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Effects of Sample Holding Time on Concentrations of Microorganisms in Water Samples

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Abstract:

This research investigated the effects of extending the holding time of samples for microbial analysis beyond the standard of 24 hours for purposes such as watershed characterization. Experiments were conducted with both sanitary wastewater and stormwater samples. The refrigerated samples (4 °C) were held for up to 9 days before being analyzed for two pathogens (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) and five indicator organisms (total coliform, fecal coliform, fecal streptococcus, enterococcus, and Escherichia coli) by membrane filtration. The concentrations (as colony–forming units per 100 mL) were normalized by log10 transformation and used in subsequent statistical analysis testing for significant differences. The results suggested that the concentrations of microorganisms in water samples analyzed on days 1 and 2 did not vary significantly in 8 of 13 analyses. The results of a field study concluded that the concentration of fecal coliform did not change significantly between 7 hours holding time and greater than 24 hours holding time for fecal coliform.

Keywords: HOLDING TIME; INDICATOR ORGANISMS; PATHOGENS; SANITARY WASTEWATER; STORMWATER; WATERSHED

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143004X141591

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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