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Open AccessArticle

Drinking Water Quality and Occurrence of Giardia in Finnish Small Groundwater Supplies

National Institute for Health and Welfare, P.O.BOX 95, Kuopio 70701, Finland
Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, P.O.Box 66, Helsinki 00014, Finland
Finnish Environment Institute, P.O.Box 140, Helsinki 00251, Finland
The Water Protection Association of the River Vantaa and Helsinki Region, Asemapäällikönkatu 12 B, Helsinki 00520, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John A. Luczaj
Resources 2015, 4(3), 637-654;
Received: 14 April 2015 / Revised: 13 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
The microbiological and chemical drinking water quality of 20 vulnerable Finnish small groundwater supplies was studied in relation to environmental risk factors associated with potential sources of contamination. The microbiological parameters analyzed included the following enteric pathogens: Giardia and Cryptosporidium, Campylobacter species, noroviruses, as well as indicator microbes (Escherichia coli, intestinal enterococci, coliform bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, Aeromonas spp. and heterotrophic bacteria). Chemical analyses included the determination of pH, conductivity, TOC, color, turbidity, and phosphorus, nitrate and nitrite nitrogen, iron, and manganese concentrations. Giardia intestinalis was detected from four of the water supplies, all of which had wastewater treatment activities in the neighborhood. Mesophilic Aeromonas salmonicida, coliform bacteria and E. coli were also detected. None of the samples were positive for both coliforms and Giardia. Low pH and high iron and manganese concentrations in some samples compromised the water quality. Giardia intestinalis was isolated for the first time in Finland in groundwater wells of public water works. In Europe, small water supplies are of great importance since they serve a significant sector of the population. In our study, the presence of fecal indicator bacteria, Aeromonas and Giardia revealed surface water access to the wells and health risks associated with small water supplies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Giardia; groundwater quality; small water supply; surface water contamination Giardia; groundwater quality; small water supply; surface water contamination
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Pitkänen, T.; Juselius, T.; Isomäki, E.; Miettinen, I.T.; Valve, M.; Kivimäki, A.-L.; Lahti, K.; Hänninen, M.-L. Drinking Water Quality and Occurrence of Giardia in Finnish Small Groundwater Supplies. Resources 2015, 4, 637-654.

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