Water Microbiology

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When thirsty, nothing is as refreshing as a cool glass of water. So you reach out for that glass of water, but what if you paused to think about what you are just about to drink. Water is vital for our health and well being, it constitutes about two-third of our body and the innumerous benefits and importance make it a non-negotiable part of our lives. At the first glance and sniff we know if the water looks clean and odorless then comes the question of microbial contamination, something the naked eye cannot see. Because of the nature of water, its solubility and availability, it can be host to many microbes and become the source of many waterborne diseases. Growing population, industrialization and rapid urbanization has changed the rate of water demand and consumption, consequently water supply. The need for usable fresh water has required all available water sources, which are rivers, streams, lakes to be put to use. On the other hand, most of the untreated sewage, household, industrial and chemical wastes are also being dumped into these same sources of water, thus polluting them. Most strains of E. coli (Escherichia Coli) are harmless and often beneficial to human, except for E. coli O157:H7, which has emerged as a major cause of waterborne diseases. Enteric viruses are also causative agents of human diseases and cause wide variety of pathological symptoms and enteroviral infections, especially in children. As enteroviral epidemics are predominantly waterborne, water pollution poses immediate threat to human health. [1] In this article we explore contamination from this particular strain of E. coli bacteria (O157:H7) and enteric viruses, their potential threats and how to test the water for such contamination. Bacterial Contamination

Bacterial contamination of water is usually in the form of coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria live in soil/vegetation and in the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans. They thrive in warm, wet and dark places....
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