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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 3: Rainwater: Quality Issues

Paper 3.3

A Diary Study Of Gastroenteritis And Tank Rainwater Consumption In Young Children In South Australia

Jane Heyworth
Department of Public Health
University of Western Australia.


Tank rainwater is an important source of drinking water in South Australia. More households (42%) use tank rainwater as their main source of drinking water than use public mains (40%) (Heyworth et al.1998). The community preference for consumption of this untreated water supply has highlighted the need for policy on its safe use. The longitudinal study reported here, the tank rainwater diary study, was undertaken to provide epidemiological data in support of a risk assessment of tank rainwater consumption.

An earlier prevalence study of 9,500 children, indicated that there was a slight, but non-significant, increase in risk of gastroenteritis associated with consumption tank rainwater in rural South Australia. This longitudinal study was undertaken to investigate more fully the temporal relationship between risk of gastroenteritis and exposure to tank rainwater.

PDF of full document (8pp, 36kb)

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