Centre for Research into Environment and Health

Introduction

Catchment microbial dynamics and modelling has formed the core of our team's research agenda since David Kay's PhD programme in the late 1970s. Modelling fluxes of indicator bacteria and pathogens to places where people come into contact with them is important for the management of bathing and shellfish harvesting waters and, to a lesser extent, where drinking water is abstracted. In environmental modelling terms catchment microbial dynamics have received much less research attention than, for example, the nutrient parameters. However, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), published in 2000, now places a legal requirement on the regulators to manage both 'point' and 'diffuse' sources of microbial pollution to achieve 'good' status in 'protected areas' such as bathing waters and shellfish harvesting areas. This has created a new imperative for the academic community to develop microbial modelling. In 2004, we completed the first bacterial modelling study on the UK's sentinel research catchment for WFD implementation, the Ribble. The next 'big' question once we have reliable modelling tools is to assess the impacts of potential 'remedial' measures in reducing microbial flux to protected areas. The first UK studies in this area were completed in 2005 in Scotland. In these investigations we were able to assess the impacts of farm-based measures such as fencing streams and/or dirty water control on total catchment fluxes. The objective here is to use the scientific data to inform the policy makers now designing new instruments for the support of the farming community as we move away from 'production based' payments towards a 'single farm payment' following the mid term review of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003. A further 'big' question arising as we seek to understand the impacts on marine and lacustrine nearshore waters is how we link the 'catchment flux' models with 'nearshore hydrodynamic' models. The latter have undergone considerable improvement in recent years which was needed to provide accurate prediction in shallow waters. We have developed a series of linked models with our colleagues in Cardiff University (Professor Roger Falconer's team) in which we have incorporated for the first time 'real time' decay coefficients. These modelling studies were supported by NERC, EPSRC, EU and Environment Agency funding.

Recreational and drinking water epidemiology is the second major theme of our group's work. This has developed from the catchment microbial dynamics and seeks to quantify the actual health effects when people come into contact with ‘environmental’ waters. With medical colleagues such as Dr Ros Stanwell Smith and Dr Roland Salmon, we developed a new protocol using a ‘semi-blind randomised’ trial using healthy adult volunteers. This protocol has been adopted by the WHO and was replicated in recent studies funded by the German Government. We have now completed (Sept 2007) further EU FP6 funded epidemiological studies in Mediterranean and Hungarian waters employing this protocol. US researchers in Florida have also applied the protocol using our questionnaires.

The results from our original UK studies were selected by a WHO expert panel to form the basis of the new WHO guidelines for recreational waters published in 2003. These Guidelines were also informed by the work on catchment microbial dynamics outlined above which was presented at a meeting of the WHO in Farnham in 2002. This led to a new type of regulation which, put simply, incorporates ‘discounting’ of results when a compliance area is impacted by ‘natural’ fluxes of bacteria from catchment systems which are not caused by sewage spills. This approach has also been incorporated into an amended EU Bathing Water Directive published in 2006. Thus, the catchment microbial dynamics and epidemiology have together impacted directly on the international policy debate and formed the scientific evidence-base for much of the new WHO and EU standards. In addition to the current epidemiological field studies in Europe, we are developing new molecular methods of viral pathogen enumeration in recreational waters, through EU FP6 funding. The EU FP6 projects coordinated through Aberystwyth represent a research agenda defined in Article 14 of the 2006 Bathing Water Directive. They have been commissioned to provide the evidence-base for a report from the Commission to the EU Parliament in 2008 which will address the potential for virus measurements and new epidemiological data for bathing beach management. This research is led from Aberystwyth.

Our close collaboration with WHO, USEPA, CDC and World Bankscientists since 1989 has also led to publications on risk assessment from water and sanitation, problems of chemical exposures and global disease burden assessment. Our team edited the recent WHO synthesis text on health risk assessment and co-authored five chapters. This capacity in the emerging science of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) has formed the basis of a further collaboration with scientists at Cardiff University Medical School (Professor Ian Matthews) Birmingham University (Professor Roy Harrison) and the University of East Anglia (Dr Alan Bond). This consortium has, since 2001, provided over 100 separate HIAs for the Environment Agency ranging from incineration through to BSE prion risks, the latter report forming the EA evidence on environmental transmission to the national SEAC committee in 2005. We are further developing the theory and application of HIA within three separate EPSRC-funded projects covering, sustainable water systems, in new development, riverine flooding, and sewer spills.

