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Open AccessArticle

Home Water Treatment Habits and Effectiveness in a Rural Arizona Community

Environmental Health Sciences, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, 1295 N. Martin Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Superfund Research Program, The University of Arizona, 1110 E. South Campus Dr., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Research Avenue North, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AP, UK
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210207, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc Henry
Water 2015, 7(3), 1217-1231;
Received: 16 January 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Drinking water quality in the United States (US) is among the safest in the world. However, many residents, often in rural areas, rely on unregulated private wells or small municipal utilities for water needs. These utilities may violate the Safe Drinking Water Act contaminant guidelines, often because they lack the required financial resources. Residents may use alternative water sources or install a home water treatment system. Despite increased home water treatment adoption, few studies have examined their use and effectiveness in the US. Our study addresses this knowledge gap by examining home water treatment in a rural Arizona community. Water samples were analyzed for metal(loid)s, and home treatment and demographic data were recorded in 31 homes. Approximately 42% of homes treated their water. Independent of source water quality, residents with higher income (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.25; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] (1.00–1.64)) and education levels (OR = 1.49; 95%CI (1.12–2.12)) were more likely to treat their water. Some contaminant concentrations were effectively reduced with treatment, while some were not. We conclude that increased educational outreach on contaminant testing and treatment, especially to rural areas with endemic water contamination, would result in a greater public health impact. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; Safe Drinking Water Act; reverse osmosis; rural health; arsenic drinking water; Safe Drinking Water Act; reverse osmosis; rural health; arsenic
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Lothrop, N.; Wilkinson, S.T.; Verhougstraete, M.; Sugeng, A.; Loh, M.M.; Klimecki, W.; Beamer, P.I. Home Water Treatment Habits and Effectiveness in a Rural Arizona Community. Water 2015, 7, 1217-1231.

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