Send to

Choose Destination
Water Res. 2003 May;37(9):2186-94.

Bacteriophages and Clostridium spores as indicator organisms for removal of pathogens by passage through saturated dune sand.

Author information

Microbiological Laboratory for Health Protection, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven 3720 BA, The Netherlands.


In a field study on the efficiency of dune recharge for drinking water production, bacteriophage MS2 was shown to be removed 8 log(10) by passage through the dune sand. The question of whether pathogenic viruses would be removed as much as MS2 was studied by comparing complete breakthrough curves of MS2 with those of the human viruses Coxsackievirus B4 (CB4) and Poliovirus 1 (PV1) in laboratory columns. The columns were designed to closely simulate the field conditions: same sand, water, porewater velocity and temperature. Employing a two-site kinetic model to simulate breakthrough curves, attachment/detachment to two types of kinetic sites as well as inactivation of free and attached viruses were evaluated. It was found that attachment to only one of the sites is of significance for determining overall removal. At field scale, removal of the less negatively charged PV1 was extrapolated to be about 30 times greater than that of MS2, but removal of CB4 would be only as much as that of MS2. Also, removal of spores of Clostridium perfringens D10, a potential surrogate for Cryptosporidium oocysts, was studied. The attachment rate coefficient of the spores was 7.5 times greater than that of MS2. However, this does not imply that the removal of the spores is 7.5 times greater than that of MS2. Due to negligible inactivation in combination with detachment of previously attached spores, the actual removal rate of the spores depends on the duration of contamination and eventually all spores will break through. Provided no irreversible attachment or physical straining occurs, this may also be the case for other persistent microorganisms, like oocysts of Cryptosporidium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center