An evaluation of sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as specific indicators of human faecal pollution of environmental water

Jagals, P. and Grabow, W. O. K. (1996) An evaluation of sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as specific indicators of human faecal pollution of environmental water. Water SA, 22 3: 235-238.

Author Jagals, P.
Grabow, W. O. K.
Title An evaluation of sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as specific indicators of human faecal pollution of environmental water
Journal name Water SA   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1816-7950
Publication date 1996-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 235
End page 238
Total pages 4
Place of publication Gezina, South Africa
Publisher Water Research Commission
Language eng
Abstract The value of selected indicators for the assessment of faecal pollution, as well as to distinguish whether the pollution is of animal or human origin, was investigated. Faecal coliform bacteria, faecal streptococci and sorbitol- fermenting bifidobacteria were included as indicator organisms. Comparative tests were carried out on samples collected from a stream and river exposed to predominantly faecal pollution of domestic animal origin. Water from the same stream and river was also tested after downstream exposure to runoff from a low socio-economic informed settlement with limited sanitation. Samples were collected from perennial flow during the dry season and from storm-water runoff after thunder showers. Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria were found to be reliable indicators of human faecal pollution. The ratio of faecal coliforms to faecal streptococci was in the order of 3.5 to 4.7 immediately after heavy exposure to faecal pollution of human origin. This ratio may distinguish between pollution of human and animal origin under certain conditions but is not a reliable indication of pollution origin. The results show that runoff from the informal settlement constituted a major source of human faecal pollution for a river used as a downstream source of water for human consumption. It further showed that faecal pollution of human and animal origin can reliably be distinguished by means of appropriate combinations of indicators which may include sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Population Health Publications
 
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