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Special Issue "Water Quality and Health"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mustafa M. Aral

1. Vice President for Int. Academic Affairs and Research and Acting Dean College of Engineering; Bartın University, President's Bldg., Agdaci Mevkii., Bartın 74100, Turkey.2. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 404 894-2243
Fax: +1 404 894-5111
Interests: large scale environmental systems modeling; climate change and sea level rise; water and health systems policy, adaptation and mitigation; ecosystem restoration and resilience analysis; sensors and critical infrastructure protection and management; trans-border water assessments and management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue on Water Quality and Health that will be published in the journal Water focuses on global and regional human and ecological health consequences of degradation of water quality in natural and engineered environments. The purpose of the Special Issue is to provide a unique platform for scientists and engineers, who are specializing in diverse fields of this research area, to share and present their findings in an integrated multidisciplinary venue. The issue will provide a venue to exchange ideas and share information on state-of-the-art research for the interpretation, analysis and management of health effects of global and regional water quality degradation due to a multitude of impacts. In doing so, in addition to dissemination of most current scientific knowledge, the purpose is to break the language and methodological barriers that exist between the diverse research disciplines that are involved in this field and expose the readership to the needs and the tools that are available in this area of research. Our goal is to disseminate research findings without the boundaries of compartmentalized disciplines. This integrative and multidisciplinary goal is planned to be a unique feature of this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Mustafa M. Aral
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water quality
  • exposure
  • health
  • epidemiology
  • climate
  • ecosystems
  • modeling
  • risk analysis
  • policy

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Assessment of Comprehensive Water Quality Considering the Release of Sediment Pollution
Water 2017, 9(4), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040275
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprehensive assessment of water quality is an important technological measure for water environmental management and protection. Previous assessment methods tend to ignore the influences of sediment pollutant release and dynamic change of the water boundary. In view of this, this paper explores a [...] Read more.
Comprehensive assessment of water quality is an important technological measure for water environmental management and protection. Previous assessment methods tend to ignore the influences of sediment pollutant release and dynamic change of the water boundary. In view of this, this paper explores a new method for comprehensive water quality assessment. Laboratory simulation experiments are conducted to analyze the influences of sediment pollutant release on water quality, and the results are taken as increments, coupled with original samples, to constitute a new set of evaluation samples. Dynamic and comprehensive water quality assessment methods are created based on a principal component analysis (PCA)/analytic hierarchy process (AHP)–variable fuzzy pattern recognition (VFPR) model and adopted to evaluate water quality. A geographic information system (GIS) is applied to visually display the results of water quality assessment and the change of the water boundary. This study takes Biliuhe Reservoir as an engineering example. The results show the change process of the water boundary, during which the water level is reduced from 63.10 m to 54.15 m. The reservoir water quality is fine, of which the water quality level (GB3838-2002) is between level 2 and level 3, and closer to level 2 taking no account of sediment pollutant release. The water quality of Biliuhe Reservoir, overall, is worse in summer and better in winter during the monitoring period. Meanwhile, the water quality shows the tendency of being better from upstream to downstream, and the water quality in the surface layer is better than that in the bottom layer. However, water quality is much closer, or even inferior, to level 3 when considering the release of nitrogen and phosphorus in sediments, and up to 42.7% of the original assessment results of the samples undergo changes. It is concluded that the proposed method is comparatively reasonable as it avoids neglecting sediment pollutant release in the water quality assessment, and the presentation of the evaluation results and change of the water boundary is intuitive with the application of GIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Resistance Profiling and Genotyping of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Collected from an Urban River Basin in the Provincial City of Miyazaki, Japan
Water 2017, 9(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020079
Received: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 30 January 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The distribution characteristics of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and the resistance of enterococcus isolates to various antibiotics were investigated in Yae River, which flows through Miyazaki city, Japan. The prevalence of VRE among specimens collected from the urban river basin using mEI agar was [...] Read more.
