In February 1999, WERA filed administrative complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898 of 1994 at the U.
The African-Americans in WERA communities have been requesting access to services for years.
From the beginning, WERA has been proactive and patient in efforts to work with the city of Mebane and county governments.
The points raised in the letter to the editor closely parallel public comments expressed by Mebane's city council when WERA filed Title VI and environmental justice complaints nearly 13 years ago.
WERA formed a COMR partnership with researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health (UNC) to perform a cross-sectional household drinking water and sewer service survey and measure fecal pollution levels in drinking water and surface water supplies in the communities, which is reported in this article.
WERA communities are located inside the Mebane city limits and on the border of Alamance and Orange counties, North Carolina.
WERA staff coordinated the process of household recruitment, which involved COMR methods to contact local households (Heaney et al.
CMs visited households in WERA neighborhoods, distributed drinking water and sewer service surveys, and also requested permission to collect water samples at households (Heaney et al.
WERA based the survey on input from affected residents and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Orange County, North Carolina, Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
Teams of WERA community monitors were trained in the aseptic method of water sample collection as described in the 20th edition of the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (American Public Health Association [APHA], 1998).
Differences in turbidity (NTU) and fecal microbial indicator concentrations at target and referent sites in WERA neighborhoods (MPN/100mL) were evaluated.