Escherichia coli contamination of the river Thames in different seasons and weather conditions

Amirat, Linda and Wildeboer, Dirk and Abuknesha, Ramadan A. and Price, Robert G. (2012) Escherichia coli contamination of the river Thames in different seasons and weather conditions. Water and Environment Journal, 26 (4). pp. 482-489. ISSN 1747-6585

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Contamination of public water ways with sewage represents a serious environmental and health risk. We monitored pollution of the river Thames by enumerating the indicator organism Escherichia coli. Samples were taken from a site in central London near Waterloo Bridge in different seasons. E. coli were quantified using a membrane filtration method, and correlated with the tidal variations of the river and meteorological data on rainfall and temperature. More frequent and severe incidents of pollution occurred in the autumn. Heavy rainfall resulted in sharp peaks of E. coli contamination that implies a potential increase of numbers of pathogenic micro-organisms. Sixty percent of all samples were found to be in excess of the accepted upper limit of pollution set by European Union (EU) legislation for bathing water. This study demonstrated that frequent sewage pollution of the Thames results in high numbers of E. coli and incidents of detectable levels of pathogenic bacteria demonstrating the need for regular monitoring of bacterial pollution.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):β-D-glucuronidase; Escherichia coli; faecal pollution; microbial water testing
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
ID Code:8520
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Deposited On:01 Mar 2012 15:15
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:50

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