The distribution characteristics of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and the resistance of enterococcus isolates to various antibiotics were investigated in Yae River, which flows through Miyazaki city, Japan. The prevalence of VRE among specimens collected from the urban river basin using mEI agar was 0.9% (2 of 226 enterococcal isolates). In the 333 enterococcal isolates obtained using mEI agar or vancomycin-supplemented mEI agar, the possession of the vancomycin-resistant genes (vanA, vanB, vanC1, and vanC2/C3) was examined using multiplex PCR analysis. Although VRE possessing vanA and vanB were not detected in any isolates, isolates possessing vanC2/C3 were detected at all sampling sites and on all days. All isolates (101 strains) possessing vanC2/C3 that were obtained on vancomycin-supplemented mEI agar were identified as E. casseliflavus and analyzed for genotypes using pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. These E. casseliflavus isolates revealed them to be genetically highly divergent strains, suggesting that many contamination sources were present in this study area. Many of the enterococcal isolates obtained were resistant to erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline; enterococci distributed in the studied urban river basin are resistant to universally applicable antibiotics. These results indicate that VRE carrying vanC2/C3 are distributed in Yae River, and the sources of VRE are scattered across the river basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of the Geogenic Metal Background in Surface Water: Benchmarking Methodology for the Rivers of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Water 2017, 9(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020075
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Geogenic concentrations are defined as those concentrations that represent the natural background without any anthropogenic influence. The paper describes a statistical method for determining geogenic metal concentrations in rivers based on the concept of “aggregated riverine landscapes” (ARLs), which applies to all rivers [...] Read more.
Geogenic concentrations are defined as those concentrations that represent the natural background without any anthropogenic influence. The paper describes a statistical method for determining geogenic metal concentrations in rivers based on the concept of “aggregated riverine landscapes” (ARLs), which applies to all rivers in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt (Germany). The methodology includes the pre-selection of existing data by eliminating all sampling locations from the database which have anthropogenic influence, the GIS-based allocation of the sampling locations with respect to the respective ARL being the evaluation units, and the assessment of the geogenic background by statistical calculation of the 90th percentile. After validation of the methodology, the existing database was complemented by additional measurements for regions with data gaps. About 85,000 records of water samples, 1400 records of sediment samples, and 920 records of suspended particulate samples were used for the determination of the geogenic metal concentrations in the rivers of Saxony-Anhalt. The investigation included the parameters Al, Ag, As, B, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Ti, U, V, and Zn. The investigation results offer the determination of regions with increased background levels for certain metals or metalloids in Saxony-Anhalt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Geogenic Factors on Water Quality and Its Relation to Human Health around Mount Ida, Turkey
Water 2017, 9(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9010066
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (21259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water–rock interactions strongly influence water quality. Waters originating from highly altered zones affect human health. Mount Ida region in western Anatolia is an example for such geogenic interactions and additional anthropogenic impacts. A water quality monitoring study was held and a total of [...] Read more.
Water–rock interactions strongly influence water quality. Waters originating from highly altered zones affect human health. Mount Ida region in western Anatolia is an example for such geogenic interactions and additional anthropogenic impacts. A water quality monitoring study was held and a total of 189 samples were collected from 63 monitoring stations to characterize the quality of water resources and its relation with human health. The results indicated that waters originating from altered volcanic rocks that are mainly used for drinking purposes have low pH, high conductivity and elevated trace element levels. In addition, a number of acidic mining lakes were formed in the open pits of abandoned mine sites in the study area and pyrite oxidation in altered volcanic rocks resulted in extremely acidic, high mineral content and toxic waters that demonstrate an eminent threat for the environmental health in the area. Overall, the water quality constituents in Mount Ida region had a spatially variable pattern and were locally found to exceed the national and international standards, mainly due to geogenic alteration zones and anthropogenic intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution and Potential Health Risks of Arsenic, Selenium, and Fluorine in Natural Waters in Tibet, China
Water 2016, 8(12), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120568
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The contents of major and trace elements were analyzed in 204 different types of water samples in 138 villages across 51 counties and cities of Tibet. The average concentrations of arsenic (As), selenium, and fluorine for each water category decreased in the following [...] Read more.
The contents of major and trace elements were analyzed in 204 different types of water samples in 138 villages across 51 counties and cities of Tibet. The average concentrations of arsenic (As), selenium, and fluorine for each water category decreased in the following order: arsenic (in μg/L: hot spring 241.37 > lake 27.46 > stream 22.11 > shallow well 11.57 > deep well 6.22), selenium (in μg/L: deep well 0.85 > shallow well 0.68 > stream 0.62 > hot spring 0.39 > lake 0.36), and fluorine (in mg/L: hot spring 2.10 > lake 1.06 > deep well 0.45 > stream 0.20 > shallow well 0.15). The distribution of arsenic in Tibetan waters ranged between 77.35 μg/L in Ali prefecture and 1.17 μg/L in Chamdo prefecture, with intermediate values of 4.39, 2.52, 2.10, 1.68, and 1.51 μg/L in the prefectures of Shigatse, Nagchu, Lhasa, Lhoka, and Nyingchi, respectively. Carbonatite is a major source of elements in these waters. The non-carcinogenic risk in Tibet caused by heavy metals in drinking water is low overall, except in Ali prefecture’s surface and shallow ground waters, which contain high levels of As. Thus, deep well water in Tibet is safe to drink. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the UK Online Interest in Substances of the EU Watchlist for Water Monitoring: Diclofenac, Estradiol, and the Macrolide Antibiotics
Water 2016, 8(11), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110542
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (6768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the increased interest in micropollutants, this paper aims at quantifying and analyzing the UK online interest in Diclofenac, Estradiol, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, and Erythromycin, substances included in the EU watchlist for monitoring, in order to examine if the public’s online behavior and [...] Read more.
