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Real-time inference of thermotolerant coliforms in groundwater

Sorensen, James; Lapworth, Dan; Marchant, Ben; Nkhuwa, Daniel; Pedley, Steve. 2015 Real-time inference of thermotolerant coliforms in groundwater. [Poster] In: 42nd IAH Congress, Rome, Italy, 14-18 Sept 2015. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

Enteric pathogens are typically inferred from the presence of cultured surrogate indicator organisms such as thermotolerant coliforms (TTCs). Their analysis requires suitable laboratories, specialist trained personnel, and is time-consuming, which can limit sampling resolution, particularly during critical pollution events. Tryptophan-like fluorescence has been demonstrated as a useful indicator of human influence on freshwater resources due to its association with sewage and farm waste. Following recent developments in field-deployable optical sensor technology, portable tryptophan-like fluorimeters are now commercially available. We demonstrate their real-time applicability at potable urban groundwater supplies in the developing world. We sampled over 100 supplies for TTCs, and traditional surrogates, such as turbidity and nutrients, as well as tryptophan-like fluorescence. The intensity of tryptophan-like fluorescence was the most effective predictor of the presence/absence and number of TTCs. These sensors have the potential to be included in real-time pollution alert systems for drinking water supplies throughout the world, as well as mapping enteric pathogen risks in developing regions.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Environmental tracers
Date made live: 26 Nov 2015 15:32 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/512301

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