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28 January 2019

Case: Pathogen Considerations for Safe ‘Arctic’ Household Water Systems

Author/Compiled by
Nicholas J. Ashbolt, University of Alberta
Executive Summary

Arctic North American communities typically have honey buckets with lagoon wastewater disposal. As in other circumpolar communities, running piped water and wastewater is very expensive and generally not the sustainable solution. Students will be asked to design in-home wastewater reuse and describe what information is required to undertake a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) to aid in their design considerations.

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Information gleaned from the Frogn, Norway case study forms the context for students, along with the concept paper by Shoults & Ashbolt (2017). From the above background students will design a more sustainable household water, sanitation and health system and consider how to undertake a QMRA for pathogen management of their system.

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Case summary
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This case explores pathogen risks and how QMRA can be utilized to identify sufficient management controls for safe use of source waters for drinking, washing and other hygiene needs within homes of a circumpolar community.

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Exercise instructions
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Sketch out your water source(s) and likely contamination scenarios, where the water is to be used within a home and identify one treatment box for each separate water stream used within a home. Then identify the likely points of exposures (skin, inhalation and ingestion) and possible volumes associated with ingestion for these exposures. Next, consider which reference pathogens should address major types of pathogens you have heard about during this course. Lastly, identify what information you need/have to undertake a QMRA to identify treatment performance (pathogen log-reductions) for each water source-end use combination.

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Schematic Exercise Instructions. Source: Nick Ashbolt, 2018


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