Risk perception and health risk; towards improving drinking water management of a small island community

Nik Hassan, Nik (2018) Risk perception and health risk; towards improving drinking water management of a small island community. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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    Abstract

    A community of an island in Malaysia still uses untreated drinking water sources and is reluctant to accept chlorinated water. A water treatment plan that was installed on the island has ceased any treatment, despite routine water monitoring showing high levels of faecal coliforms. The underlying cause could include unwillingness to pay the bill, distrust in chlorine and the belief that the untreated water is safe to drink.

    A systematic review was conducted on the challenges of rural drinking water supply management from source to tap to gain an overall insight on the issues faced by the local community and possible solutions. This is followed by a questionnaire survey to assess the community’s perception towards risk from untreated drinking water, chlorinated water, willingness to pay the water bill and their drinking water practices. The final part involved a risk assessment to quantify the microbial health risk from the drinking water supply, by sampling the water and using quantitative microbial risk assessment approach to calculate the risk.

    The review suggests that rural water interventions should be hands on with a sense of ownership, that sustainability of rural water supply system depends on reliability and user preferences, and positive management aspects include water safety plans, and a functioning committee with certain characteristics. The benefits of rural drinking water management were shown to outweigh the cost. The survey revealed factors that affect the community’s perception of risk from their drinking water, perception on chlorinated water, and their drinking water practices. The risk assessment revealed the annual risk of infection from E. coli O157, rotavirus and cryptosporidium among adults and children exposed to untreated drinking water.

    The overall findings showed the importance of community perception and the value of combining assessment of risk perception and risk quantification for rural drinking water management study.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
    Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 14:33
    Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 14:33
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68779
    DOI:

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