Research Income

David Kay’s HESA research spend returned by Aberystwyth Jan 2001- July 2007

Central Government £140,000
EC Government £1,169,221
EU Other sources  
Overseas other sources (e.g. WHO) £328,566
Research Councils £540,402
UK Charity  
UK Industry £1,707,966
UK other sources £92,395
Total £3,978,949

Collaborators

The team of full-time Aberystwyth University staff working in these areas since 2001 include:

  • Mr Daniel Bennett
  • Mr Thomas Chibnall
  • Dr Lorna Fewtrell
  • Mrs Paula Hopkins
  • Mr Matthew Hopkins
  • Mr Nigel Hollett
  • Mr Chris Kay
  • Mr Duncan McDonald
  • Dr Keren Smith
  • Dr Carl Stapleton
  • Dr Mark Wyer
  • Dr Peter Wyn-Jones

Working closely with our team of associates including

  • Dr David Casemore (CREH Analytical, Leeds, UK)
  • Dr Rachel Chalmers (HPa, National Cryptosporidium Reference Unit, Swansea, UK)
  • Dr John Crowther (University of Wales Lampeter, UK)
  • Dr Tony Edwards (Independent Consultant, Aberdeenshire, UK)
  • Ms Carol Francis (CREH Analytical, Leeds, UK)
  • Dr Nick Humphrey (Independent Consultant, Wales, UK)
  • Dr Norman Lowe OBE (Independent Consultant, Wales UK)
  • Mr Huw Morgan (Independent Consultant, Swansea, UK)
  • Prof John Stoner OBE (Honorary Professor IGES, Wales, UK)
  • Dr Chris Stretton (Independent Consultant, Wales, UK)
  • Mr John Watkins (CREH Analytical, Leeds, UK)

Scientific collaborators with whom we hold grants led by Aberystwyth University

  • Professor J Bartram (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Dr Alan Bond (Environmental Science, UEA, UK)
  • Dr Richard Carr (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Dr Nigel Cook (Central Science Laboratory, York, UK)
  • Professor Alan Elliot (Bangor, Marine Science, UK)
  • Professor Annalaura Carducci (Università di Pisa, Italy)
  • Dr Ingrid Chorus (WaBoLu, UWA, Berlin, Germany)
  • Dr Nigel Cook (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, UK)
  • Dr Maurizio Divizia (Tor Vergata University, Italy)
  • Dr Al Dufour (USEPA, Cincinnati, USA )
  • Dr Maria Figueras (University of Rovira, Virgili, Spain)
  • Dr Jay Fleisher (Davies, Florida)
  • Dr Christophe Gantzer (University Henri Poincaré, Nancy, France)
  • Dr Andy Gawler (Environment Agency, Exeter, UK)
  • Dr Rosina Girones (University of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Professor Roy Harrison (School of Geography, Birmingham, UK)
  • Professor Christiane Hoeller (Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany)
  • Professor Paul Hunter (Medical School, UEA, UK)
  • Dr Ana Maria de Roda Husman, Rijksinstituut loor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, Netherlands)
  • Dr Michael Kadar (National Institute of Hygiene, Budapest, Hungary)
  • Professor Ian Matthews (Cardiff, Medical School, UK)
  • Professor Adrian McDonald (Geography, Leeds, UK)
  • Professor Beata Mizak, (National Veterinary Research Institute, State Research Institute, Poland)
  • Dr Michele Muslillo (Istituto Superiore Sanità, Italy)
  • Professor Maria Nascimento (Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
  • Dr George Papageorgiou (State General Laboratory, Cyprus)
  • Dr Juan Lopez Pila (Umweltbundesamt, UWA, Berlin, Germany)
  • Dr Annette Pruss (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Dr Roland Salmon (Director, NPHS, CDSC, Cardiff)
  • Dr Jane Sellwood (National Virology Reference Laboratory, HPa, Reading, UK)
  • Dr Marta Vargha (National Institute of Hygiene, Budapest, Hungary)

Publications

NOTES:

  • All published research outputs available on request.
  • This ordered list contains only 'post 2005' publications which are each related to David Kay's Research Interests.

