Groundwater Recharge with Reclaimed Water Birth Outcomes in Los Angeles County, 1982-1993
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This report evaluates the incidence of selected adverse birth outcomes in a Los
Angeles population receiving some reclaimed water (i.e., wastewater that has been
converted to reusable water through a multistep treatment process) in its residential
water supply compared to a similar population that does not receive reclaimed
water. The groundwater basin in the Montebello Forebay area of Los Angeles County
has been replenished with some reclaimed water since 1962. RAND's epidemiologic
assessment of the process of groundwater recharge with reclaimed water is part of an
ongoing effort to monitor the health of those consuming reclaimed water in Los
Angeles County. The report compares rates of low birth weight, very low birth
weight, preterm birth, infant mortality, and birth defects in an area receiving
reclaimed water and a matched control area not receiving reclaimed water in Los
Angeles County. This report complements the results of a recent study of cancer
incidence, mortality, and infectious disease in the Montebello Forebay population
(Sloss et al., 1996). The results will be considered in the decisions made by regulatory
agencies regarding the use of reclaimed water to augment drinking water supplies.
This assessment was conducted by RAND for the Water Replenishment District of
The report should be of interest to those concerned with issues related to water
quality, including water industry personnel, and those in the field of public health.
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