A Slimy Growth Inside the Pipes in Your House Can Make You Ill or Cause Death: Contributes to Outbreaks Causing over 7M illnesses & 6,000 deaths Every Year.

SITUATION:
America’s newest water safety challenge is in the pipes in your house.
US water supply is facing a new challenge — a slimy growth inside these pipes.
The problem or the need for action seems to be with private homes & local water systems.
Biofilm, glue-like mixture of bacteria, fungi, amoebas & other microorganisms, is in these home pipes.
Living inside some of the 6 M miles of plumbing that support drinking, sanitation, hygiene, cooling & heating systems.
Found in home & industrial plumbing, hot tubs, recreational pools & water parks.

SIGNIFICANCE:
New CDC study says outbreaks of over 7 M illnesses & 6,000 deaths every year from water.
Is a disturbing finding of a new analysis of waterborne disease  from the CDC.
Data from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over last 10 years.
Robust bioflims provide a safe haven for microbes, protected from disinfectants.
Potentially deadly waterborne pathogens grow & escape into the air–
Thus sickening and killing thousands each year.

SOLUTIONS:
Bioflims prosper when water taps are not turned on for long periods of time.
So people should flush, run water, filter, & turn up water heater temp setting.
People should use distilled or boiled water for drinking and cooking.
Funding for water safety has stayed flat or decreased at federal & state levels.
Research, infrastructure, regs & the ability to increase compliance is the challenge.
6 M lead service lines with various owners and water systems.
Ownership & operation is split between the water system & property owners.
To remove these lines would recall a public health initiative is challenge.
Going to require a collaborative effort across a large number of communities.”

STATS:
90% of all deaths & majority of hospitalizations from waterborne diseases are caused by 3 airborne pathogens that prosper in biofilms.
Health cost to deal with water are estimated at over $3 billion each year.
Total illnesses, visits to emergency rooms, hospitalizations, deaths & direct health care costs for 17 waterborne infectious diseases.
The analysis found that over 7 M waterborne illnesses occur each year.
600,000 visits to emergency rooms, 118,000 hospitalizations & 6,630 deaths.
Totaling $3.33 billion in direct health care costs.
Biofilm-associated pathogens were responsible for the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths.
Costing the US health care system $2.39 B annually.

SEZ:
“In the past 40 years, we’ve seen a significant decrease in waterborne disease but the complexities have increased with more building plumbing issues and more recreational water issues,”
— J. Alan Roberson, executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators

SOURCES:
“America’s newest water safety challenge is something you’ve never heard of”CNN: https://apple.news/AmWQK-yF7Spa7j-GjMeASTQ

The CDC Study;
Lead author Sarah Collier, an analytic epidemiologist at the CDC.
Journal Emerging Infectious Disease

 

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