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In the United States, Legionella is responsible for the majority of opportunistic premise plumbing pathogen (OPPP) outbreaks. There has been a 217% increase over 10 years in reported cases and Legionnaires’ disease is now the primary cause of waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that Legionnaires’ disease is preventable through management of building water quality.
Dr. Clancy will present a brief overview of the literature on OPPPs including Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, nontuberculous Mycobacterium, free-living and thermophilic amoebae. In addition, Dr. Clancy’s research institute, the Environmental Science, Policy, and Research Institute(ESPRI) has an ongoing EPA-funded research project into how these organisms colonize and adapt in premise plumbing, looking at variables including pipe material and diameter, flow patterns, temperature and disinfectant residual in two American cities. Dr. Clancy will describe what water management planning entails using actual case studies.
Presenter: Dr. Jen Clancy
Dr. Clancy is an internationally-recognized microbiologist and water quality and treatment expert. She holds a Masters in Environmental Law and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. Her works spans 38 years and she has worked with significant waterborne fecal pathogens (Cryptosporidium, Giardia) and opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs). She was one of the early researchers on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease in 1980 at the University of Vermont Department of Medicine, shortly after the Burlington outbreak linked to a cooling tower at the hospital.
Dr. Clancy was the 2012 recipient of the Water Research Foundation’s Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award for her research on UV inactivation of Cryptosporidium in water and is the 2014 recipient of the AWWA’s prestigious A.P. Black Research Award for excellence in water supply research. In her role as president and founding fellow of the ESPRI, Dr. Clancy directs the applied research laboratory which focuses on OPPPs. ESPRI was recently awarded a $2 million EPA grant titled “Water Conservation and Water Quality: Understanding the Impacts of New Technologies and New Operational Strategies” as part of a Drexel research team.
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