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Special Issue "Water Treatment and Human Health"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marc Henry (Website)

Université de Strasbourg, UMR 7140, Chimie Moleculaire du Solide, Institut Le Bel, 7° étage, bureau 707 (Sud), 4, Rue Blaise Pascal, CS 90032, 67081 Strasbourg Cedex, France
Phone: +33 3 68 85 15 00
Fax: +33 3 68 85 50 01
Interests: water clusters; interfacial water; titanium dioxide; sol-gel processing; partial charge model (PACHA); polyoxometallates

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

From the very beginning of humans’ apparition on earth, drinking pure water has been a prerequisite for maintaining healthy conditions in human bodies. However, as humans are also conscious beings, it also exists on the market a lot of devices which claim to change water structure in order to significantly improve human health. As these very diversified, often immaterial processes generate huge commercial profits, the aim of this Special Issue is to select the most pertinent and serious processes that have clearly established a link between water drinking and human health improvement. Contributions in this domain should be of the highest quality, reporting experimental data concerning clinical evaluation of water drinking effects on a significant number of people (double-blind studies are highly welcomed) or evaluation concerning a large population (villages, towns, regions or even countries). Reviews of such medical evaluations are welcomed, but purely theoretical or philosophical papers reporting no human health data will be systematically discarded. Papers coming from people selling commercial devices on a large scale will also be accepted, provided that they contain a whole section devoted to physical and/or biological principles of the highest level of scientific quality. The link existing between water consumption and increase of human health and/or consciousness is a real scientific challenge for the very near future of humanity. All submitted papers should thus be written in this perspective of increasing scientific knowledge about water management both by the human body and the human mind.

Prof. Dr. Marc Henry
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • water purification systems
  • water treatment by vortices
  • water treatment by sounds or music
  • water treatment by magnets
  • water treatment by electrolysis or electric potentials
  • water treatment by electromagnetic waves, including light and colors
  • water treatment by chemical additives
  • water treatment by geometrical symbols or forms
  • bottled water versus tap water from a human health perspective
  • dissolved minerals’ absorption by the body, including sea-water
  • water and micro-organisms
  • psychological effects associated by water consumption

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Helminth Egg Removal Capacity of UASB Reactors under Subtropical Conditions
Water 2015, 7(5), 2402-2421; doi:10.3390/w7052402
Received: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This research was conducted to study the anaerobic sludge filtration capacity regarding helminth egg removal in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors. Two 25 L lab-scale UASB reactors were operated at an ambient temperature which varied between 17.1 and 28.6 °C. Ascaris [...] Read more.
This research was conducted to study the anaerobic sludge filtration capacity regarding helminth egg removal in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors. Two 25 L lab-scale UASB reactors were operated at an ambient temperature which varied between 17.1 and 28.6 °C. Ascaris suum egg was selected as the model egg considering its similarity in terms of size and morphology to Ascaris lumbricoides, a human pathogen. Ascaris suum eggs were obtained from female parasites of infected pigs. The anaerobic sludge filtration capacity was performed applying upflow velocities between 0.09 and 0.68 m·h−1. Three sludge bed heights in the range of 0.30–0.40 m, 0.50–0.60 m and 0.60–0.70 m were applied. These sludge bed heights corresponded to 19%–25%, 31%–38% and 38%–44% of the total reactor height, respectively. Under the mentioned conditions, the average helminth egg removal efficiency was reciprocally correlated to the imposed upflow velocity. The studied lab-scale reactors reported an average helminth egg removal between 34%–100%, 30%–91% and 34%–56%, when the sludge bed in the UASB reactor was 19%–25%, 31%–38% and 38%–44% of the total reactor height, respectively. The decreased filtration capacity at increasing sludge bed heights might be likely related to biogas production and channeling formation. The average helminth egg removal efficiency in the control experiments performed without any sludge bed, by plain sedimentation, varied between 44% and 66%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Synchronous Oscillations Intrinsic to Water: Applications to Cellular Time Keeping and Water Treatment
Water 2015, 7(5), 2082-2100; doi:10.3390/w7052082
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 7 May 2015
PDF Full-text (1153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A homodimeric, growth-related and time-keeping hydroquinone oxidase (ENOX1) of the eukaryotic cell surface capable of oxidizing intracellular NADH exhibits properties of the ultradian driver of the biological 24 h circadian clock by exhibiting a complex 2 + 3 set of oscillations of [...] Read more.
