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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(12), 4179-4202; doi:10.3390/ijerph7124179

New Perspectives in Monitoring Drinking Water Microbial Quality

Unit of Microbiology, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virigili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201-Reus, Spain
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Malaga, Campus Universitario Teatinos, 29071-Malaga, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2010 / Accepted: 6 December 2010 / Published: 10 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
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The safety of drinking water is evaluated by the results obtained from faecal indicators during the stipulated controls fixed by the legislation. However, drinking-water related illness outbreaks are still occurring worldwide. The failures that lead to these outbreaks are relatively common and typically involve preceding heavy rain and inadequate disinfection processes. The role that classical faecal indicators have played in the protection of public health is reviewed and the turning points expected for the future explored. The legislation for protecting the quality of drinking water in Europe is under revision, and the planned modifications include an update of current indicators and methods as well as the introduction of Water Safety Plans (WSPs), in line with WHO recommendations. The principles of the WSP approach and the advances signified by the introduction of these preventive measures in the future improvement of dinking water quality are presented. The expected impact that climate change will have in the quality of drinking water is also critically evaluated. View Full-Text
Keywords: indicator microorganisms; drinking water quality; WSP; European drinking water directive; climate change indicator microorganisms; drinking water quality; WSP; European drinking water directive; climate change
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Figueras, M.J.; Borrego, J.J. New Perspectives in Monitoring Drinking Water Microbial Quality. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 4179-4202.

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