compliance with the future European Union (EU) lead standard of 10 μg/L from 80.4% in 1989-94 to 99.0% in 2010 across England and Wales, with compliance greater than 99.5% in some regions. There may be scope to achieve 99.8% compliance with 10 μg/L by further optimisation coupled to selective lead pipe removal, without widespread lead pipe removal. It is unlikely that optimised corrosion control, that includes the dosing of orthophosphate, will be capable of achieving a standard much lower than 10 μg/L for lead in drinking water. The experience gained in the UK provides an important reference for any other country or region that is considering its options for minimising lead in their drinking water supplies. © IWA Publishing 2012.

McLaughlin C.L.,National Center for Environmental Toxicology | Blake S.,National Center for Environmental Toxicology | Hall T.,National Center for Environmental Toxicology | Harman M.,National Center for Environmental Toxicology | And 3 more authors.
Water and Environment Journal | Year: 2011

There has been increasing interest in the widely used perfluorinated chemicals such as perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS). PFOS has been shown to be toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment and is a focus for restriction within the European Union. Limited monitoring data, especially in the United Kingdom, are available for PFOS in environmental waters, and even less for its detection in drinking water. Data available in the United Kingdom indicate that PFOS contamination of environmental waters has only occurred following specific incidents. Monitoring of 20 raw and treated drinking water sites in England, covering four seasonal periods, showed that PFOS is not a widespread background contaminant of raw and treated drinking water in England. Low levels of PFOS (0.012-0.208μg/L) were detected at four specific sites, which were at a higher risk for contamination. At three of these sites, where PFOS was detected in both raw and final drinking water, treatment processes [chlorination, ozonation and granular activated carbon (GAC)] did not appear to remove PFOS. The findings of this work are pertinent to risk assessments now required by the drinking water quality regulations. © 2009 WRc plc. Water and Environment Journal © 2009 CIWEM.

Carmichael C.,Public Health England | Odams S.,Public Health England | Murray V.,Public Health England | Sellick M.,Drinking Water Inspectorate | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Water and Health | Year: 2013

Water shortages as a result of extreme weather events, such as flooding and severe cold, have the potential to affect significant numbers of people. Therefore, the need to build robust, coordinated plans based on scientific evidence is crucial. The literature review outlined in this short communication was conducted as part of a joint Drinking Water Inspectorate and Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) report which aimed to review the scientific evidence base on extreme events, water shortages and the resulting health impacts. A systematic literature review was undertaken to identify published literature from both peer-reviewed and grey literature sources. The retrieved literature was then assessed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network quality assessment. The authors found very few scientific studies. However, a great deal of valuable grey literature was retrieved and used by the research team. In total, six main themes of importance that were identified by the review and discussed included health impacts, water quantity and quality, alternative supplies, vulnerable groups, communication with those affected and the emergency response. The authors conclude that more research needs to be conducted on health impacts and extreme events water shortages in order to build the future knowledge base and development of resilience. © IWA Publishing 2013.

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