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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11163-11177; doi:10.3390/ijerph120911163

Quality of Drinking Water Treated at Point of Use in Residential Healthcare Facilities for the Elderly

1
Department of Education Sciences, Hygiene, University of Bologna, Via San Giacomo 12, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Unit of Hygiene, Public Health and Medical Statistics, University of Bologna, Via San Giacomo 12, 40126 Bologna, Italy
3
Department of Public Health, UO Food Hygiene and Nutrition, Local Health Unit of Bologna, Via Altura 5, 40100 Bologna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicholas Frederick Gray and Panagiotis Karanis
Received: 23 July 2015 / Revised: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Microbial Pollution and Disinfection)
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Abstract

Municipal tap water is increasingly treated at the point of use (POU) to improve the acceptability and palatability of its taste. The aim of this study was to assess the bacteriologic and nutritional characteristics of tap water treated at the point of use in residential healthcare facilities for the elderly. Two types of POU devices were used: microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) and reverse-osmosis water dispensers (ROWDs). All samples of water entering the devices and leaving them were tested for the bacteriological parameters set by Italian regulations for drinking water and for opportunistic pathogens associated with various infections in healthcare settings; in addition, the degree of mineralization of the water was assessed. The results revealed widespread bacterial contamination in the POU treatment devices, particularly from potentially pathogenic species. As expected, the use of ROWDs led to a decrease in the saline content of the water. In conclusion, the use of POU treatment in healthcare facilities for the elderly can be considered advisable only if the devices are constantly and carefully maintained. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; point-of-use devices; healthcare facilities for the elderly; opportunistic pathogens; mineral content of drinking water drinking water; point-of-use devices; healthcare facilities for the elderly; opportunistic pathogens; mineral content of drinking water
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sacchetti, R.; De Luca, G.; Guberti, E.; Zanetti, F. Quality of Drinking Water Treated at Point of Use in Residential Healthcare Facilities for the Elderly. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11163-11177.

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