News Items

ATP for rapid water quality assessment (Posted 19/02/2018
While FWR does not endorse commercial products, readers may be interested in a new test which can indicate the microbial content of a clean water in 3 minutes. Water is filtered then any retained microbial cells are lysed and the ATP released is estimated using the luciferin/luciferase procedure. The same company offers a kit for determining coliforms and E.coli within 24 hours.

Legionella outbreak attributed to change in water supply source (Posted 19/02/2018
A report on the Legionnaires disease out break in Flint, Michigan attributes the outbreak to change of water supply source to the Flint River and consequent reduction in chlorine levels. The majority of the Legionalla isolated from premises ( 16 of 18) were serogroup 6, which is not detected by the widely used urine test for legionella.

Solar powered desalination (Posted 19/02/2018)
Researchers in Spain have developed a stand-alone system for desalinating and treating water through electrodialysis. The system is directly powered by solar energy and can be applied in off-grid areas. The research group already has a pilot and demonstration plant able to generate a cubic metre of drinking water every day.

Importance of dechlorination of drinking water samples for bacteriological analysis (Posted 19/2/2018)
Results have been published of a simple laboratory and field test study which confirm the importance of sodium thiosulphate dechlorination of bacteriological samples. All samples held without sodium thiosulfate had lower bacteria counts than comparable dechlorinated samples. In addition chlorinated water supply samples held without sodium thiosulfate had an 87.5% false negative rate.

Yorkshire Water to plant 1 million trees (Posted 08/02/2018)
Yorkshire Water has announced plans to plant 1 million trees as part of the creation of the Northern Forest . T he Company says that planting trees in the right place will help to slow the flow of water during potential flood events, mitigate carbon emissions and boost wildlife. Although not claimed, the trees could have a beneficial effect on water quality particularly in upland reservoirs.

Novel toxicity biosensor (Posted 31/01/2018)
Workers at the University of Bath are developing a novel microbial fuel cell capable of responding to toxicants in water. The device is fabricated by screen-printing carbon-based electrodes onto a single sheet of paper. It is membrane-less, as the paper substrate itself acts as the separator between the two electrodes. The device is fully biodegradable. The device has been evaluated using formaldehyde as the toxicant but it is expected to respond to a range of other toxicants.

Direct potable re-use (Posted 25/01/2018)
A recent review (paper)describes long-term experience of direct potable reuse (DPR) in Windhoek, South Africa (48 years) which shows that treated domestic sewage can be safely and cost-efficiently utilized for potable reclamation (0.72 €/m3). A multiple barrier strategy is employed in order to attain the highest possible safety levels. Although most potable reuse schemes are indirect (IPR) and involve groundwater recharge or reservoir augmentation, the discharge of treated wastewater ro rivers subsequently abstracted for potable treatment has been a longstanding practice. A few other DPR schemes are in existence but invariably involve feeding the treated wastewater to conventional treatment works. DPR is likely to increase as populations increase and WHO has issued guidance for future schemes. (WHO Guidance)

Priming of rapid sand filters to enhance nitrification (Posted 23/01/2018)
Danish workers have shown that nitrifying communities in new rapid sand filters could be enriched by microbiomes from well-functioning rapid sand filters in waterworks and that the enriched nitrifying consortium could be used to inoculate fresh filters, significantly shortening the time taken for the nitrification process to start.

Low Energy Desalination (Posted 23/01/2018)
A recent letter in Environmental Science and Technology Letters describes a novel desalination process for brackish water which has lower energy requirements than conventional techniques. The procedure does not require any regeneration stage but is not suitable for seawater higher salt sourcers such as seawater.

