Published: Jan 2003
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THE OLD MAXIM, THAT ANY TEST result is only as good as the sample, is never more true than for analysis of samples drawn for the investigation of microbiological contamination in fuels and fuel systems. Probably more than any other fuel contamination type, microbial contamination will tend to have a highly heterogeneous dispersion that is likely to be in a continual state of change. There may be changes in the overall numbers of microbes present, their viability (and culturability), the relative numbers of the predominant types (genera and species) and the amounts of microbial biomass present . These changes may be due to the microbial activity itself or as a consequence of tank or system operating activities. It is thus apparent that both the timing of sampling operations and selection of appropriate sampling points need careful consideration and planning. In order that those conducting the analyses can put the best possible interpretation on the results obtained, as much information as possible about the sampling needs to be conveyed to the testing laboratory.
ECHA Microbiology Ltd, Unit M210 Cardiff Bay Business Centre, Cardiff,