A homodimeric, growth-related and time-keeping hydroquinone oxidase (ENOX1) of the eukaryotic cell surface capable of oxidizing intracellular NADH exhibits properties of the ultradian driver of the biological 24 h circadian clock by exhibiting a complex 2 + 3 set of oscillations of copper salts and appear to derive from periodic variations in the ratio of ortho and para nuclear spins of the paired hydrogen atoms of the elongated octahedral structure of the ENOX1 protein bound copper II hexahydrates. A corollary of these observations is that the ortho/para oscillations must occur in a highly synchronized matter. Our findings suggest that water molecules communicate with each other via very low frequency electromagnetic fields and that these fields also appear to be generated by the energetics of the synchronous ortho to para interconversions of the nuclear spin pairs of the water hydrogens. Further evidence for energy absorbed and emitted by water and correlated with ortho/para oscillations of ortho/para spin pairs of water hydrogens is indicated from the auto-oscillations in water luminescence. The emissions oscillate with period lengths of 18.8 min that agree with our previously found period of oscillation of about 18 min for pure water, reflective of ortho to para spin isomers based on measurements of redox potential. The period length of pure water (increased by about 25% in D2O) and varies depending on the dominant cation present (copper salts in solution are unique in that the period length is exactly 24 min). Synchrony is maintained through generation of and response to LFEMF generated by the ortho-para spin pairs. Changes in redox potential sufficient to catalyze NADH oxidation were used to monitor synchronous water oscillations that appear to extend indefinitely over great distances in contiguous bodies of either still or flowing water. Adjacent out-of-phase water samples contained in thin plastic cuvettes auto-synchronize in a matter of seconds when placed side by side. Potential applications from water treatment along with opportunity related to human health are anticipated to derive from a better understanding of how water synchrony is generated and maintained, and to be aided by methodological advances in measurement and analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Rethinking Sustainability, Scaling Up, and Enabling Environment: A Framework for Their Implementation in Drinking Water Supply
Water 2015, 7(4), 1497-1514; doi:10.3390/w7041497
Received: 31 December 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The terms sustainability, scaling up, and enabling environment are inconsistently used in implementing water supply projects. To clarify these terms we develop a framework based on Normalization Process Theory, and apply the framework to a hypothetical water supply project in schools. The [...] Read more.
The terms sustainability, scaling up, and enabling environment are inconsistently used in implementing water supply projects. To clarify these terms we develop a framework based on Normalization Process Theory, and apply the framework to a hypothetical water supply project in schools. The resulting framework provides guidance on how these terms could be implemented and analyzed in water supply projects. We conclude that effective use of the terms sustainability, scaling up, and enabling environment would focus on purpose, process, and perspective. This is the first known attempt to analyze the implementation of the three terms together in the context of water supply services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Home Water Treatment Habits and Effectiveness in a Rural Arizona Community
Water 2015, 7(3), 1217-1231; doi:10.3390/w7031217
Received: 16 January 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drinking water quality in the United States (US) is among the safest in the world. However, many residents, often in rural areas, rely on unregulated private wells or small municipal utilities for water needs. These utilities may violate the Safe Drinking Water [...] Read more.
Drinking water quality in the United States (US) is among the safest in the world. However, many residents, often in rural areas, rely on unregulated private wells or small municipal utilities for water needs. These utilities may violate the Safe Drinking Water Act contaminant guidelines, often because they lack the required financial resources. Residents may use alternative water sources or install a home water treatment system. Despite increased home water treatment adoption, few studies have examined their use and effectiveness in the US. Our study addresses this knowledge gap by examining home water treatment in a rural Arizona community. Water samples were analyzed for metal(loid)s, and home treatment and demographic data were recorded in 31 homes. Approximately 42% of homes treated their water. Independent of source water quality, residents with higher income (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.25; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] (1.00–1.64)) and education levels (OR = 1.49; 95%CI (1.12–2.12)) were more likely to treat their water. Some contaminant concentrations were effectively reduced with treatment, while some were not. We conclude that increased educational outreach on contaminant testing and treatment, especially to rural areas with endemic water contamination, would result in a greater public health impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Variability of Escherichia coli in Rivers of Northern Coastal Ecuador
Water 2015, 7(2), 818-832; doi:10.3390/w7020818
Received: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of contaminated surface water continues to be a pressing issue in areas of the world where people lack improved drinking water sources. In northern coastal Ecuador, many communities rely on untreated surface water as their primary source of drinking water. [...] Read more.
