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The built environment and water

The built environment and water

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The built environment and water

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  1. The built environment and water • Between 1831 and 1854 tens of thousands of people in England died of cholera.  • An 1854 cholera epidemic in Soho (London) killed 500 people within 250 yards of the spot where Cambridge Street joins Broad Street, the location of this water pump.

  2. John Snow (1813-1858) • Determined that cholera was a water transmitted disease • First used a “GIS” to track an infectious disease Vibrio cholerae -- the cholera bacterium Source: http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow.html

  3. Snow’s observations:Forever changed how cities obtain drinking water MWRA Distribution System

  4. Seasonal flooding, waterborne pathogens caused widespread disease and death. • Bangladeshi government, Unicef and other aid groups, began tube well installations in 1970’s. Currently, • 10 million tube wells installed • 130 million people (97% of population) obtain drinking water from groundwater wells • Early 1990’s - High levels of Arsenic (As) found in groundwater. • Other regions - e.g. West Bengal, Taiwan, Vietnam, US (e.g. New Hampshire), Chile... MYANMAR Bangladesh

  5. Groundwater tube well use and irrigation Irrigation greatly increased food supply and helped fuel a tripling of the Bangladeshi population during the last 40 years Harvey et al, 2005

  6. What is causing the mass poisoning of drinking water in West Bengal and Bangladesh? • 50% of wells (46 million people) have As > 10ug/L • 28% of wells (28 million people) have As > 50ug/L Yu et al., 2002

  7. [As] in groundwater

  8. Lessons learned: Water pollution • Cities have long experienced water pollution • Environmental health effects: acute to chronic illnesses • Access to clean drinking water still a major issue for a large percentage of the Earth’s population • Massive water distribution systems are expensive and are not necessarily the solution for every situation

  9. Lake Waban has a complex history Boston and Worcester RR: 1834 – present Pb, Cu, Zn, As Algaecide applications: 1950s – 1980s NaAsO2, As2O3,CuSO4 Wellesley Apple Orchards: 1850s – 1950s Pesticides: PbHAsO4, CaHAsO4, Pb5OH(AsO4)3 1850 1900 1950 2000 Henry Woods Sons & Co.: 1848 – 1928 Leaded gasoline: peak usage 1970s Paint pigments:PbCrO4, BaSO4, Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 Pb, V, S

  10. Methods Outlet: Lower Waban Brook Inlet: Upper Waban Brook Ekman Dredge 2004 Freeze Cores 2006 Freeze Cores Russian Cores Sediment samples were analyzed using XRF, ICP-MS, and SEM-EDS.

  11. Distribution of Pb in surface sediments Significantly elevated [Pb] are observed in surface sediments.