Impact of changing source of water supply – United Utilities, Copeland (Posted 18/01/2018)
DWI has published its assessment of an incident in Cumbria in June 2017 in which large numbers of consumers were concerned by noticeable changes in their drinking water supplies. The area affected was supplied with soft surface-derived water from Ennerdale but in 2009 its licence to abstract was reduced and it became necessary to obtain additional supply. Four boreholes were licenced to provide the additional supplies although these provided much harder water. Commissioning trials of these boreholes were commenced in May 2017. wherupon many consumers began complaining. Although supplies remained safe the Company was remiss in not informing consumers of the changing supply which resulted in widespread concern. The supply was deemed unwholesome as it breached the Taste and Odour requirements of the Regulations. DWI made several recommendations but concluded that enforcement wqs not required at this time.

Water efficiency savings in single family houses. (Posted 30/12/2017)
A study by workers in Leicestershire has evaluated the effectiveness of installing water-saving devices in single-family households and has shown a mean 7% decrease in consumption, explicitly attributable to the efficiency program.

Rapid detection of coliphages (Posted 10/12/2017)
Coliphages have been used as indicators of faecal pollution and a rapid chromogenic method has been developed. A modified strain of E. coli has been created which cannot transport glucuronic acid into its cells but has high levels of β-glucuronidase in its cells. Only when the E. coli cells are lysed by phages is a chromogen-coupled glucuronic broken down producing a blue colouration.

Neurotoxin associated with cyanobacterial blooms (Posted 07/12/2017)
BMAA -- a toxin linked to several neurodegenerative diseases -- is present in high concentrations during cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Winnipeg, report Canadian scientists. Although the abstract gives a link to considerable analytical details no cyanobacterial genera or species are implicated.

WHO updates Legionella Fact Sheet (Posted 07/12/2017)
The updated Legionella Fact Sheet is a very comprehensive document covering all aspects of Legionella aetiology and disease. In regard to potable water sytems it reaffirms that control of Legionella depends on “ keeping hot and cold water systems clean and either keeping the hot water above 50 °C (which requires water leaving the heating unit to be at or above 60 °C) and the cold below 25 °C and ideally below 20 °C or alternatively treating them with a suitable biocide to limit growth, particularly in hospitals and other health care settings, and aged-care facilities”.

WHO updates Arsenic Fact Sheet. (Posted 07/12/2017)
Although not a problem with UK water supplies, inorganic arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Mexico, and the United States of America. Arsenic is one of WHO’s 10 chemicals of major public health concern and in its Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality it recommends a limit of arsenic in drinking-water of 10 μg/L

US waterborne disease outbreaks 2013-14 (Posted 30/11/17)
42 drinking water–associated outbreaks were reported, accounting for at least 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths. In 41 of these at least one aetiological agent was identified. Of these 24 were due to Legionella, 8 to Giardia and/or Cryptosporidium. 4 were associated with chemicals or algal toxins. Other agents identified were norovirus and Campylobacter.

GAC Quality and Operational Management. (Posted 26/11/2017)
UKWIR has published a report on a project which has produced a ‘Guidance Manual’ which presents a critical review of water companies’ use of GAC (and ozone) over the past 20 years to identify best practices, It also includes a report ‘Review of emerging adsorption media and advanced oxidation processes’, which identified 26 technologies and determined whether these technologies could provide a cost-effective solution to water quality issues.

Public Health implications of unregulated Drinking Water. (Posted 14/11/17)
A very interesting paper published in the USA considers the health implications for the 44.5 million US residents dependent on private water supplies. These supplies are not covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The paper reports on the outcome of a summit held in North Carolina on “Safe Drinking Water from Every Tap”. Although the summit considered broader issues it focused on North Carolina, where 35% of the population relies on private wells (the third most of any state), and 3.2 million people live in rural areas (the second most of any state). Furthermore, a history of racial segregation and what is known as “municipal underbounding”—in which expanding cities engulf poor and minority communities without affording them city services—has left many black residents of North Carolina’s periurban areas without access to public water systems, even if adjacent newer neighborhoods are fully connected. The summit agreed that more needs to be done to identify private supplies. (In some ways the US lags well behind the UK and Europe in ensuring the provision of safe drinking water to all and, despite the Constitution, all men are not equal when it comes to public health.)

