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Maheux A.F.,Recherche En Eau Potable Of Luniversite Laval | Maheux A.F.,Laval University | Dion-Dupont V.,Recherche En Eau Potable Of Luniversite Laval | Dion-Dupont V.,Laval University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Water and Health | Year: 2015

The MI agar, Colilert®, Chromocult coliform® agar, and DC with BCIG agar chromogenic culture-based methods used to assess microbiological quality of drinking water were compared in terms of their ubiquity, sensitivity, ease of use, growth of atypical colonies and affordability. For ubiquity, 129 total coliform (representing 76 species) and 19 Escherichia coli strains were tested. Then, 635 1-L well water samples were divided into 100 mL subsamples for testing by all four methods. Test results showed that 70.5, 52.7, 36.4, and 23.3% of the non-E. coli total coliform strains and 94.7, 94.7, 89.5, and 89.5% of the 19 E. coli strains yielded a positive signal with the four methods, respectively. They also yielded a total coliform positive signal for 66.5, 51.7, 64.9, and 55.0% and an E. coli positive signal for 16.1, 14.8, 17.3, and 13.4% of the 635 well water samples tested, respectively. Results showed that Colilert® is the most expensive method tested in terms of reactants, yet it is the easiest to use. Large numbers of atypical colonies were also often observed on Chromocult coliform® and DC with BCIG, thereby challenging the target microorganism count. Thus, the MI agar method seems to be the best option for the assessment of drinking water quality. © IWA Publishing 2015.

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