Due to the increased interest in micropollutants, this paper aims at quantifying and analyzing the UK online interest in Diclofenac, Estradiol, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, and Erythromycin, substances included in the EU watchlist for monitoring, in order to examine if the public’s online behavior and the use of these substances, in terms of issued prescriptions, are correlated. Using time series data from Google Trends from January 2004 to December 2014, an analysis of these substances in the UK, and in each UK region, i.e., England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, is at first performed, followed by an analysis of interest by substance. The results show high interest in Diclofenac with a slight decline, while the Macrolides are significantly less popular though increasing. For Estradiol, the interest is low and declining throughout the examined period, in contrast to the scientific community, where Estradiol is the most studied substance. Prescription items and Google hits are highly correlated in the UK for Diclofenac, Azithromycin, and Clarithromycin, while no correlation is observed for Estradiol. Results from this study indicated that online search traffic data can be valuable in examining the public’s online behavior towards the monitored micropollutants, and could assist with the evaluation and forecasting of their concentrations in the waste, surface, and ground water in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Unified Analysis of Multi-Chamber Contact Tanks and Mixing Efficiency Evaluation Based on Vorticity Field. Part II: Transport Analysis
Water 2016, 8(11), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110537
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 12 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mixing characteristics of multi-chambered contact tank are analyzed employing the validated three-dimensional numerical model developed in the companion paper. Based on the flow characterization, novel volumetric mixing efficiency definitions are proposed for the assessment of the hydrodynamic and chemical transport properties of the [...] Read more.
Mixing characteristics of multi-chambered contact tank are analyzed employing the validated three-dimensional numerical model developed in the companion paper. Based on the flow characterization, novel volumetric mixing efficiency definitions are proposed for the assessment of the hydrodynamic and chemical transport properties of the contact tank and its chambers. Residence time distribution functions are analyzed not only at the outlet of each chamber but also inside the chambers using the efficiency definitions for both Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) and large eddy simulation (LES) results. A novel tracer mixing index is defined to characterize short circuiting and mixing effects of the contact system. Comparisons of the results of these indexes for RANS and LES solutions indicate that mixing characteristics are stronger in LES due to the unsteady turbulent eddy mixing even though short circuiting effects are also more prominent in LES results. This result indicates that the mixing analysis based on the LES results simulates the mixing characteristics instantaneously, which is more realistic than that in RANS. Since LES analysis can capture turbulent eddy mixing better than RANS analysis, the interaction of recirculation and jet zones are captured more effectively in LES, which tends to predict higher turbulent mixing in the contact system. The analysis also shows that the mixing efficiency of each chamber of the contact tank is different, thus it is necessary to consider distinct chemical release and volumetric designs for each chamber in order to maximize the mixing efficiency of the overall process in a contact tank system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Non-Point Source Total Phosphorus Pollution from Different Land Use and Soil Types in a Mid-High Latitude Region of China
Water 2016, 8(11), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110505
Received: 4 September 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (15769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transport characteristics of phosphorus in soil and the assessment of its environmental risk have become hot topics in the environmental and agricultural fields. The Sanjiang Plain is an important grain production base in China, and it is characterised by serious land use [...] Read more.
