The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Nov. 10, including two reports relevant to the water industry: Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated With Drinking Water and Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated With Environmental and Undetermined Exposures to Water.
The first study showed that 42 drinking water outbreaks caused by infectious pathogens, chemicals or toxins were reported across Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin in 2013-2014. These outbreaks resulted in 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations and 13 deaths. Additionally, 57% were found to be caused by legionella. The study concluded that 75% of the 1,006 cases of illness were related to community water systems regulated by the government.
The second study showed similar resulted examining 12 outbreaks across Alabama, California, Kentucky, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas in the same time frame. These outbreaks resulted in 63 cases of illness, 39 hospitalizations and eight deaths. The study concluded that among the environmental exposure outbreaks, eight were related to human-made systems and seven involved natural water bodies.