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J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Dec;87(6):822-32.

Distribution and seasonality of microbial indicators and thermophilic campylobacters in two freshwater bathing sites on the River Lune in northwest England.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, I.E.N.S., Lancaster University, UK.

Abstract

Two freshwater bathing sites, the Crook O'Lune and the University Boathouse, on the River Lune in the north-west of England, were monitored over a 2 year period for the faecal indicators, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci, the pathogens, Salmonella and Campylobacter, and compliance with the EU Directive on Bathing Water Quality. Faecal indicator numbers showed no seasonal variation, with numbers in the bathing season similar to those in the non-bathing season. They were consistently above the EU Guideline and Imperative standards so that if the EU Bathing Water Quality Directive (76/160/EEC) were applied, neither site would comply. Faecal indicator numbers in the sediments were an order of magnitude higher than in the overlying water. Campylobacter numbers showed seasonal variation in the water with higher counts in winter than in the summer, although numbers were low. Higher numbers were found in the sediments but there was no seasonal variation. Analysis of various inputs showed that indicators and campylobacters came from a mixture of sources, namely a sewage treatment works, agricultural run-off, streams and mallards. Microbial numbers in the water at the Crook O'Lune, which is closer to the sources of pollution, were twice those at the Boathouse. In the sediments they were six to eight times higher. Faecal coliforms were all identified as Escherichia coli of which 80% were a single biotype. Faecal streptococci were all enterococci of which 55% were E. avium, 38% E. faecalis and 7% E. durans. Salmonella was not isolated from either the water column or the sediments. Campylobacters were mainly Camp. jejuni, followed by Camp. coli, UPTC and Camp. lari.

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