American Society of Civil Engineers

Cryptosporidium and the Milwaukee Incident

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

pp. 50-57

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Document type: Conference 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.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Drinking water
Water supply
Water treatment

Author Keywords:
Water treatment
Chlorination - Coagulation - Diseases - Filters (for fluids) - Flocculation - Geographical regions - Inspection - Removal - Water filtration - Water treatment plants
Coagulant dosage - Cryptosporidium - Diarrhea - Dichromate - Drinking water - Effluent turbidity - Filtration facility - Flocculant dosage - Oocysts - Zeta potential measurement