|STOKDYK, JOEL - Us Geological Survey (USGS)|
|KIEKE, BURNEY - Marshfield Clinic Research|
|FIRNSTAHL, AARON - Us Geological Survey (USGS)|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2019
Publication Date: 2/28/2019
Citation: Burch, T.R., Stokdyk, J.P., Spencer, S.K., Kieke, B.A., Firnstahl, A.D., Borchardt, M.A. 2019. The health burden of private wells contaminated by gastrointestinal pathogens in the fractured dolomite aquifer of Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. Meeting Abstract. Feb. 28 - Mar. 1, 2019.
Technical Abstract: Private wells are an important source of drinking water in Kewaunee County, serving approximately 12,000 residents. Due to the region’s fractured bedrock aquifer, these wells are vulnerable to contamination by gastrointestinal pathogens originating from land-applied dairy manure and private septic systems, but the magnitude of the health burden associated with this contamination is unknown. This study combines quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) with a year-long pathogen occurrence study (n = 138 well samples) in order to predict the total cases of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) caused by private well contamination in Kewaunee County. It also uses microbial source tracking (MST) to attribute cases to each of the two major fecal sources present in the county: dairy manure and human sewage. Assuming that all private well users drink their water untreated, preliminary results suggest that private well contamination could be responsible for as many as 461 total cases of AGI per year in the county. Furthermore, 181 of these cases could be attributed to a dairy manure source, while 87 could be attributed to human sewage (193 cases could not be attributed based on MST). Exposure to Cryptosporidium parvum in private well water was predicted to cause 300 cases of AGI per year, the most out of all 9 pathogens included in the QMRA. These results have important implications for the management of fecal waste and groundwater quality in Kewaunee County.