The transport characteristics of phosphorus in soil and the assessment of its environmental risk have become hot topics in the environmental and agricultural fields. The Sanjiang Plain is an important grain production base in China, and it is characterised by serious land use change caused by large-scale agricultural exploitation. Agricultural inputs and tillage management have destroyed the soil nutrient balance formed over long-term conditions. There are few studies on non-point source phosphorus pollution in the Sanjiang Plain, which is the largest swampy low plain in a mid-high-latitude region in China. Most studies have focused on the water quality of rivers in marsh areas, or the export mechanism of phosphorus from specific land uses. They were conducted using experimental methods or empirical models, and need further development towards mechanism models and the macro-scale. The question is how to find a way to couple processes in phosphorus cycling and a distributed hydrological model considering local hydrological features. In this study, we report an attempt to use a distributed phosphorus transport model to analyse non-point source total phosphorus pollution from different land uses and soil types on the Sanjiang Plain. The total phosphorus concentration generally shows an annually increasing trend in the study area. The total phosphorus load intensity is heterogeneous in different land use types and different soil types. The average total phosphorus load intensity of different land use types can be ranked in descending order from paddy field, dry land, wetlands, grassland, and forestland. The average total phosphorus load intensity of different soil types can be ranked in descending order: paddy soil, bog soil, planosol, meadow soil, black soil, and dark brown earth. The dry land and paddy fields account for the majority of total phosphorus load in the study area. This is mainly caused by extensive use of phosphate fertilizer on the cultivated land. This has important implications for future agricultural management and non-point source control in this agricultural area of the mid-high latitude region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Unified Analysis of Multi-Chamber Contact Tanks and Mixing Efficiency Based on Vorticity Field. Part I: Hydrodynamic Analysis
Water 2016, 8(11), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110495
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 9 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (8681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multi-chamber contact tanks have been extensively used in industry for water treatment to provide potable water to communities, which is essential for human health. To evaluate the efficiency of this treatment process, flow and tracer transport analysis have been used in the literature [...] Read more.
Multi-chamber contact tanks have been extensively used in industry for water treatment to provide potable water to communities, which is essential for human health. To evaluate the efficiency of this treatment process, flow and tracer transport analysis have been used in the literature using Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) and large-eddy simulations (LES). The purpose of this study is two-fold. First a unifying analysis of the flow field is presented and similarities and differences in the numerical results that were reported in the literature are discussed. Second, the vorticity field is identified as the key parameter to use in separating the mean flow (jet zone) and the recirculating zones. Based on the concepts of vorticity gradient and flexion product, it is demonstrated that the separation of the recirculation zone and the jet zone, fluid-fluid flow separation, is possible. The separation of the recirculation zones and vortex core lines are characterized using the definition of the Lamb vector. The separated regions are used to characterize the mixing efficiency in the chambers of the contact tank. This analysis indicates that the recirculation zone and jet zone formation are three-dimensional and require simulations over a long period of time to reach stability. It is recognized that the characteristics of the jet zones and the recirculation zones are distinct for each chamber and they follow a particular pattern and symmetry between the alternating chambers. Hydraulic efficiency coefficients calculated for each chamber show that the chambers having an inlet adjacent to the free surface may be designed to have larger volumes than the chambers having wall bounded inlets to improve the efficiency of the contact tank. This is a simple design alternative that would increase the efficiency of the system. Other observations made through the chamber analysis are also informative in redefining the characteristics of the efficiency of the contact tank system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Reconstructing Historical VOC Concentrations in Drinking Water for Epidemiological Studies at a U.S. Military Base: Summary of Results
Water 2016, 8(10), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100449
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 13 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A U.S. government health agency conducted epidemiological studies to evaluate whether exposures to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOC) at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were associated with increased health risks to children and adults. These health studies [...] Read more.
A U.S. government health agency conducted epidemiological studies to evaluate whether exposures to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOC) at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were associated with increased health risks to children and adults. These health studies required knowledge of contaminant concentrations in drinking water—at monthly intervals—delivered to family housing, barracks, and other facilities within the study area. Because concentration data were limited or unavailable during much of the period of contamination (1950s–1985), the historical reconstruction process was used to quantify estimates of monthly mean contaminant-specific concentrations. This paper integrates many efforts, reports, and papers into a synthesis of the overall approach to, and results from, a drinking-water historical reconstruction study. Results show that at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant (WTP) reconstructed (simulated) tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 183 micrograms per liter (μg/L) compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 215 μg/L and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 μg/L during the period November 1957–February 1987. At the Hadnot Point WTP, reconstructed trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 783 μg/L compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 1400 μg/L during the period August 1953–December 1984. The Hadnot Point WTP also provided contaminated drinking water to the Holcomb Boulevard housing area continuously prior to June 1972, when the Holcomb Boulevard WTP came on line (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 32 μg/L) and intermittently during the period June 1972–February 1985 (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 66 μg/L). Applying the historical reconstruction process to quantify contaminant-specific monthly drinking-water concentrations is advantageous for epidemiological studies when compared to using the classical exposed versus unexposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
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