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The fate of enteric pathogens in artificial recharge schemes

Wall, K., Toze, S. and O'Hara, G. (2004) The fate of enteric pathogens in artificial recharge schemes. In: Sustainability of water resources : proceedings of the International Conference, 13 - 14 November 2002, Perth, Western Australia


Water reclamation is becoming an important option for Australia in the face of increasing pressure on water supplies. A potential concern is the introduction of pathogens into groundwater, especially enteroviruses. Studies on the survival of the enteroviruses poliovirus type 1, coxsackievirus b3 and adenovirus, the bacterial pathogen Salmonella typhimurium and the indicator microorganisms Escherichia coli and MS2 in groundwater have shown a relationship between the presence of indigenous groundwater microorganisms and the survival of the microbial pathogens, and are supported by published results. In the presence of indigenous groundwater microorganisms, pathogens and indicator organisms have shown a greatly reduced survival time. Studies into the conditions and mechanisms behind this observed effect indicated that the presence of indigenous microorganisms was the major influencing factor. Further, they indicate that these microorganisms may be producing compounds (possibly enzymes or other proteins) responsible for the reduced survival. Studies have indicated that these compounds were produced by a small percentage of indigenous groundwater microorganisms and they may be microbial- type specific. Knowledge gained from this study, published work and ongoing investigation could allow for the safer use of reclaimed waters by storage in groundwater aquifers.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: IWA Publishing
Copyright: © 2004 IWA
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