Scientific Journal Papers Edited Books and Book Chapters Since 2005

  1. Kay, D., Stapleton, C.M., Crowther, J., Wyer, M.D., Fewtrell, L., Edwards, A., McDonald, A.T., Watkins, J., Francis, F. and Wilkinson, J. (2008) Faecal indicator organism compliance parameter concentrations in sewage and treated effluents. Water Research 42, 442-454. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2007.07.036).
  2. Kay, D., Crowther, J., Fewtrell, L., Francis, C., Hopkins, M., Kay, C., McDonald, A.T., Stapleton, C.M., Watkins, J., Wilkinson, J. and Wyer, M.D. (2008) Quantification and control of microbial pollution from agriculture: a new policy challenge? Environment Science and Policy 11, 171-184. (DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2007.10.009).
  3. Stapleton, C. M., Wyer, M. D., Crowther, J., McDonald, A.T., Kay, D., Greaves, J., Wither, A., Watkins, J., Francis, C., Humphrey, N. and Bradford, M. (2008) Quantitative catchment profiling to apportion faecal indicator organism budgets for the Ribble system, the UK’s sentinel drainage basin for Water Framework Directive research. Journal of Environmental Management 87, 535-550. (DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.11.035).
  4. McDonald, A.T., McDonald, D., Kay, D. and Watkins, J. (2008) Characteristics and significance of liquid effluent from woodchip corrals in Scotland. Journal of Environmental Management 87, 582-590. (DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.04.029).
  5. Edwards, A.C. and Kay, D. (2008) Farmyards an overlooked source of highly contaminated runoff. Journal of Environmental Management 87, 551-559. (DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.06.027).
  6. Kay, D., Crowther, J., Stapleton, C.M., Wyer, M.D., Anthony, S., Bradford, M., Edwards, A., Fewtrell, L., Francis, C., Hopkins, M., Kay, C., McDonald, A.T., Watkins, J. and Wilkinson, J. (2008) Faecal indicator organism concentrations and catchment export coefficients in the UK. Water Research 42, 2649-2661.(DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2008.01.017).
  7. Kay, D., Kershaw, S., Lee, R., Wyer, M.D., Watkins, J. and Francis, C. (2008) Results of field investigations into the impact of intermittent sewage discharges on the microbiological quality of wild mussels (M. edulis) in a tidal estuary. Water Resea rch 42, 3033-3046 (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2008.03.020).
  8. Kay, D., McDonald, A.T., Stapleton, C.M., Wyer, M.D. and Crowther, J. (2008) Catchment to coastal systems: managing microbial pollutants in bathing and shellfish harvesting waters. In Jenkins, A. and Ferrier, B. (Eds.) (2008) Catchment Management Handbook. International Water Association. (in press).
  9. Rees, G., Pond, K. Kay, D. and Domingo, S. (2008) (Eds.) Management of shellfish harvesting waters for public health protection. Published jointly by International Water Association and World Health Organization 310p (in press).
  10. Kay, D., Lee, R., Wyer, M.D. and Stapleton, C.S. (2008) Integrated catchment studies: source identification and modelling. In Rees, G., Pond, K. Kay, D. and Domingo, S. (Eds.) Management of shellfish harvesting waters for public health protection. Published jointly by International Water Association and World Health Organization Chapter 10 (in press).
  11. Kay, D., Lee, R., Wyer, M.D. and Stapleton, C.S. (2008) Profiling shellfish harvesting waters for public health protection. In Rees, G., Pond, K. Kay, D. and Domingo, S. (Eds.) Management of shellfish harvesting waters for public health protection. Published jointly by International Water Association and World Health Organization Chapter 12 (in press).
  12. Rees, G. and Kay, D. (2008) Framework for change. In Rees, G., Pond, K. Kay, D. and Domingo, S. (Eds.) Management of shellfish harvesting waters for public health protection. Published jointly by International Water Association and World Health Organization Chapter 17 (in press).
  13. Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. 320p (in press).
  14. Fewtrell, L., Kay, D., Matthews, I., Utzinger, J. and Bos R. (2008) An introduction to health impact assessment. In Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. Chapter 1 (in press).
  15. Fewtrell, L., Kay, D. and McDonald, A.T. (2008) Rainwater harvesting – an HIA of rainwater harvesting in the UK. In Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. Chapter 3 (in press).
  16. Fewtrell, L., Kay, D. and Kellagher, R. (2008) HIA of sustainable drainage options in the UK. In Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. Chapter 4 (in press).
