Healthy Vinton: A Health Impact Assessment Focused on Water and Sanitation in a Small Rural Town on the U.S.-Mexico Border
2. Experimental Section
2.1. Case Study Description
2.1.1. Water System.
2.1.2. Wastewater Collection System.
|Water System||Number of Connections||Number of Households with One or Two Water Samples||Number of Surveys||Households with both Water Samples and Survey|
|Vinton Hills Subdivision||158||17||40||15|
|Vinton Village Estates||82||9||24||6|
|Hillside Water Works||52||13||12||10|
|Vinton Mobile Home Park||36||0 **||0 **||0 **|
|El Paso Water Utilities||92||12||22||6|
|Villa Alegre Estates||22||3||5||2|
|Private Wells||113 *||15||18||10|
(% of Total Households)
|555||69 (12%)||121 (22%)||49 (9%)|
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Demographic Characteristics of Vinton and the Participants in Household Surveys in Vinton and Westway
|Total households surveyed||121||50|
|Median age (respondent)||48||50|
|Total population of participating households||485||170|
|Population of participating households by age range|
|5 years of age or less||53||11||19||11|
|6 to 17 years of age||98||20||30||18|
|18 to 64 years of age||300||62||106||62|
|65 and more years of age||34||7||15||9|
|Mean school years of education (respondent)||11||9.6|
|Average household size||4.0||3.4|
|Average years living in this town||15.6||16.7|
|Median household income estimation||$25,500||$18,000|
|Household income by range|
|Preferred language by participants|
(% of total households contacted who agreed to participate)
3.2. Water Quality Survey
|SAMPLE INFORMATION||ARSENIC †||TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS ††|
|Water Sources (total Number connections)||Number of Samples (% of total connections)||Range in As Conc. µg/L||Mean As Conc. ± St. Dev. * µg/L||Number Samples >MCL for As (% > MCL)||Range in TDS Conc. mg/L||Mean TDS Conc. ± St. Dev. * mg/L||Number Samples >Standard for TDS (% > MCL)|
|Hillside Water Works (52)||23 (44%)||7.4–12.3||10.9 a ± 0.9||22 (96%)||530–830||791 b ± 59||0 (0%)|
|Vinton Village Estates (82)||16 (20%)||8.9–11.1||9.5 a,b ± 0.6||4 (25%)||642–692||666 b ± 16||0 (0%)|
|Domestic Wells (113)||22 (20%)||2.6–15.8||8.3 a,b ± 5.2||9 (39%)||482–1480||832 a,b ± 217||3 (14%)|
|El Paso Water Utilities (92)||22 (24%)||5.8–13.0||6.7 b ± 1.5||1 (5%)||230–802||507 b ± 94||0 (0%)|
|Vinton Hills Subdivision (158)||25 (16%)||4.6–5.6||5.0 b ± 0.3||0 (0%)||850–946||899 a,b ± 24||0 (0%)|
|Villa Alegre Estates (22)||5 (23%)||4.6–5.4||4.9 b ± 0.3||0 (0%)||988–1020||1002 a ± 13||2 (40%)|
|Total (519)||113 (22%)||2.6–15.8||7.8 ± 3.0||36 (32%)||230–1480||759 ± 182||5 (4%)|
3.3. Household Survey
3.3.1. Practices and Perceptions Regarding Water and Sanitation
|El Paso Water Utilities 1||22||$58.88||$13||$300|
|Local Wells/Private Providers 2||77||$32.94||$12||$100|
|Vinton Hills Subdivision||38||$33.39||$12||$86|
|Vinton Village Estates||22||$27.21||$12||$62|
|Villa Alegre Estates||5||$28.40||$17||$40|
|Hillside Water Works||12||$43.92||$20||$100|
|All Purchased Piped Water 3||99||$38.71||$12||$300|
|Bottled Water 4||103||$22.52||$2||$100|
|El Paso Water Utilities 6||46||$71.11||$35||$175|
|Estimated Sewage 7||46||$21.33||$10||$52|
|Estimated Water Only 8||46||$49.78||$25||$123|
|Bottled Water 9||41||$18.56||$1||$75|
3.3.2. Public Health Condition: Self-Reported Illnesses
3.4. Discussion of Contaminants in Water, Health Outcomes, and Relative Risks in Vinton
3.4.1. Arsenic in Drinking Water
3.4.2. Total Dissolved Solids in Water
3.4.3. Bacteria and Other Biological Contaminants
- Campylobacteriosis—716 cases/100,000 people
- Salmonellosis—14.5 cases/100,000 people
- E. coli—0.24 cases/100,000 people
3.4.4. Relative Risks
3.5. Other Findings: Results from Focus Groups and Interviews
3.6. Summary of Existing Conditions, Impacts, Recommendations, and Outcomes
|Poor water quality: As, TDS, Coliform Bacteria||Gastrointestinal ailments|
|Reliance on bottled water for drinking||High cost of drinking water|
|Poor septic tank management||Risk of overflows leading to:|
Contamination of groundwater
|Inadequate fire hydrants||High cost of fire insurance|
Inability to fight fires
|Lack of local health clinics||Lack of local access to health care, especially preventative care|
|Lack of water availability at local parks||Lack of drinking water fountains and shade lead to less use|
|Prolonged drought||Unreliability of water supply; periods of no service|
|Lack of retail businesses||Lack of economic vitality|
Poor job opportunities locally
- Connect to EPWU for water and sanitation; this should lead to improved public health, economic development, and improved quality of life in the community.
- Seek financial assistance for the project from government agencies, including not only assistance for the basic infrastructure but also assistance for individual households to meet the costs of connection; this should lead to reducing the financial burden on the residents, especially those who are disadvantaged by low income and limited resources.
- Install the appropriate number of functioning water hydrants; this should lower the cost of fire insurance and improve public safety.
- Develop a strategic plan for economic and community development; this should improve economic opportunity and overall vitality of the community.
- Develop and implement educational campaigns to educate residents, politicians and decision makers, and youth of the benefits of improving water quality and sanitation in terms of public health; this should improve political and overall community support for the proposed infrastructure projects.
- Develop and implement an educational campaign focused on water conservation measures that might help residents reduce water use, lessening their monthly fees, i.e., improved water efficient appliances, water efficient showerheads and toilets, and water-efficient landscaping; this should lessen the financial burden of higher monthly fees for water for many households.
3.7. General Observations and Lessons Learned from this HIA
3.7.1. Lack of Data
3.7.2. Culture and Language
3.7.3. Building Awareness, Education, Civic Engagement and Discourse
3.7.4. The Value of HIA to Informed Decision Making
3.7.5. Access to Water, Human Security and Resilience
3.7.6. University Participation
Conflicts of Interest
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Hargrove, W.L.; Juárez-Carillo, P.M.; Korc, M. Healthy Vinton: A Health Impact Assessment Focused on Water and Sanitation in a Small Rural Town on the U.S.-Mexico Border . Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3864-3888. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120403864
Hargrove WL, Juárez-Carillo PM, Korc M. Healthy Vinton: A Health Impact Assessment Focused on Water and Sanitation in a Small Rural Town on the U.S.-Mexico Border . International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015; 12(4):3864-3888. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120403864Chicago/Turabian Style
Hargrove, William L., Patricia M. Juárez-Carillo, and Marcelo Korc. 2015. "Healthy Vinton: A Health Impact Assessment Focused on Water and Sanitation in a Small Rural Town on the U.S.-Mexico Border " International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12, no. 4: 3864-3888. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120403864