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Supporting a drinking water contaminant warning system using the adenosine triphosphate test

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A contaminant warning system (CWS) with the capability to detect aberrations in drinking water in real-time or near real-time represents significant value for protection of consumers from accidental or intentional contamination of drinking water. The capabilities of a two-tier CWS are examined, the first including nonpurgeable organic carbon (NPOC), free chlorine, turbidity, pH, and conductivity, followed by a confirmatory adenosine triphosphate (ATP) analysis, to control false positives. The utility of the confirmatory analysis is improved by use of a continuous ultrafiltration system, which improves the detection and the correlation between the concentration of Escherichia coli in the sample and measured ATP. The sample was concentrated one hundredfold in 22 min increasing the ATP value of the sample from 980 to 9.8 × 104 CFU/mL as microbial equivalents. The two-tier system is shown to be a successful method for confirmation of biological contamination in near real-time, while controlling false positives and (or) false negatives.

Un système d’alerte de la présence de contaminants (CWS) ayant la capacité de détecter les changements dans l’eau potable en temps réel ou quasi réel est un outil important pour la protection des consommateurs contre une contamination accidentelle ou intentionnelle de l’eau potable. Les capacités d’un système CWS à deux niveaux sont étudiées. Le premier niveau comprend le carbone organique total (NPOC), le chlore libre, la turbidité, le pH ainsi que la conductivité, suivi d’une analyse de confirmation ATP afin de contrôler les faux positifs. L’utilité de l’analyse de confirmation est accrue par l’utilisation d’un système continu d’ultrafiltration qui améliore la détection et la corrélation entre la concentration d’E.coli dans l’échantillon et l’ATP mesuré. L’échantillon était concentré 100 fois en 22 minutes, augmentant la valeur ATP de l’échantillon de 980 à 9,8 × 104 CFU/mL en équivalents microbiens. Le système à deux niveaux s’avère une méthode efficace de confirmation de contamination biologique en temps quasi réel, tout en contrôlant les faux positifs et les négatifs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • Published since 1974, this monthly publication is the official journal of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. It contains articles on environmental engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, structure engineering, construction engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering materials, and a history of civil engineering. Contributors include recognized researchers and practitioners in industry, government, and academe. New developments in engineering design and construction are also featured.
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