Water Bottle Cleanliness Study Makes National Headlines


A study by University of Guelph researchers on gastrointestinal illnesses and water containers made headlines Aug. 7.

Carlee Wright

Researchers took samples from drinking water stored in 104 containers at 76 homes in the Inuit community of Rigolet in Labrador. They found illness-causing bacteria in the water, the result of improperly cleaned containers and bottles.

Population medicine professor Sherilee Harper and researcher Carlee Wright spoke with Canadian Press reporter Sue Bailey. The story was featured by news outlets including the Toronto Star  and CTV News.

The study found more than one-quarter of the home samples first taken in Rigolet in 2014 tested positive for bacteria, suggesting fecal contamination. Harper and Wright said people need to clean their water bottles regularly.

Harper studies the health of Indigenous people and community-based health surveillance.