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Decay of intestinal enterococci concentrations in high-energy estuarine and coastal waters: towards real-time T90 values for modelling faecal indicators in recreational waters.

Kay, D. and Stapleton, C. M. and Wyer, M. D. and McDonald, A. T. and Crowther, J. and Paul, Nigel D. and Jones, Keith and Francis, C. and Watkins, J. and Wilkinson, J. and Humphrey, N. and Lin, B. and Yang, L. and Falconer, R. A. and Gardner, S. (2005) Decay of intestinal enterococci concentrations in high-energy estuarine and coastal waters: towards real-time T90 values for modelling faecal indicators in recreational waters. Water Research, 39 (4). pp. 655-667. ISSN 0043-1354

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Abstract

Intestinal enterococci are the principal ‘health-evidence-based’ parameter recommended by WHO for the assessment of marine recreational water compliance. Understanding the survival characteristics of these organisms in nearshore waters is central to public health protection using robust modelling to effect real-time prediction of water quality at recreation sites as recently suggested by WHO and the Commission of the European Communities Previous models have more often focused on the coliform parameters and assumed two static day-time and night-time T90 values to characterise the decay process. The principal driver for enterococci survival is the received dose of irradiance from sunlight. In the water column, transmission of irradiance is determined by turbidity produced by suspended material. This paper reports the results of irradiated microcosm experiments using simulated sunlight to investigate the decay of intestinal enterococci in relatively turbid estuarine and coastal waters collected from the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel, UK. High-turbidity estuarine waters produced a T90 value of 39.5 h. Low-turbidity coastal waters produced a much shorter T90 value of 6.6 h. In experiments receiving no irradiation, high-turbidity estuarine waters also produced a longer T90 of 65.1 h compared with corresponding low-turbidity coastal waters, T90 24.8 h. Irradiated T90 values were correlated with salinity, turbidity and suspended solids (r>0.8, p<0.001). The results suggest that enterococci decay in irradiated experiments with turbidity >200 NTU is similar to decay observed under dark conditions. Most significantly, these results suggest that modelling turbidity and or suspended solids offers a potential means of predicting T90 values in ‘real-time’ for discrete cells of a hydrodynamic model.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Water Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: Enterococci ; T90 ; Irradiance ; Simulated sunlight ; Estuary ; Bathing water ; Real-time prediction
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10230
Deposited By: Dr Nigel Paul
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2008 08:49
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 10:48
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10230

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