Interuniversity Cooperation Center for Water and Health Water and Health

Vienna, Austria

Interuniversity Cooperation Center for Water and Health Water and Health

Vienna, Austria
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Derx J.,Vienna University of Technology | Derx J.,Interuniversity Cooperation Center for Water and Health Water and Health | Schijven J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Schijven J.,University Utrecht | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2016

Protection of drinking water resources requires addressing all relevant fecal pollution sources in the considered catchment. A freely available simulation tool, QMRAcatch, was recently developed to simulate concentrations of fecal indicators, a genetic microbial source tracking (MST) marker, and intestinal pathogens in water resources and to conduct a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA). At the same time, QMRAcatch was successfully applied to a region of the Danube River in Austria, focusing on municipal wastewater emissions. Herein, we describe extension of its application to a Danube River floodplain, keeping the focus on fecal sources of human origin. QMRAcatch was calibrated to match measured human-associated MST marker concentrations for a dry year and a wet year. Appropriate performance characteristics of the human-associated MST assay were proven by simulating correct and false-positive marker concentrations, as determined in human and animal feces. With the calibrated tool, simulated and measured enterovirus concentrations in the rivers were compared. Finally, the calibrated tool allowed demonstrating that 4.5 log10 enterovirus and 6.6 log10 norovirus reductions must be achieved to convert current surface water to safe drinking water that complies with a health-based target of 10-4 infections person-1 yr-1. Simulations of the low- and high-pollution scenarios showed that the required viral reductions ranged from 0 to 8 log10. This study has implications for water managers with interests in assessing robust catchment protection measures and water treatment criteria by considering the fate of fecal pollution from its sources to the point of abstraction. © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA. All rights reserved.


Schijven J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Schijven J.,University Utrecht | Derx J.,Vienna University of Technology | Derx J.,Interuniversity Cooperation Center for Water and Health Water and Health | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2015

Given the complex hydrologic dynamics of water catchments and conflicts between nature protection and public water supply, models may help to understand catchment dynamics and evaluate contamination scenarios and may support best environmental practices and water safety management. A catchment model can be an educative tool for investigating water quality and for communication between parties with different interests in the catchment. This article introduces an interactive computational tool, QMRAcatch, that was developed to simulate concentrations in water resources of Escherichia coli, a humanassociated Bacteroidetes microbial source tracking (MST) marker, enterovirus, norovirus, Campylobacter, and Cryptosporidium as target microorganisms and viruses (TMVs). The model domain encompasses a main river with wastewater discharges and a floodplain with a floodplain river. Diffuse agricultural sources of TMVs that discharge into the main river are not included in this stage of development. The floodplain river is fed by the main river and may flood the plain. Discharged TMVs in the river are subject to dilution and temperature-dependent degradation. River travel times are calculated using the Manning-Gauckler- Strickler formula. Fecal deposits from wildlife, birds, and visitors in the floodplain are resuspended in flood water, runoff to the floodplain river, or infiltrate groundwater. Fecal indicator and MST marker data facilitate calibration. Infection risks from exposure to the pathogenic TMVs by swimming or drinking water consumption are calculated, and the required pathogen removal by treatment to meet a health-based quality target can be determined. Applicability of QMRAcatch is demonstrated by calibrating the tool for a study site at the River Danube near Vienna, Austria, using field TMV data, including a sensitivity analysis and evaluation of the model outcomes. © American Society of Agronomy.

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