|M.Sc Student||Gavrieli Benjamin|
|Subject||The Quality of Drinking Water in Canteens of Field Soldiers|
as a Probable Source of Intestinal Disorders
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisor||Professor Robert Armon|
The Israeli Defense Force issues individual soldiers personal water canteens for drinking purposes. This thesis studies the possibility that water stored in these personal canteens may contain pathogenic organisms and consequently cause enteric illness. Results of water sampled from soldiers’ canteens indicate that the quality of water does not meet the Ministry of Health standards for drinking water. Examination of canteen water quality as a function of storage time prior to sampling, revealed, that longer detention times cause a decay in the water quality. A distribution analysis of microbial quality of canteen water between infantry and armored corps revealed that armored corps soldiers' water quality was inferior to that of the infantry. An "odds ratio" test was conducted, investigating 45 possibilities for “exposure - illness”. In 14 cases it is possible to assume that there is a connection between exposure and illness. It should be noted that results were not statistically significant.
The contamination of canteen water is mainly caused by secondary contamination, originating from soldier use of the canteen (hands, mouth contact) and environment (sand, dirt or a variety of accumulating factors). Another possible cause of secondary contamination is lubrication liquids used by tank personnel. These liquids may have been a source of carbon for the bacteria detected.
From the canteen drinking water aspect, the following measures should be employed: a) change water daily; b) wash the canteen in running water before each filling; c) provide a tap for one task: to fill water tanks/canteens that has a free chlorine residual of 2.0 mg/l.