Water with school lunches can reduce obesity. (Posted 14/11/17)
Results of a study conducted in 1,200 elementary and middle school schools in New York City between 2009 and 2013 has been reported. When water dispensers were placed in school cafeterias, students' consumption of water at lunchtime tripled and was associated with small but significant declines in their risks of being overweight one year later, researchers found. Based on the decision model, the estimated incremental cost of the school-based water access intervention is $18 per student, and the corresponding incremental benefit is $192, resulting in a net benefit of $174 per student. Subgroup analysis estimates the net benefit per student to be $199 and $149 among boys and girls, respectively.

DWI releases report into Franklaw Cryptosporidium incident. (Posted 14/11/17)
DWI has released its report into distribution of water containing Cryptosporidium to people in North Lancashire in August 2015. United Utilities reported detection of high numbers of cryptosporidium oocysts in water leaving Franklaw Treatment Works on 6 August The Company advised 712,000 consumers to boil water. Although no outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred ,several deficiencies in the management of Franklaw Treatment Works were identified and United Utilities pleaded guilty to supplying water unfit for human consumption. And was fined £300,000 with £150,000 in costs.

Comparison of UV-LED and low pressure UV for water disinfection (Posted 14/11/17)
A study comparing UV-LED at 265 and 280nm separately and in combination with Low Pressure UV for inactivation of E.coli concluded that no synergic effect for disinfection was observed from the combination of 265 and 280nm LEDs. 265nm LEDs had no different reactivation performances than LP UV, while 280nm LEDs could significantly repress photoreactivation and dark repair at a low irradiation intensity of 6.9mJ/cm2. Furthermore, the UV-induced damage of 280nm LEDs was less repaired.

Impacts of water quality on the corrosion of cast iron pipes (Posted 14/11/17)
Three sets of old cast iron pipe section named BP, SP and GP were excavated, transporting blend water, surface water and groundwater, respectively. Surface water pipe was more corroded than blended water and groundwater pipes and Cl and SO42− accelerated but alkalinity and calcium hardness inhibited iron release. Dissolved oxygen consumption was highly consistent with iron release.Water quality significantly influenced bacterial community in corrosion scales.

Journal of Water and Health – archive access (Posted 01/11/2017)
The Journal of Water and Health has now extended its support of Open Access by making its archives after 2 years open access.

Arsenic in US water supply wells (Posted 01/11/2017)
Approximately 44.1 M people in the U.S. use water from domestic wells. A recent study suggests that of the 44 million population in the US using water from private domestic wells, 2.1 million use wells with a predicted arsenic concentration >10 μg/L. (There is no reason to believe this is fake news nor that there are alternative facts!)

WHO guide to strengthening chlorination practices in small- to medium-sized water supplies (Posted 01/11/2017)
The above document has been published as an aid to the development of Water Safety Plans in particular in South East Asia although its content is more genearlly applicable.

Cyanobacterial assessment network (CyAN) (Posted 17/10/2017)
A multi-agency project involving EPA, NASA, NOAA, and USGS, uses historical and current satellite data to provide an early warning indicator system for harmful algal blooms in U.S. freshwater systems. Since the project’s inception in October 2015, CyAN imagery has been used to detect algal blooms in Ohio, Florida, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, before traditional monitoring efforts alerted watershed managers.

Cost of a waterborne Cryptosporidiosis outbreak (Posted 04/10/2017)
A recent study evaluated the costs of a waterborne outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis infection in Ireland in 2007. A boil water notice was in place for 158 days that affected 120,432 persons residing in the area. The cost of the outbreak was estimated at >€19 million (≈€120,000/day of the outbreak). This study highlights the economic need for a safe drinking water supply.

