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Modified USEPA Method 1601 to Indicate Viral Contamination of Groundwater (PDF)

  • Author(s): Salter, Robert S.; Durbin, Gregory W.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: August 2012
  • Volume / Number: 104, Number 8
  • Page(s): E480-E488
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0076276
Full Text: pdf

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The 2006 Ground Water Rule allows three indicators for detection of fecal contamination: Escherichia coli, enterococci, and coliphages. Although each indicator has its benefits and limitations, testing for all three ensures the safest potable water supply. Somatic and male-specific coliphages are viral indicators. Current coliphage detection methods approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) require more preparation and expense compared with rapid bacterial indicator tests. This study describes a tier 2 validation of commercially prepared reagents used in a modified USEPA method 1601 format for the qualitative detection of coliphages. Four water laboratories participated in a USEPA alternative test procedure format using method 1601 performance-based measurement system guidelines to test four geographically diverse groundwaters spiked with wastewater. Results indicated that the modifications to method 1601 have value in predicting the presence of coliphages in 8 h with subsequent overnight plaque confirmation; the total assay time of 16 to 24 h was equivalent to the 48 to 72 h of USEPA method 1601.

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