Cryptosporidium and the Milwaukee Incident

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by Kim R. Fox, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, United States,
Darren A. Lytle, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Issues in Water and Wastewater Treatment:

Abstract: In early 1993, Milwaukee, Wisconsin reported a sharp increase in the number of diarrhea patients and shortage of over the counter drugs for diarrhea control at local pharmacies. This increase in diarrhea was determined to be caused by the organism Cryptosporidium. Investigations show that the drinking water may have been partially responsible for the distribution of the organism around Milwaukee. Research shows that this organism is very resistant to chlorination and its removal is dependent on the operation of a filtration facility. Operation of a good filtration facility must also include a good control on coagulant/flocculant dosage for any change in effluent turbidity may result in large changes in particulates passing through the filters and in Milwaukee, the inability to maintain a low filter effluent turbidity may have allowed Cryptosporidium oocysts to pass thru the treatment plant.

Subject Headings: Water treatment plants | Microbes | Turbidity | Effluents | Filters | Drinking water | Milwaukee | Wisconsin | North America | United States

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