  17. Fewtrell, L., Kay, D., Jeffrey, P. and Jefferson, B. (2008) HIA of greywater reuse in the UK. In Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. Chapter 5 (in press).
  18. Fewtrell, L., Kay, D. and Ashley, R. (2008) Flooding and health – an HIA of urban pluvial flooding in the UK. In Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (Eds.) (2008) A guide to the health impact assessment of sustainable water management. International Water Association, Amsterdam. Chapter 6 (in press).
  19. Kay, D. (2008) Water Management. In Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (Eds) International encyclopaedia of human geography. (invited review chapter under editorial consideration).
  20. Fewtrell L, Kay D (2008) An attempt to quantify the health impacts of flooding in the UK using an urban case study. Public Health 122, 446-451. (DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2007.09.010)
  21. Crowther, J., Anthony, S., Kay, D., Stapleton, C.M. and Wyer, M.D. (2008) Land use-based modelling of faecal indicator organism concentrations in river catchments. Land Use Policy (under editorial consideration).
  22. Reid, D., Lilley, A., Kay, D., Drury, D., O’Neill, D., Jones, D., Cooper, D., and Clapham, D. (2008) Development of the UK approach to risk assessment for small drinking water supplies. Journal of Environmental Management. (under editorial consideration).
  23. Kay, D., Aitken, M., Crowther, J., Dickson, I., Edwards, A.C., Francis, C., Hopkins, M., Jeffrey, W., Kay, C., McDonald, A.T., McDonald, D., Stapleton, C.M., Watkins, J., Wilkinson, J. and Wyer, M. (2007) Reducing fluxes of faecal indicator compliance parameters to bathing waters from diffuse agricultural sources, the Brighouse Bay study, Scotland. Environmental Pollution 147, 139-149. (DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2006.08.019).
  24. Kay, D., Edwards, A.C., Ferrier, B., Francis, C., Kay, C., Rushby, L. Watkins, J., McDonald, A.T., Wyer, M., Crowther, J. and Wilkinson, J. (2007) Catchment microbial dynamics: the emergence of a research agenda. Progress in Physical Geography 31(1), 59-76. (DOI:10.1177/0309133307073882).
  25. Fewtrell, L., Smith, L., Kay, D. and Bartram, J. (2007) Quantifying the global disease burden due to fluoride in drinking water. Journal of Water and Health 4(4), 533-542. (DOI:10.2166/wh.2006.045).
  26. Stapleton, C.M., Wyer, M.D., Kay, D., Crowther, J., Walters, M., Gawler, A. and Hindle, T. (2007) Microbial source tracking: a forensic technique for microbial source identification? Journal of Environmental Monitoring 9, 427-439. (DOI:10.1039/b617059e).
  27. Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (2007) Microbial quality of rainwater supplies in developed countries: a review. Urban Water Journal 4(4), 1-8. (DOI:10.1080/15730620701526097).
  28. Kay, D. Watkins, J., Francis, C.A., Wyn-Jones, A.P., Stapleton, C.M., Fewtrell, L., Wyer, M.D. and Drury, D. (2007) The microbiological quality of seven large commercial private water supplies in the United Kingdom. Journal of Water and Health 5(4), 523-538. (DOI:10.2166/wh.2007.042).
  29. Fewtrell, L. and Kay, D. (2007) Quantitative microbial risk assessment with respect to Campylobacter spp. in toilets flushed with harvested rainwater. Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management 21, 275-292. (DOI:10.1111/j.1747-6593.2007.00088.x).
  30. Fewtrell L, Kay D. (2007) Health impact assessments of water management options in the UK. Proceedings of the Water Management Challenges in Global Change, Eds: Ulanicki B, Vairavamoorthy K, Butler D, Bounds PLM and Memon FA. Taylor & Francis. Pages 653-658.
  31. Kay, D., Ashbolt, N., Wyer, M.D., Fleisher, J.M., Fewtrell, L., Rogers, A. and Rees, G. (2006) Comment on ‘Derivation of numerical values for the World Health Organization guidelines for recreational waters’ A Reply. Water Research 40(3), 1921-1926. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2006.02.009)
  32. Fewtrell, L, Kaufmann, R.B., Kay, D., Enanoria, W., Haller, L., Colford Jr, J.M. (2006) Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhoea in developing countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases 5, 42-52.
  33. Wilkinson, J., Kay, D., Wyer, M.D. and Jenkins, A. (2006) Processes driving the episodic flux of faecal indicator organisms in streams impacting on recreational and shellfish harvesting waters. Water Research 40(1), 153-161. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2005.11.001).
  34. Fleisher, J.M and Kay, D. (2006) Risk perception bias, self-reporting of illness, and validity of reported results in an epidemiologic study of recreational illness. Marine Pollution Bulletin 52, 264-268. (DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.08.019).
