A superior indicator of microbial risk: real-time fluorescence spectroscopy

Sorensen, James. 2019 A superior indicator of microbial risk: real-time fluorescence spectroscopy. [Poster] In: 46th IAH Congress, Malaga, Spain, 23-27 Sept 2019. British Geological Survey. (Unpublished)

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The faecal contamination of drinking water is the biggest potable water quality issue on the planet. Contamination is inferred through the culturing of faecal-indicator bacteria (FIB), such as thermotolerant coliforms over at least 18h. We will demonstrate the use of fluorescence spectroscopy as a viable real-time alternative using data from over 550 potable water sources in India, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. Here, the technology is a significant indicator of the presence/absence and number of FIB in drinking water. We will then successfully demonstrate its application as an online indicator of E. coli in UK groundwater-derived public water supplies. Finally, we will discuss temporal relationships between fluorescence spectroscopy and FIB from the repeated sampling of 50 groundwater sources in Kenya and Uganda. These observations lead us to suggest that real-time fluorescence spectroscopy is actually a superior indicator of microbial risks at groundwater sources than the sporadic sampling and culturing of FIB.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Environmental tracers, Groundwater health, Groundwater quality, Point source pollution
Date made live: 30 Apr 2020 14:39 +0 (UTC)

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