A spatial analysis of private well water Escherichia coli contamination in southern Ontario

  • Julia Krolik Public Health Ontario, Regional Ontario; Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
  • Allison Maier Public Health Ontario, Regional Ontario, Canada.
  • Gerald Evans Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Queen’s University and Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario; Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
  • Paul Belanger Department of Geography, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Kingston, Ontario; Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
  • Geoffrey Hall Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
  • Alan Joyce Public Health Ontario, Regional Ontario, Canada.
  • Anna Majury | anna.majury@oahpp.ca Public Health Ontario, Regional Ontario; Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, .

Abstract

Research to date has provided limited insight into the complexity of water-borne pathogen transmission. Private well water supplies have been identified as a significant pathway in infectious disease transmission in both the industrialised and the developing world. Using over 90,000 private well water submission records representing approximately 30,000 unique well locations in south-eastern Ontario, Canada, a spatial analysis was performed in order to delineate clusters with elevated risk of E. coli contamination using 5 years of data (2008-2012). Analyses were performed for all years independently and subsequently compared to each other. Numerous statistically significant clusters were identified and both geographic stability and variation over time were examined. Through the identification of spatial and temporal patterns, this study provides the basis for future investigations into the underlying causes of bacterial groundwater contamination, while identifying geographic regions that merit particular attention to public health interventions and improvement of water quality.

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Published
2013-11-01
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Original Articles
Keywords:
spatial cluster analysis, private well water, Escherichia coli contamination, public health, Canada.
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How to Cite
Krolik, J., Maier, A., Evans, G., Belanger, P., Hall, G., Joyce, A., & Majury, A. (2013). A spatial analysis of private well water Escherichia coli contamination in southern Ontario. Geospatial Health, 8(1), 65-75. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2013.55