Full text loading...
Chapter 18 : Overview of Water Microbiology as It Relates to Public Health
One of the most important aspects of water microbiology, from a human perspective, is the fact that we acquire numerous diseases from microorganisms found in water. The reservoirs for pathogenic microorganisms found in environmental waters can be humans, animals, or the environment itself, as summarized in this chapter. However, it commonly is presumed that many of those microorganisms that infect humans and are found in our aquatic resources originate from human sources. This anthropogenic contamination can occur during either defecation in water or recreational activities conducted in water. In addition, domestic wastewater is of particular importance as a contributor of the pathogenic contaminants found in aquatic environments; the attendant public health concerns have resulted in the development of methods for studying and reducing the levels of pathogens in wastewater. The treatment of wastewater also is intended to reduce the contamination of crops that may occur when wastewater is eventually discharged onto land surfaces. The goal of this chapter to represent and summarize the current knowledge on public health aspects of water microbiology.