This report advocates fecal, as opposed to sewage indicators (74). There are organisms in sewage which are not necessarily of human fecal origin and do not pose a human health hazard. They are not necessarily quantitatively monitored by the fecal indicators proposed and there are better indicators of sewage. Due to the specificity of pathogens, the risk of people getting sick is likely much lower if most of the fecal indicator organisms counted came from homoeothermic animals other than man. Criteria may be over protective or under protective depending upon the ratio of animal to human indicator organisms counted. The source can not be determined on a routine, economical basis and a certain mix of the two sources is assumed when criteria levels are set.
P.D. Warrington. 1988. Water Quality criteria for Microbiological Indicators: Technical Appendix. BC Ministry of Environment and Parks
Keywords: Microbiological indicators, water quality criteria indicators
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