Distribution system test bed. (Posted 04/10/2017)
USEPA has opened a test bed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which replicates a section of a typical municipal drinking water piping system. Using this simulated full-scale distribution system allows for injection of contaminants that cannot be tested in operating municipal water facilities. Researchers can then evaluate decontamination methodologies to determine those that are best suited for use by water utilities.

Consultation on proposed amendments to the Drinking Water Regulations (Posted 27/09/2017)
Views are being sought on proposed amendments to the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (‘public regulations’) and the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 (‘private regulations’); known jointly as the drinking water regulations. The changes will only apply to England.

Nanomaterials can remove heavy metals from water (Posted 27/09/2017)
Two modifed cellulose compounds have been shown to be able to remove trivalent and hexavalent chromium from water contaminated with 25mg/l of chromium.

Control of DBPs and precursors by biofiltration. (Posted 18/09/2017)
A review of over 100 papers related to biofiltration and DBPs found that biofiltration removes a fraction of halogenated DBP precursors and decreases concentrations of formed DBPs, except for THMs. Varying degrees of nitrosamine control by biofiltration have been reported and operating parameters affect the biofiltration performance.

Norovirus in bottled waters (Posted 11/09/2017)
A recent norovirus outbreak involving 4136 cases in Catalonia, Spain was shown to have an association with bottled water from a source in Andorra used in office water coolers. Although rapid removal of the water from all coolers restricted investigations it was likely that the water was contaminated with 4 strains of norovirus even though the water complied with all requirements of the European Commission directive on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters.

Improved method for Legionella pneumophila detection (Posted 30/08/2017)
The conventional culural method for detecting L.pneumophila detects a large number of other non- pneumophila legionella. A recent paper shows that incubating the BCYE culture medium at 40°C and raising its pH to 7.3 greatly improves its selectivity. It concludes that BCYE pH 7.3/40 °C can facilitate the enumeration of L. pneumophila and their isolation from premise plumbing systems with culturable L. non-pneumophila spp., some of which, e.g. L. anisa, can be present in high numbers.

Evolution of monitoring for Giardia and Cryptosporidium in water (Posted 30/08/2017)
A recent review looks at Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water since the 1970's and traces development of water analysis methods from the beginning. It highlights essential features of three phases of sample processing and analysis, compiles major advances in finding Giardia and Cryptosporidium in water and identifies key challenges to improved procedure.

Cornerstone of water bacteriology becomes shaky. (Posted 30/08/2017)
A fascinating review has been published which casts some doubt on the tenet that E.coli in water must be a consequence of faecal pollution. The review notes that some Escherichia populations can survive and grow in environmental conditions for prolonged periods. Environmentally adapted Escherichia strains are indistinguishable from faecally derived strains based on current water quality testing methods and may not indicate the occurrences of recent faecal contamination. Therefore, the presence of environmental Escherichia populations severely confounds the use of this bacterium as a faecal indicator. Based on studies done in the past few decades, the presence of environmental Escherichia is now well recognized. These environmental E. coli may be of animal-origin and have become adapted to their surrounding environments; or may retain the characteristics of their ancestral linage, which was environmental bacteria using soil and sediment as their primary habitat. The review also points out that E coli O157:H7 does not have β-glucuronidase and will not be detected by many current monitoring techniques.

Target Product Profile (TPP) for rapid E.coli detection (Postes 30/08/2017)
UNICEF and WHO have launched a Target Product Profile (TPP) which identifies the need for better simple methods for detection of E.coli to help guide product developers. The uses for which improved methods are required are given as data collection in household surveys; behaviour change and water safety planning with communities; and on-site or field testing for regulatory oversight or surveillance purposes.The Guide includes acceptable and ideal requirements, and prioritizes the ideal requirements for each use case to help developers make decisions on trade-offs. A Request for Proposals is expected later this year.

WHO Guidance on potable water from wastewater (Posted 30/08/2017)
WHO has published a guidance describing how to apply appropriate management systems to produce safe drinking-water from municipal wastewater. Information is provided on specific aspects of potable reuse, including the quality and protection of source wastewaters, types of control measure monitoring and public acceptance.

