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Origin and spatial–temporal distribution of faecal bacteria in a bay of Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Goldscheider, Nico
Haller, Laurence
Zopfi, Jakob
Published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2009, vol. 154, no. 1-4, p. 337-348
Abstract The origin and distribution of microbial contamination in Lake Geneva’s most polluted bay were assessed using faecal indicator bacteria (FIB). The lake is used as drinking water, for recreation and fishing. During 1 year, water samples were taken at 23 points in the bay and three contamination sources: a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), a river and a storm water outlet. Analyses included Escherichia coli, enterococci (ENT), total coliforms (TC), and heterotrophic plate counts (HPC). E. coli input flux rates from the WWTP can reach 2.5 × 1010 CFU/s; those from the river are one to three orders of magnitude lower. Different pathogenic Salmonella serotypes were identified in water from these sources. FIB levels in the bay are highly variable. Results demonstrate that (1) the WWTP outlet at 30 m depth impacts near-surface water quality during holomixis in winter; (2) when the lake is stratified, the effluent water is generally trapped below the thermocline; (3) during major floods, upwelling across the thermocline may occur; (4) the river permanently contributes to contamination, mainly near the river mouth and during floods, when the storm water outlet contributes additionally; (5) the lowest FIB levels in the near-surface water occur during low-flow periods in the bathing season.
Keywords Water pollutionRecreational waterDrinking waterFaecal indicator bacteriaMicrobial pathogensSalmonellaWastewater treatment plantHuman health riskLake Geneva
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Other version: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10661-008-0401-8
Research groups Limnology and Environmental Geology
FORE9 Environmental microbiology
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POTE-WEMBONYAMA, John et al. Origin and spatial–temporal distribution of faecal bacteria in a bay of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. In: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2009, vol. 154, n° 1-4, p. 337-348. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:90575

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Deposited on : 2016-12-20

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