Scientific article

Persistence and growth of faecal culturable bacterial indicators in water column and sediments of Vidy Bay, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Published inJournal of Environmental Sciences, vol. 21, no. 1, p. 62-69
Publication date2009

The aims of this study was to investigate the persistence and the growth of culturable bacterial indicators (CBI) including total coliforms (TC) and faecal coliforms represented by Escherichia coli, enterococcus (ENT), and aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) in the surface sediments and the water column of Vidy Bay (Lake Geneva, City of Lausanne, Switzerland). The study was carried out for 60 d using microcosms containing Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) effluent and nonsterile water without CBI, as well as contaminated and non-contaminated sediments. The effects of water temperature and of organic matter associated with sediments on the survival of CBI in the sediments and the water column were observed. The number of CBI colonies in the contaminated sediments of Vidy Bay and in the STP effluent was almost identical in the order of 105–107,104–106,103–105, and 104–107 CFU/100 g sediment or /100 mL water for TC, E. coli, ENT, and AMB respectively. A degradation of CBI was observed in the sediments where organic mater content was low and in the water column at a temperature of 10°C after 5 d of experimentation. In addition, a growth of CBI was observed in the sediment which is rich in organic matter at 20°C. The results of this study indicate: (1) the higher concentrations of the CBI observed in different points in the water column of Vidy Bay may not be explained only by the recent contribution of the three potential sources of the Bay contamination including STP and the Chamberonne and Flon Rivers, but also by the persistence, removal from sediment and multiplication of CBI in the sediment and water column; (2) the sediment of Vidy Bay constitute a reservoir of CBI and can even support their growth; and (3) the CBI not only survive in sediments, but also can be remobilized and increased in the water column, therefore, it become a permanent microbiological pollution in Vidy Bay.

  • Lake Geneva
  • Faecal pollution
  • Persistence
  • Multiplication
  • Human health risk
Citation (ISO format)
POTE-WEMBONYAMA, John et al. Persistence and growth of faecal culturable bacterial indicators in water column and sediments of Vidy Bay, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. In: Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2009, vol. 21, n° 1, p. 62–69. doi: 10.1016/S1001-0742(09)60012-7
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1001-0742

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