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Drinking-water quality and issues associated with water vending machines in the city of Los Angeles.

* Many people concerned about the quality of tap water buy bottled water, filtered tap water, or water from a water vending machine.

* In California, vending machine water is required to meet all maximum contaminant level requirements set for public drinking water.

* Water vending machines must be constructed of corrosive-resistant, nonabsorbent material that allows easy cleaning and maintenance.

* The dispensing spout must be protected from contamination by a self-closing, tight-fitting door or enclosure.

* The water must be disinfected by a health department-approved method.

* The name, address, and phone number of the machine operator must be displayed on each machine.

* Each water vending machine must have an annual permit issued by the California Department of Health Services.

* This study sampled water from 40 vending machines in Los Angeles, California.

* For 17.5 percent of the machines, there was either no posted operator information or the operator could not be contacted.

* Over 27 percent did not have the last date of service posted on the machine.

* Over 27 percent did not have a door, or had a door that was not self-closing.

* Over 12 percent had been vandalized.

* A CDHS permit was lacking on 35 percent of machines.

* Chlorine was detected in 10 percent of the water samples.

* Evidence of mold was found in 60 percent.

* Over 30 percent tested positive for coliform bacteria.

* Of these, 25 percent contained fecal coliform bacteria.

* This study also demonstrated that water vending machines can supply water relatively free of microbial contaminants.

* The key difference seems to be the quality of maintenance.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Practical Stuff!
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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