The use of contaminated surface water continues to be a pressing issue in areas of the world where people lack improved drinking water sources. In northern coastal Ecuador, many communities rely on untreated surface water as their primary source of drinking water. We undertook a study to explore how microscale river hydrodynamics affect microbial water quality at community water collection locations at three rivers with varying stream velocity and turbidity profiles. To examine how the distance from river shore and physiochemical water quality variables affect microbial contamination levels in the rivers; we collected a total of 355 water samples within six villages on three rivers; and tested for Escherichia coli concentrations using the IDEXX Quanti-tray method. We found that log10 E. coli concentrations decreased with increasing distance from shore (β = −0.017; p = 0.003). Water in the main channel had E. coli concentrations on average 0.12 log10 lower than within eddies along the river shore and 0.27 log10 lower between the sample closest to shore and any sample >6 m from the shore. Higher E. coli concentrations were also significantly associated with increased turbidity (β = 0.003; p < 0.0001) and decreased dissolved oxygen levels (β = −0.310; p < 0.0001). The results of this study can help inform community members about the safest locations to collect drinking water and also provide information on watershed scale transport of microbial contaminants between villages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Nitrate Removal from Wastewater through Biological Denitrification with OGA 24 in a Batch Reactor
Water 2015, 7(1), 51-62; doi:10.3390/w7010051
Received: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (884 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitrates pollution of waters is a worldwide problem and its remediation is a big challenge from the technical and the scientific point of view. One of the most used and promising cleaning techniques is the biological treatment of wastewaters operated by denitrifying [...] Read more.
Nitrates pollution of waters is a worldwide problem and its remediation is a big challenge from the technical and the scientific point of view. One of the most used and promising cleaning techniques is the biological treatment of wastewaters operated by denitrifying bacteria. In this paper we begin a thorough study of denitrifying performances of the bacterium Azospira sp. OGA 24, recently isolated from the highly polluted Sarno river in the south of Italy. Here, the kinetics of nitrates consumption operated by bacteria in a specifically devised batch bioreactor, in anoxic condition and with acetate as the organic substrate, has been characterized. Experimental data were then used in a simplified model of a real wastewater treatment plant to find that OGA 24 can clean water with efficiency up to 90%. The denitrifying performances of OGA 24 match the requirements of Italian laws and make the bacterium suitable for its employment in treatment plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Marketing Household Water Treatment: Willingness to Pay Results from an Experiment in Rural Kenya
Water 2014, 6(7), 1873-1886; doi:10.3390/w6071873
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 7 June 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite increasing availability of household water treatment products, demand in developing countries remains low. Willingness to pay for water treatment products and factors that affect demand are not well understood. In this study, we estimate willingness to pay for WaterGuard, a dilute [...] Read more.
Despite increasing availability of household water treatment products, demand in developing countries remains low. Willingness to pay for water treatment products and factors that affect demand are not well understood. In this study, we estimate willingness to pay for WaterGuard, a dilute chlorine solution for point-of-use water treatment, using actual purchase decisions at randomly assigned prices. Secondly, we identify household characteristics that are correlated with the purchase decision. Among a sample of 854 respondents from 107 villages in rural Kenya, we find that mean willingness to pay is approximately 80% of the market price. Although only 35% of sample households purchased WaterGuard at the market price, 67% of those offered a 50% discount purchased the product. A marketing message emphasizing child health did not have a significant effect on purchase behavior, overall or among the subset of households with children under five. These findings suggest that rural Kenyans are willing to pay for WaterGuard at low prices but are very sensitive to increasing price. Households with young children that could benefit the most from use of WaterGuard do not appear to be more likely to purchase the product, and a marketing message designed to target this population was ineffective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Kenyan Rural Schools: Are Schools Meeting the Needs of Menstruating Girls?
Water 2014, 6(5), 1453-1466; doi:10.3390/w6051453
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in African schools have received increased attention, particularly around the potential impact of poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) on equity for girls’ education. This study was conducted prior to a menstrual feasibility study in rural Kenya, [...] Read more.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in African schools have received increased attention, particularly around the potential impact of poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) on equity for girls’ education. This study was conducted prior to a menstrual feasibility study in rural Kenya, to examine current WASH in primary schools and the resources available for menstruating schoolgirls. Cross-sectional surveys were performed in 62 primary schools during unannounced visits. Of these, 60% had handwashing water, 13% had washing water in latrines for menstruating girls, and 2% had soap. Latrines were structurally sound and 16% were clean. Most schools (84%) had separate latrines for girls, but the majority (77%) had no lock. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported WASH in 76% of schools. Schools receiving WASH interventions were more likely to have: cleaner latrines (Risk Ratio (RR) 1.5; 95% Confidence Intervals [CI] 1.0, 2.1), handwashing facilities (RR 1.6, CI 1.1, 2.5), handwashing water (RR 2.7; CI 1.4, 5.2), and water in girls’ latrines (RR 4.0; CI 1.4, 11.6). Schools continue to lack essential WASH facilities for menstruating girls. While external support for school WASH interventions improved MHM quality, the impact of these contributions remains insufficient. Further support is required to meet international recommendations for healthy, gender-equitable schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Establishment of the Underlying Rationale and Description of a Cheap Nanofiltration-Based Method for Supplementing Desalinated Water with Magnesium Ions
Water 2014, 6(5), 1172-1186; doi:10.3390/w6051172
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The importance of supplying drinking water with a balanced mineral composition, including a minimal concentration of Mg(II) ions, has been recently acknowledged by many publications, as well as in official WHO guidelines. The issue is relevant to naturally occurring soft waters and [...] Read more.
