Essay about Water Quality Testing and Health

Essay about Water Quality Testing and Health

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Water is necessary for life, and clean drinking water is essential. Approximately 160 years ago, it was determined that water was a vehicle for disease using typhoid and cholera as examples (Stevens et al. 2003). Since that discovery, there had been a significant decrease in the commonality of water-borne pathogenic deaths. Yet, there have been more than one hundred types of entric viruses found from human feces alone. Examples include Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (Maya et al. 2004, Payment 1993). Despite efforts to fully irradiate the presence of pathogens in water supplies, is still a topic of research today (CITATION).
Coliforms are gram negative, lactose positive bacteria that are typically used to detect the presence of feces contamination in water (Leboffe and Pierce, 2011). Coliforms are classified in the taxonomic family Enterobacteriaceae and reside in the gastrointestinal tracts of mammals like humans, livestock and wildlife (Maya et al. 2004). These bacteria are unique because their presence in sampled water infers there is some sort of fecal contamination in the water, which could be the plausible reason for disease and water treatment (Stevens et al., 2003)
Coliforms were first identified in the 1880’s as they appeared as rod shaped bacteria in human feces. Common coliforms include, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, and Klebsiella. Their presence was used as an indicator for contaminated water for a short time using various filtration methods. Specifically, coliforms were found typically where pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria were also present (Stevens et al., 2003). Due to the similarity in environmental requirements of coliforms and pathogenic Escherichia coli, coliforms were...


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...Iron and Sulfur Bacteria in Water Supplies. http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/enh/IronSulfurBacteria.pdf
Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory, “mFC agar method for fecal coliforms. Updated January 2007.” USGS Ohio Water Science Center. Web. Dec. 4. 2011.
Stevens, Melita., Ashbolt, Nicholas.,Cunliffe, David 2003. Recommendations to Change the Use of Coliforms as Microbial Indicators of Drinking Water Quality. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia.
Todar, Kenneth. "Pseudomonads - Definition from Biology-Online.org.” Life Science Reference - Biology Online. Web. 04 Dec. 2011.

World Health Organization, 2011. “Guidelines for drinking-water quality, fourth edition.” World Health Organization Library Cataloguing. Web. Dec. 4. 2011.
< http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789241548151_eng.pdf>

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