The students will look at four recent waterborne illness outbreaks in Canada and the United States. They will use the knowledge from the two previous classes to explain the outbreaks and elaborate on questions regarding the outbreaks.
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana was one of the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The bustling city was flooded as the levees protecting the city failed. The flood waters filled the streets with almost every imaginable type of contamination. Fuel, chemical, and biological products combined to make what some people referred to as a “toxic soup”.
In March 2001, the solids contact unit in the surface water treatment plant was emptied and all the sludge removed from the bottom in order to inspect, clean and repair a crack that had formed in the cement floor. This type of repair should normally be done in February, so that the spring breakup and runoff will not affect the system.
In May 2000, a waterborne disease outbreak occurred in Walkerton, Ontario. Over 2,300 people became ill and seven people died as a result of E. coli 0157:H7 and Campylobacter jejuni contamination in their drinking water. An inquiry was called to determine how the water had become contaminated and if charges should be laid against those directly involved with the treatment of water.