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J Environ Manage. 2009 Feb;90(2):961-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.03.008. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Transport of fecal bacteria by boots and vehicle tires in a rural Alaskan community.

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  • 1University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5860, USA. mollykatelyn@gmail.com

Abstract

People living without piped water and sewer can be at increased risk for diseases transmitted via the fecal-oral route. One rural Alaskan community that relies on hauling water into homes and sewage from homes was studied to determine the pathways of fecal contamination of drinking water and the human environment so that barriers can be established to protect health. Samples were tested for the fecal indicator, Escherichia coli, and the less specific indicator group, total coliforms. Shoes transported fecal contamination from outside to floor material inside buildings. Contamination in puddles on the road, in conjunction with contamination found on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tires, supports vehicle traffic as a mechanism for transporting contamination from the dumpsite or other source areas to the rest of the community. The abundance of fecal bacteria transported around the community on shoes and ATV tires suggests that centralized measures for waste disposal as well as shoe removal in buildings could improve sanitation and health in the community.

PMID:
18621466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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