DWI Guidance on implementing the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Posted 30/08/2017)
DWI has issued guidance on the implementation of the latest Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations applicable to England and the equivalent Regulations for Wales.

Fluorescence spectography for drinking water quality assessment. (Posted 30/08/2017)
A recent paper looks at relationships between dissolved organic matter (DOM) optical properties, microbial indicator organisms and trace element concentrations in a drinking water distribution network. The purpose was to assess whether DOM optical properties measured at the tap correlate with, and are potential surrogate indicators of, abundances of microbial indicator species.

The authors conclude that in-situ fluorometers should be capable of sensitively monitoring water quality changes in distribution systems between source and consumers, although issues related to reliability, sensitivity and calibration present technical hurdles worthy of further development and investigation.Trace metals can interfere with spectroscopic measurements in the distribution system and increase detection thresholds for observing significant changes in organic matter quality. It is therefore important to consider trace metals when investigating DOM fluorescence as a potential tracer of contamination in unfamiliar networks.

WHO launches e-learning platform (Posted 30/08/2017)
WHO has launched an interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies.

Biofiltration and DBPs (Posted 30/08/2017)
A recent literature review finds that biofiltration removes a fraction of halogenated DBP precursors and can decrease concentrations of formed DBPs, except for THMs. Varying degrees of nitrosamine control by biofiltration have been reported.

Biofilm penetration by nanoparticle-coupled phages (Posted 10/08/2017)
A group of Chinese and US workers have shown that phages can be adsorbed on to magnetic colloidal nanoparticles which then can penetrate biofilms in a weak magnetic field and infect susceptible bacteria. This gives access to bacteria which are otherwise protected within the biofilm. Images showed they effectively killed E. coli and P. aeruginosa over around 90 percent of the film in a test 96-well plate versus less than 40 percent in a plate with phages alone.

Removal of bisphenol A (BPA) from water (Posted 10/08/2017)
A group of 12 New Zealand and US workers have developed an approach that quickly and cheaply removes more than 99 percent of BPA from water. BPA is an endocrine disruptor which is occurs widely in surface waters. The process uses a catalyst which in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide at neutral pH cause the BPA to assemble into larger units called oligomers, which clump together and precipitate out of the water.

Health risks from Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) renovation (Posted 10/08/2017)
United States workers have shown that when using steam for curing CIPP the ejected steam contained a large range of compounds including hazardous air pollutants, a suspected carcinogen, an endocrine disruptor compound, and others that had limited toxicological data. They note that no precautions are normally taken to minimise workers exposure.As with all good papers it recommends further work.

Molecular method for rapid detection of Enterococci. (Posted 31/07/2017)
Workers in Austria have developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification method for detection of enterococci which enables the efficient screening and testing of water samples in low-resource settings lacking sophisticated laboratory equipment and highly trained personnel, requiring only a simple heating block. The quantitative PCR method used routinely in the USA requires a molecular biology laboratory with expensive instrumentation, in the form of a thermal cycler and the data obtained by qPCR must be analysed using complex computer software and interpreted by trained personnel. The new method requires only a simple heating block and the team suggest the LAMP assay has great potential to be combined with lab-on-a-chip systems in a portable, battery-powered device.

WHO report – Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2017 (Posted 27/07/2017)
WHO has just published a progress report on achievement with its Sustainable Development goals for water, sanitaion and hygiene. The report finds that in 2015, 29% of the global population (2.1 billion people) lacked safely managed drinking water services – meaning water at home, available, and safe. 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) lacked safely managed sanitation services – meaning use of a toilet or latrine that leads to treatment or safe disposal of excreta. Data on handwashing were too few to make a global estimate, but in sub-Saharan Africa, 15% of the population had access to a handwashing facility with soap and water.

