+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Evaluation of indicators for assessment of human and animal faecal pollution of surface run-off



Evaluation of indicators for assessment of human and animal faecal pollution of surface run-off



Water Science & Technology 31(5-6): 235-241



The value of selected indicators for assessment of faecal pollution, as well as the distinction of faecal pollution of human or animal origin, has been investigated. The following indicators were included: faecal coliform bacteria, faecal streptococci, sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria. Rhodococcus coprophilus, somatic and male-specific coliphages, phages of Bacteroides fragilis, and cytopathogenic viruses. Comparative tests were carried out on samples collected from a stream and river exposed to predominantly faecal pollution of domestic animal origin, and the same stream and river after downstream exposure to run-off from a low socio-economic informal settlement with restricted sanitation. Samples were collected from perennial flow during the dry season and from storimwater run-off after thundershowers. Stormwater run-off from the settlement reached faecal coliform counts of up to 4 400 000 per 100 ml, which is equivalent to that of many raw sewage effluents. Faecal pollution was less during the dry season. Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria were identifiable with faecal pollution of human origin, and R coprophilus bacteria with that of animal origin. The ratio of faecal coliforms to faecal streptococci was in the order of 3.5 to 4.7 immediately after exposure to sewage pollution of human origin. In water exposed to faecal pollution predominantly of animal origin, and downstream from pollution of human origin, this ratio varied from 0.8 to 1.7, which indicates that under circumstances the ratio may also distinguish between faecal pollution of human and animal origin. Phages of B fragilis and cytopathogenic viruses were not detected by direct titration in any of the samples, which implies that their application in this situation would require more sensitive techniques. The results show that the run-off from the informal settlement constituted a major source of pollution for a river catchment which downstream is used as a source of water for human consumption, and that faecal pollution of human and animal origin can reliably be distinguished by means of combinations of appropriate indicators.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 002834000

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/0273-1223(95)00272-o


Related references

An assessment of Bacteroides fragilis group organisms as indicators of human faecal pollution. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 58(1): 95-99, 1985

An evaluation of sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as specific indicators of human faecal pollution of environmental water. Water S A 22(3): 235-238, 1996

Studies to distinguish between human and animal faecal pollution using F-RNA coliphages and faecal sterols. Water SA 32(5): 627-632, 2006

Phylogenetic analysis of Bacteroidales 16S rRNA gene sequences from human and animal effluents and assessment of ruminant faecal pollution by real-time PCR. Journal of Applied Microbiology 108(3): 974-984, 2010

Evaluation of F-RNA coliphages as indicators of viruses and the source of faecal pollution. Water SA (Pretoria) (Special Edition): 86-91, 2002

Faecal streptococci as faecal pollution indicators A review Part I Taxonomy and enumeration. New Zealand Journal Of: 101-115, 1993

Characterization of 'faecal streptococci' as indicators of faecal pollution and distribution in the environment. Letters in Applied Microbiology 29(4): 258-263, 1999

Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as specific indicators of human faecal pollution. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 55(2): 349-357, 1983

The influence of rainfall on the incidence of microbial faecal indicators and the dominant sources of faecal pollution in a Florida river. Journal of Applied Microbiology 98(5): 1127-1136, 2005

Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as indicators of diffuse human faecal pollution in estuarine watersheds. Journal of Applied Microbiology 87(4): 528-535, 1999

Animal and human faecal pollution in New Zealand rivers. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33(1): 119-128, 1999

Relationship between F-specific RNA phage genogroups, faecal pollution indicators and human adenoviruses in river water. Water Research 43(5): 1257-1264, 2009

Bacteriophages as indicators of human and animal faecal contamination in raw and treated wastewaters from Tunisia. Journal of Applied Microbiology 118(5): 1217-1225, 2015

Studies in the differentiation between human and animal pollution by means of faecal streptococci. Journal of General Microbiology 12(2): 180-190, 1955

Sorbitol-fermenting Bifidobacteria are indicators of very recent human faecal pollution in streams and groundwater habitats in urban tropical lowlands. Journal of Water and Health 8(3): 466-478, 2010