Published Date: 2003-08-10 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O157, secondary water - USA (Utah)
Archive Number: 20030810.1976
E. COLI O157, SECONDARY WATER - USA (UTAH)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 9 Aug 2003
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: KSL- TV 8 Aug 2003 [edited]
Experts Remind Utahns to be Wary of _E. coli_
A boy 3-1/2 years old from Clinton, Utah remains in very serious condition
tonight, still trying to fight off the deadly effects of a potent strain of
_E. coli_ bacteria. He and his sister were infected, most likely from
drinking secondary water used for irrigation.
The 2 children were playing in sprinkler water at their home about 2 weeks
ago. They ended up doing what residents are warned not to do with secondary
untreated irrigation water. The father of the children said "Turn your
back for a few minutes and they had started filling up some buckets and my
daughter told us they had been drinking out of those buckets." Both
children got sick, but the boy ended up in intensive care at Primary
Hot, dry weather has produced an ideal environment in secondary water
reservoirs in Davis and Weber Counties for all kinds of bacteria and other
pathogens to grow. Although the water may look clear and clean coming out
of sprinkling systems, it is not and should not be used for anything but
The Davis County health department is trying to get the word out to the
public through city agencies, again warning residents that secondary water
is not for recreation. It is not drinking water.
Jerry Thompson, Davis County Health Dept. said "The number of pathogens in
the water increases. Plus the exposure increases because there are more
people out of doors and there's more people in the water trying to cool off."
The health department advises residents not to play in the water and not to
fill wading pools with sprinkler water, but instead use potable water
from the house tap.
[Byline: Ed Yeates]
[A secondary (or dual) water system supplies nonpotable water for uses that
do not have high water treatment requirements, such as residential
landscape irrigation. A secondary system's major purpose is to reduce the
overall cost of providing water by using cheaper, untreated water for
irrigation and preserving higher-quality water for drinking water uses.
Secondary systems are most suitable for areas where it is economically
feasible to construct a separate distribution system in addition to the
required potable (drinking) water system. Installing secondary systems is
generally more feasible in rural areas or areas that are under development.
This allows secondary lines to be installed at the same time as other
infrastructure, greatly reducing costs and inconvenience to homeowners. The
Weber River Basin has long recognized the value of secondary systems. Many
communities within this basin require secondary systems be installed as a
part of new development.
Although secondary systems do free up treated water supplies for drinking
water purposes, it is important to recognize that they generally result in
higher overall water use than a typical potable water system.
[The description of a secondary water system from the link on the Utah
water resources website is: "Pressurized or open ditch water delivery
system of untreated water for irrigation of privately or publicly owned
lawns, gardens, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and other open areas. These
are sometimes called "dual" water systems." As the water used for these
systems may have farm and ranch run-off, the possibility of contamination
with bacterial organisms such as _E. coli_ and _salmonella sp._ associated
with livestock and poultry is there. A brief search of the Utah Department
of Health website did not reveal information on possible prior occurrences
of _E.coli_ with secondary water systems. - Mod.MPP]