The 2.1 billion people without safely managed drinking water services includes 1.3 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved water source located within 30 minutes; 263 million people with limited services, or an improved water source requiring more than 30 minutes to collect water; 423 million people taking water from unprotected wells and springs, and 159 million people collecting untreated surface water from lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

The 4.5 billion people without safely managed sanitation services includes 2.1 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved sanitation facility which is not shared; 600 million people with limited services, or an improved sanitation facility which is shared; 856 million people using unprotected latrines or bucket toilets, and 892 million people collecting practising open defecation.

DWI Annual Report 2016 (Posted 27/07/2017)
Once again the Report shows a very high level of compliance and for the first time there were no detections of E coli in any sampkles or water leaving treatment works.

The Inspectorate has developed, and introduced this year, a new measure called the Compliance Risk Index, (CRI). This measures risk calculating a value which takes into account the consequence of failures using the prescribed values in the Regulations, any potential health risks, the population affected and the assessed actions of the company in response. The Inspectorate is developing an Event Risk Index, building upon the principles of the CRI.

Oncogenic virus detection in water. (Posted 13/07/2017)
Using a multiplex bead-based assay to detect oncogenic viruses in water, Italian workers found widespread viral contamination detected in sewage, river, marine, and pool/spa waters with human papillomavirus as the most frequently detected virus. (it would be interesting to apply this methodology to drinking water samples especially if it could also target norovirus)

Simple solar treatment for drinking water (Posted 30/06/2017)

Danish students have developed a special bag known as SolarSack that is filled with four liters of water and placed in the sun for four hours. Using UVA and UVB rays, as well as heat from the sun, the water is cleansed of pathogenic bacteria. The user can then drink the water and reuse the bag for water purification.

The method was approved by the World Health Organization which estimates that between 99.9 and 99.999 percent of the pathogenic bacteria in the water die.

WHO publishes document on mixtures of chemicals in source and drinking water. (Posted 30/06/2017)
When chemicals in the environment are combined together, there is potential for a combined adverse effect, even if each individual component is harmless or present at levels at which adverse effects are not expected to occur. WHO launched on 20 June 2017 a document on mixtures of chemicals in source and drinking water , which acknowledges the number of frameworks, procedures and tools that are being utilized to identify appropriate groupings of chemicals for assessment and to evaluate potential interactions between these chemicals but concentrates on the application and relevance of the WHO (2009) framework. The document is extremely comprehensive and cannot be summarised here.

Potential health impact of silver for drinking water treatment (Posted 30/06/2017)
A recent paper considers published data on the use of silver for drinking water treatment and concludes that while none of the studies alone are definitive, and can't be used to determine a safe level of consumption, it concludes that the balance of evidence suggests there is the chance of damage to DNA.

Method for the characterization and operation of UV-LED for water treatment. (Posted 23/06/2016)
UV-LED is being deveeloped and may well become a viable alternative to conventional UV lamps. A protocol has been developed as a guideline that allows the operation and control of UV-LEDs in any structure, as well as accurately measuring the UV-LED output. Such information is essential for performing a reliable UV-LED assessment for the inactivation of microorganisms and for obtaining precise kinetic data.

Reliability of pathogen control in direct potable reuse (DPR) (Posted 23/06/2017)
1-yr performance evaluation of a 1-mgd direct potable reuse plant using online data demonstrated consistent pathogen removal exceeding performance and risk goals while QMRA confirmed system resilience to failures of varying duration.By distributing the role of contaminant removal between several processes, a multiple barrier approach reduces the impact of any single process failure thereby reducing the chances of a complete, or catastrophic, system failure. Selecting barriers with different forms of contaminant control—physical, chemical, and biological—also improves the system's ability to mitigate the wide range of potential contaminants. The treatment train demonstrated reliable pathogen control that met or exceeded the risk goals used by the U.S., WHO, Australia, and other countries. By providing protection equal to or greater than conventional drinking water sources, DPR should be considered a viable alternative to supplement existing water supplies.

