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BERGER, P., R. M. CLARK, D. J. REASONER, E. W. RICE, AND J. W. SANTO-DOMINGO. Drinking Water . Chapter N/A, Encyclopedia of Microbiology: Third Edition. Elsevier Ltd, Oxford, Uk, 1:121-137, (2009).
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This encyclopedic entry deals with various aspects of microbiology as it relates to drinking water treatment. The use of microbial indicators for assessing fecal contamination is discussed as well as current national drinking water regulations (U.S. EPA) and guidelines proposed by international organizations (WHO, EU). Emphasis is placed on the multi-barrier approach to preventing entry of pathogenic organisms into the water supply. Information is presented on source water protection, on various unit processes involved in the physical removal and chemical inactivation of microbial contaminants as well as on coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration procedures and membrane processes. The effectiveness of the principal chemical disinfectants (chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide, ozone) and ultraviolet radiation is reviewed in reference to their efficacy for inactivating bacteria, viruses and encysted protozoa. A discussion of drinking water distribution system issues provides information on indigenously occurring microorganisms including those which have been categorized as opportunistic pathogens. The use of alternative water sources, especially as it applies to emergency situations, and household treatment devices is also discussed.
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