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STUDY OF WATERBORNE DISEASE OCCURRENCE
EPA has established an Interagency Agreement with CDC to transfer funds to them for collaborative research. Several types of studies have been or will soon be funded: 1) a pilot epidemiology study in California to evaluate important features of a household intervention study design to determine the fraction of gastroenteritis attributable to drinking water (funded); 2) a cross-sectional gastroenteritis telephone survey, being conducted in several states as part of CDC's FoodNet Survey, to assess national drinking water habits and incidence of gastroenteritis (funded); 3) two small-scale (~$150K each) studies designed to: a) estimate the incidence of waterborne disease in a vulnerable subpopulation due to microbial contamination of drinking water; and/or b) describe the relationship between measures of water quality and health outcomes or evidence of infection due to gastrointestinal pathogens; and 4) two epidemiology studies (one surface water, one groundwater) to determine the attributable
The SDWA Amendments of 1996 added a requirement for EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to jointly carry out "pilot waterborne disease occurrence studies for at least five major U.S. communities or public water systems" and "prepare a report on the findings of the pilot studies, and a national estimate of waterborne disease occurrence." This work would help assess the effectiveness of currently employed treatment tradeoffs in these communities, as well as provide information to balance the benefits of disinfection versus potential risks. As such, the research would provide EPA with feedback on the effectiveness of the SWTR and the TCR, as well as provide supplementary information to guide the long-term ESWTR and the GWDR.