  35. Kay, D., McDonald, A.T., Stapleton, C.M., Wyer, M.D. and Fewtrell, L. (2006) Europe: a challenging new framework for water quality. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Water Management 159, 58-64.
  36. Kay, D., J Watkins, J. and Fewtrell, L. (2006) An evaluation of public health issues associated with, or arising from, drainage-based infection spread. Building Services Engineering, Research and Technology 27(2), 119-125.
  37. Boldo, E., S. Medina, F. Kozisek, K. Cambra, M. Gonzalez, A. Le Tertre, P. Beaudeau, P. Pirard, D. Mouly, N. Stilianakis, O. Mekel, K. Pond, D. Kay, R. Aergeerts, M. Posada, M. J. Carroquino, A. Ramirez, S. Elreedy, D. Dalbokova and M. Krzyzanowski (2006). Assessing the implementation of health impact assessment for drinking-water pollution in European countries. Epidemiology 17(6), S446-S446.
  38. Kay, D., Stapleton, C. M., Wyer, M. D., McDonald, A. T., and Crowther, J. (2006) Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL). The USEPA approach to managing faecal indicator fluxes to receiving waters: Lessons for UK environmental regulation? L. Gairns, C. Crighton, and W.A. Jeffrey (Eds) Agriculture and the Environment VI; Managing Rural Diffuse Pollution. Proceedings of the SAC/SEPA Biennial Conference, Edinburgh. International Water Association, Scottish Agricultural College, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Edinburgh, ISBN: 1-901322-63-7, pp. 23-33.
  39. Merrilees, D. W., Dickson, J. W., Jeffrey, W. A., and Kay, D. (2006) A risk assessment and mitigation strategy to minimise livestock pollution to surface waters. L. Gairns, C. Crighton, and W. A. Jeffrey (Eds.) Agriculture and the Environment VI; Managing Rural Diffuse Pollution. Proceedings of the SAC/SEPA Biennial Conference, Edinburgh. International Water Association, Scottish Agricultural College, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Edinburgh, ISBN: 1-901322-63-7, pp. 128-136.
  40. Bateman, I., Andrews, J., Brouwer, R., Davies, H., Day, B., Deflandre, A., Salvatore, Di F., Georgiou, S., Hadley, D., Hutchins, M., Jickells, T., Jones, A.P., Kay, D., Leeks, G., Lewis, M., Lovett, A., Neal, C., Posen, P., Rigby, D., heldon, E., Turner, K. (2006) Catchment Hydrology, Resources, Economics and Management (ChREAM): Integrated Modelling of Rural Land Use & Farm Income Impacts of the WFD and its Potential Non-Market Benefits. Journal of Agricultural Economics 57(2), 221-237.
  41. Pond, K., Kim, R., Kay, D., Aertgeerts, R., and Dalbokova, D. (2006) Development of water and sanitation indicators to monitor children's Health. Epidemiology 171(6), S181.
  42. Lee, R.J. and Kay, D. (2006). Towards a wider application of risk management to bivalve molluscan shellfisheries. In: Henshilwood K. et al (eds.) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety, Galway, Ireland, June 14th-18th, 2004, pp 472-480.
  43. Kay, D., Stapleton, C. M., Wyer, M. D., McDonald, A. T., Crowther, J., Paul, N., Jones, K., Francis, C., Watkins, J., Humphrey, N., Lin, B., Yang, L., Falconer, R. A. and Gardner, S. (2005). Decay of intestinal enterococci concentrations in high energy estuarine and coastal waters: towards real-time T90 values for modelling faecal indicators in recreational waters. Water Research 39, 655-667. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2004.11.014).
  44. Kay, D., Wyer, M. D., Crowther, J., Stapleton, C., Bradford, M., McDonald, A. T., Greaves, J., Francis, C. and Watkins, J. (2005). Predicting faecal indicator fluxes using digital land use data in the UK’s sentinel Water Framework Directive catchment: the Ribble study. Water Research 39, 3967-3981. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2005.07.006).
  45. Kay, D., Wyer, M.D., Crowther, J., Stapleton, C., Crowther, J., Wilkinson, J., and Glass, P. (2005) Sustainable reduction in the flux of microbial compliance parameters to coastal bathing waters by a wetland ecosystem produced by a marine flood defence structure. Water Research 39, 3320-3332. (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2005.05.043).
  46. Wither, A., Greaves, J., Dunhill, I., Wyer, M.D., Stapleton, C., Wyer, M.D., Kay, D., Humphrey, N., Watkins, J., Francis, C., McDonald, A.T., and Crowther, J. (2005) Estimation of diffuse and point source microbial pollution in the Ribble catchment discharging to bathing waters in the north west of England. Water Science and Technology 15(3-4), 191-198.
  47. Fewtrell, L., Fuge, R., Kay, D. (2005) An estimation of the global burden of disease due to skin lesions caused by arsenic in drinking water. Journal of Water and Health 3(2), 101-107.