Risk assessment of microbial pathogens and microbial contamination of water supplies (Contact: Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen)
Approaches to risk assessments are being developed for the pathogenic protozoa Giardia and Cryptosporidium in water, including water supplies, water works, and in drinking water systems that are contaminated when reuse systems such as rainwater collection systems are used in households. On a larger scale alternative resources and alternative technologies (e.g. desalination) are evaluated on a wide scale of parameters including e.g. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The value of microbiological indicator organisms is also evaluated, e.g. in terms of their survival and the value of coliforms as indicators for pathogens. We are also testing, via experiments and models, the conditions for gene transfer and survival in oligotrophic biofilms (e.g. antibiotic resistance genes). These aspects are also considered in microbially contaminated water supplies where the spreading of the contamination, the handling strategy, and the effect of the actions taken, is evaluated to develop new decision-tools based on for example, GIS and statistics.
Influence of water mineral composition on dental caries (contact: Erik Arvin)It has been know for a long time that fluoride in drinking water protects children from attracting dental caries. Therefore, fluoridation of drinking water is commonly used in several countries, for example in the USA. In the present project, the potential effect on dental caries of other mineral components in drinking water than fluoride is investigated. It has been observed that calcium also protects children against dental caries, although the effect is much less than for fluoride.