Microbiological quality of selected recreational waters

Alvarez, R.J.

Environmental Research 26(2): 372-380


ISSN/ISBN: 0013-9351
PMID: 6797820
DOI: 10.1016/0013-9351(81)90213-9
Accession: 005897653

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The incidence of bacteria, fungi, total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia enterocolitica, Edwardsiella tarda (E. anguillimortifera) and Chromobacterium violaceum was monitored in 18 widely used recretional waters in the north-central Florida [USA] area. Samples were obtained during the summer of 1979 and winter of 1980. Temperature and pH were measured simultaneously with sample collection. Heterotrophic bacteria was enumerated using plate count agar (PCA) with incubation at 35.degree. C for 48 h. Fungal counts were done using PCA with incubation at 25.degree. C for 5 days. Total and fecal coliforms were enumerated following the most probable number technique. Various selective and differential media were used for the isolation of the pathogens studied. Temperature, pH, bacterial counts, fungal counts, total coliform counts and fecal coliform counts decreased in all winter samples. The distribution of the selected pathogenic microorganisms seemed to be affected during the winter. Of all the recreational water sampled during the entire study, 44% contained S. marcescens, 50% contained P. aeruginosa, 56% contained C. violaceum and 11% contained Y. enterocolitica. E. tarda was not recovered during the entire study. The presence of high levels of fecal coliforms and the isolation of various pathogenic microorganisms in the various recreational waters studied should be of concern and closer monitoring is stressed.