Assessing Microbial Safety of Drinking Waters: Perspectives by Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

By Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

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Additional info for Assessing Microbial Safety of Drinking Waters: Perspectives for Improved Approaches and Methods

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Coli may originate from organically enriched water such as industrial effluents or from decaying plant materials and soils. In tropical and subtropical waters, thermotolerant coliform bacteria may occur without any obvious relation to human pollution and have been found on vegetation in the tropical rainforest. This means that the occurrence of the thermotolerant coliform group in subtropical or tropical waters or those enriched with organic wastes does not necessarily suggest faecal contamination by humans.

Traditionally, the main reason for monitoring water quality has been to verify whether the observed water quality is suitable for an intended use (in this case human consumption). e. the purposes of the monitoring) helps to ensure that the data collected are appropriate for the management uses for which they are intended (Bartram and Helmer, 1996; Makela and Meybeck, 1996). The different information needs are described below. 1 Regulation Many agencies, including the WHO (WHO, 1976, 1997) identify two complementary roles in drinking water monitoring: quality control by the supplier and independent surveillance by the regulatory body.

The detection of E. coli in water leaving a treatment works is of the same significance as any other coliform organism, but its absence does not necessarily indicate that pathogens have been eliminated. 52 Because E. coli is indicative of recent faecal contamination, with any positive finding consideration should be given to whether steps need to be taken to protect consumers. In the event of more than one related sample containing E. coli, or the recognition of other significant features such as treatment aberrations, the issue of advice to boil water intended for drinking may be considered appropriate (see Chapter 7).

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