Application of QMRA to prioritise water supplies for Cryptosporidium risk in New South Wales, Australia

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Petterson, S
Bradford-Hartke, Z
Leask, S
Jarvis, L
Wall, K
Byleveld, P
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2021
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A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) framework was applied to assess 312 drinking water supply systems across regional New South Wales (NSW). The framework was needed to support the implementation of a recommendation in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) for appropriate treatment barriers to be operating in systems ‘at risk’ for Cryptosporidium. The objective was to prioritise systems so that those with the highest risk could be identified and addressed first. The framework was developed in a pilot study of 30 systems, selected to represent the range of water supplies across regional NSW. From these, source water categories were defined to represent local conditions with reference to the literature and Cryptosporidium risk factors. Values for Cryptosporidium oocyst concentration were assigned to the categories to allow quantification of the health risk from those water sources. The framework was then used to assess the risks in all 312 regional drinking water supply systems. Combining the disciplined approach of QMRA with simple catchment and treatment information and categorical risk outputs provided a useful and transparent method for prioritising systems for further investigation and potential risk management intervention. The risk rankings for drinking water supplies from this QMRA process have been used to set priorities for a large State Government funding program.

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Science of the Total Environment
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784
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Public health
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Petterson, S; Bradford-Hartke, Z; Leask, S; Jarvis, L; Wall, K; Byleveld, P, Application of QMRA to prioritise water supplies for Cryptosporidium risk in New South Wales, Australia, Science of the Total Environment, 2021, 784, pp. 147107
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