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In developing countries and in the rural and northern parts of North America, the delivery of potable water which is safe, adequate and accessible to all is not an easy task. Limited resources must be directed toward achieving an optimum balance between these needs. An important consideration in the development and maintenance of safe water supplies is the use of appropriate monitoring technology for assessing microbiological water quality. Presently used microbiological water quality tests have several disadvantages for routine monitoring programs in developing countries and rural isolated communities in North America. Firstly, they are not easily portable for use in isolated areas. They require trained technicians, sophisticated laboratory equipment and expensive supplies, most of which are not readily available in developing countries.
To overcome these problems, simplified reliable microbiological water quality tests are required. Testing procedures which fulfill the above requirements would make it possible for countries and isolated communities to monitor and classify their raw water supplies, potable waters and recreational waters with a minimum of input in terms of resources and expertise.
A-1 Broth test, Coliphage, developing countries, E. coli, C, H, 2, S paper strip, isolated areas, presence/absence, water quality
research scientist, National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario