Divergent Indicator Bacteria Standards and Criteria for Water Quality Related to Public Health

  • Ernst M. Davis
  • Rufus K. Guthrie
Part of the Biodeterioration Research book series (BIOR, volume 4)


Bacterial indicators of water quality have been developed over previous decades as tools to be used in decision-making processes for the protection of public health. These indicators serve the purpose of relating the degree of risk that a particular body of water holds regarding human contact, to the ingestion of the water or consumption of food species taken from the water. For the most part, they only suggest that pathogenic organisms may be present. In total, all of these can be considered “aquatic toxicants as biodeteriogens affecting human health.” If present in high numbers the water may be judged to be unfit for its designated use. Nevertheless, no indicator group in use today can yield information with absolute certainty as to the sanitary quality of the water. To complicate matters further, there are several criteria and/or standards for assessing fresh water and marine water quality, depending on specific preestablished uses.


Fecal Coliform Total Coliform Much Probable Number Fecal Coliform Count Fecal Coliform Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst M. Davis
    • 1
  • Rufus K. Guthrie
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Texas, School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human EcologyUniversity of Texas, School of Public HealthHoustonUSA

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