Gastrointestinal illness linked to incidents in drinking water distribution networks in Sweden (Posted 22/06/2017)
A recent epidemiological study carried out in Sweden showed a significantly elevated risk of vomiting and acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) in incident affected areas, compared to reference areas. Risk factors, during the incidents, such as sewage and drinking water pipelines at the same level in the trench, were associated with an elevated risk of AGI and vomiting. Safety measures taken during repair work, like flushing, were also associated with an elevated risk of AGI and vomiting.

Perceptions of water systems (Posted 08/06/2017)
A detailed study has been published of how much ( little?) students understand of how drinking water reaches the home and wastewater leaving the home is treated. Although the study was carried out in Indiana similar results would be likely to be applicable in many developed countries. The paper is worth reading in detail. When c.450 students were asked to draw diagrams of water treatment and sewage disposal 29% did not draw a water treatment plant and 64% didn't draw a watewater treatment plant.

1 in 5 students showed wastewater being directly returned to the river.

Guide to water deregulation (Posted 08/06/2017)
A useful guide to water deregulation in England and Wales has been published. FWR does not endorse the guide nor the services of its producer but simply draws attention to its availability.

Significance of Estrone as an Environmental Estrogen (Posted 08/06/2017)
Work on endocrine disruptors has concentrated on17β-estradiol (β-E2) and 17α-ethinylestradiol, due both to their prevalence in the environment and strong estrogenic potency. A third steroid, estrone (E1), also can occur at high concentrations in surface waters but generally has been of lesser concern due to its relatively lower affinity for vertebrate estrogen receptors. Lab studies demonstrated that E1 can be readily converted to β-E2 by fish and the authors consider that the two steroids perhaps should be considered equivalent in terms of their potential ecological hazard.

On-Line monitoring for water pollutants (Posted 08/06/2017)
Chemosensors operate according to physical principles, without sample collection (online), and are capable of supplying parameter values continuously and in real-time . A recent review paper contains a comprehensive survey of existing and expected online monitoring technologies for measurement/detection of pollutants in water. The state-of-the-art in online water monitoring and contaminant warning systems is presented.

Improved molecular method for detection of enterococci. (Posted 08/06/2017)
The USEPA recommends use of qPCR for detection of enterococci while the UK “The Microbiology of Drinking Water (2012) -Part 5” only covers cultural methods for enterococci. A recent paper describes a novel screening method for the molecular detection of Enterococcus spp. by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). This procedure allows molecular diagnostics with simple or no instrumentation and is equally sensitive and even more specific than the qPCR assay.

Legionella detection in the field in under 2 hours. (Posted 08/06/2017)
Culture methods for Legionella take several days while qPCR-based methods are also slow, requiring at least a day from sample to result, albeit mainly due to the need for sample transport to a centralized laboratory. A method has been developed for L. pneumophila concentration and detection with live/dead differentiation under field conditions. Using an on-filter direct amplification L. pneumophila could be detected in 1–2 h at ∼1 cfu/100 ml of tap water.

Pharmaceuticals, Benzene, Toluene and Chlorobenzene Removal from Contaminated Groundwater by Combined UV/H2O2 Photo-oxidation and Aeration (Posted 11/5/2017)
A group of mainly Czech workers studied a groundwater site polluted mainly by recalcitrant psychopharmaceuticals and monoaromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, toluene and chlorobenzene. Employing an advanced oxidation technique of UV radiation with hydrogen peroxide dosing in combination with simple aeration pretreatment they showed that UV/H2O2 was an efficient and necessary step for degradation of the pharmaceuticals while the monoaromatics were already removed during the aeration step.

Water from low humidity air (Posted 08/05/2017)
A team of mostly US based researchers has developed a metal-organic framework (MOF) material that has a steep increase in water uptake over a narrow relative humidity range range to harvest water, using only ambient sunlight to heat the material. They obtained 2.8 liters of water per kilogram of MOF daily at 20% RH.