The importance of supplying drinking water with a balanced mineral composition, including a minimal concentration of Mg(II) ions, has been recently acknowledged by many publications, as well as in official WHO guidelines. The issue is relevant to naturally occurring soft waters and lately to the rapidly increasing volume of supplied desalinated water. This paper presents an enhancement of a recently developed nanofiltration-based method for the selective separation of soluble Mg(II) species from seawater. The generated rich-Mg(II) brine is demonstrated to be suitable for supplementing soft waters with magnesium ions. The brine, generated using a commercial membrane (DS-5 DL, Osmonics) at various operational conditions is characterized by high Mg(II) concentrations (~8.5 g/L) and low Cl:Mg and Na:Mg molar concentration ratios (1.6 and 0.6, respectively, at 28-bar operation). A food-grade antiscalant is dosed to the feed seawater to prevent scaling; however, since the Mg(II) concentration in the brine is high, for attaining 10 mg Mg/L of desalinated water, the dilution ratio with the desalinated water is ~1:850, resulting in maximal additional concentrations of 0.024 antiscalant, 34.9 Cl(−I), 12.9 Na(I), 0.05 Sr(II) and 0.003 B (all concentrations in mg/L). The overall cost of 1 kg of Mg(II) separated by the presented process amounts to between $0.05 and $0.07, i.e., much cheaper than the estimated costs of alternative processes for Mg(II) addition to desalinated water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Diarrhoeal Health Risks Attributable to Water-Borne-Pathogens in Arsenic-Mitigated Drinking Water in West Bengal are Largely Independent of the Microbiological Quality of the Supplied Water
Water 2014, 6(5), 1100-1117; doi:10.3390/w6051100
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
PDF Full-text (565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing discussion about the possibility of arsenic mitigation measures in Bengal and similar areas leading to undesirable substitution of water-borne-pathogen attributable risks pathogens for risks attributable to arsenic, in part because of uncertainties in relative pathogen concentrations in supplied [...] Read more.
There is a growing discussion about the possibility of arsenic mitigation measures in Bengal and similar areas leading to undesirable substitution of water-borne-pathogen attributable risks pathogens for risks attributable to arsenic, in part because of uncertainties in relative pathogen concentrations in supplied and end-use water. We try to resolve this discussion, by assessing the relative contributions of water supply and end-user practices to water-borne-pathogen-attributable risks for arsenic mitigation options in a groundwater arsenic impacted area of West Bengal. Paired supplied arsenic-mitigated water and end-use drinking water samples from 102 households were collected and analyzed for arsenic and thermally tolerant coliforms [TTC], used as a proxy for microbiological water quality, We then estimated the DALYs related to key sequelae, diarrheal diseases and cancers, arising from water-borne pathogens and arsenic respectively. We found [TTC] in end-use drinking water to depend only weakly on [TTC] in source-water. End-user practices far outweighed the microbiological quality of supplied water in determining diarrheal disease burden. [TTC] in source water was calculated to contribute <1% of total diarrheal disease burden. No substantial demonstrable pathogen-for-arsenic risk substitution attributable to specific arsenic mitigation of supplied waters was observed, illustrating the benefits of arsenic mitigation measures in the area studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Physico-Chemical, Biological and Therapeutic Characteristics of Electrolyzed Reduced Alkaline Water (ERAW)
Water 2013, 5(4), 2094-2115; doi:10.3390/w5042094
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (958 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The consumption of alkaline reduced water produced by domestic electrolysis devices was approved in Japan in 1965 by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the cure of gastro-intestinal disorders. Today, these devices are freely available in several countries and can [...] Read more.
The consumption of alkaline reduced water produced by domestic electrolysis devices was approved in Japan in 1965 by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the cure of gastro-intestinal disorders. Today, these devices are freely available in several countries and can be easily purchased without reserve. The commercial information included with the device recommends the consumption of 1–1.5 L of water per day, not only for gastro-intestinal disorders but also for numerous other illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, inflammation, etc. Academic research in Japan on this subject has been undergoing since 1990 only but has established that the active ingredient is dissolved dihydrogen that eliminates the free radical HO• in vivo. In addition, it was demonstrated that degradation of the electrodes during functioning of the device releases very reactive nanoparticles of platinum, the toxicity of which has not yet been clearly proven. This report recommends alerting health authorities of the uncontrolled availability of these devices used as health products, but which generate drug substances and should therefore be sold according to regulatory requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment and Human Health)

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