SPH Faculty awarded grants to address iron, lead and pathogen contamination in rural public water systems, and Harvey-affected private water wells

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Public Health-New Orleans, faculty members, Adrienne Katner, DEnv and Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, PhD are part of a team of researchers headed by Drs. Marc Edwards, PhD, and Kelsey Pieper, PhD of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VA Tech) that was awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID Response grant to address public health issues faced by private well owners in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The researchers will work with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to monitor contamination and recovery of private well water quality, evaluate shock chlorination procedures for treating well water, and assess well owner resource and information needs. This work will complement private well research the team conducted last year in the aftermath of the 2016 Louisiana floods.

The research team also received one of five Healthy Homes Technical Studies grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The researchers will work with North Carolina (NC) state officials, Louisiana (LA) non-profits and vulnerable rural communities in LA and NC to investigate the short- and long-term performance of common point-of-use filters for removing lead from drinking water under conditions typical of high-risk systems. The team will also evaluate community risk perceptions, identify outreach needs and develop evidence-based exposure reduction guidelines.