Event Title

Survivability of Potential Pathogens in Water

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2012 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Dorothy Wrigley

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Non-municipal water may be capable of providing a suitable environment for pathogenic microorganisms and serve as a reservoir for disease. The purpose of this research project was to investigate the survivability of pathogenic microorganisms in several water sources. Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli were used as representative pathogenic organisms. Water samples were collected from four sources: reverse osmosis (r/o), tap, creek, and gray water. Sterilized samples were inoculated with a single organism. All water samples were incubated at room temperature. Samples were assayed weekly for quantification of surviving bacteria using plate counts on non-selective media. All three organisms survived at least three weeks in r/o water. E. coli was the most sensitive to tap water. Survival in Seven Mile Creek water varied greatly with S. aureus being the most sensitive. Some results with gray water are still pending and will be presented. Seven mile creek water and gray water were capable of supporting growth of E. coli and E. faecalis which means nutrients for growth were present. The results demonstrate that using one organism as a safety indicator for all pathogens is unreliable because each organism’s behavior varies. The results also indicate that potable water treatment with disinfection agents, like chlorine, is important.

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 11:30 AM

Survivability of Potential Pathogens in Water

CSU Ballroom

Non-municipal water may be capable of providing a suitable environment for pathogenic microorganisms and serve as a reservoir for disease. The purpose of this research project was to investigate the survivability of pathogenic microorganisms in several water sources. Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli were used as representative pathogenic organisms. Water samples were collected from four sources: reverse osmosis (r/o), tap, creek, and gray water. Sterilized samples were inoculated with a single organism. All water samples were incubated at room temperature. Samples were assayed weekly for quantification of surviving bacteria using plate counts on non-selective media. All three organisms survived at least three weeks in r/o water. E. coli was the most sensitive to tap water. Survival in Seven Mile Creek water varied greatly with S. aureus being the most sensitive. Some results with gray water are still pending and will be presented. Seven mile creek water and gray water were capable of supporting growth of E. coli and E. faecalis which means nutrients for growth were present. The results demonstrate that using one organism as a safety indicator for all pathogens is unreliable because each organism’s behavior varies. The results also indicate that potable water treatment with disinfection agents, like chlorine, is important.

Recommended Citation

Loftsgaarden, Kevin; Amber Capaul; and Andrew Simon. "Survivability of Potential Pathogens in Water." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-A/16