Microbial risk assessment of drinking water based on hydrodynamic modelling of pathogen concentrations in source water
Journal article, 2015
Norovirus contamination of drinking water sources is an important cause of waterborne disease outbreaks. Knowledge on pathogen concentrations in source water is needed to assess the ability of a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) to provide safe drinking water. However, pathogen enumeration in source water samples is often not sufficient to describe the source water quality. In this study, the norovirus concentrations were characterised at the contamination source, i.e. in sewage discharges. Then, the transport of norovirus within the water source (the river Gota alv in Sweden) under different loading conditions was simulated using a hydrodynamic model. Based on the estimated concentrations in source water, the required reduction of norovirus at the DWTP was calculated using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA). The required reduction was compared with the estimated treatment performance at the DWTP. The average estimated concentration in source water varied between 4.8 x 10(2) and 7.5 x 10(3) genome equivalents L-1; and the average required reduction by treatment was between 7.6 and 8.8 Log(10). The treatment performance at the DWTP was estimated to be adequate to deal with all tested loading conditions, but was heavily dependent on chlorine disinfection, with the risk of poor reduction by conventional treatment and slow sand filtration. To our knowledge, this is the first article to employ discharge-based QMRA, combined with hydrodynamic modelling, in the context of drinking water. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Water quality modelling
Quantitative microbial risk assessment