A risk/cost analysis to manage viral contamination of groundwater

D. D. Adelman, J. Stansbury, M. A. Tabidian

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Under the proposed groundwater disinfection rule of the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act, municipal water systems have four options to demonstrate that natural disinfection of viruses occurs between the virus source and the municipal well. One option is to demonstrate that the necessary set-back distance exists between these facilities. The objective of this research was to evaluate the risk that virus concentrations at a municipal well would exceed recommended levels even though the virus source was separated from the well by the setback distance recommended by the EPA. Groundwater transport modeling was used to evaluate this risk and compute the necessary distance upgradient from each Nebraska municipal well for sufficient virus die-off to occur. The number of wells with computed die-off distances greater than the regulatory set-back distances were divided by the total number of wells. The results of this research show that the potential risk for virus concentrations will exceed recommended virus levels in municipal wells using EPA's set-back distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 19th Biennial Conference of the International Association on Water Quality,. Part 10 (of 10) - Vancouver, Can
Duration: Jun 21 1998Jun 26 1998


  • Adsorption
  • Advection
  • Cost
  • Die-off
  • Groundwater
  • Risk
  • Set-back distances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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