Microbial contamination of two urban sandstone aquifers in the UK

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dc.contributor.author Powell, KA en
dc.contributor.author Taylor, RG en
dc.contributor.author Cronin, AA en
dc.contributor.author Barrett, MH en
dc.contributor.author Pedley, S en
dc.contributor.author sellwood, J en
dc.contributor.author Trowsdale, S en
dc.contributor.author Lerner, D en
dc.date.accessioned 2011-10-25T01:52:10Z en
dc.date.issued 2003 en
dc.identifier.citation Water Research 37(2):339-352 2003 en
dc.identifier.issn 0043-1354 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/8375 en
dc.description.abstract Development of urban groundwater has historically been constrained by concerns about its quality. Rising urban water tables and overabstraction from rural aquifers in the UK have led to a renewed interest in urban groundwater, particularly the possibility of finding water of acceptable quality at depth. This study assessed the microbial quality of groundwater collected from depth-specific intervals over a 15-month period within the Permo-Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifers underlying the cities of Nottingham and Birmingham. Sewage-derived bacteria (thermotolerant coliforms, faecal streptococci and sulphite-reducing clostridia) and viruses (enteroviruses, Norwalk-like viruses, coliphage) were regularly detected to depths of 60 m in the unconfined sandstone and to a depth of 91 m in the confined sandstone. Microbial concentrations varied temporally and spatially but increased frequency of contamination with depth coincided with geological heterogeneities such as fissures and mudstone bands. Significantly, detection of Norwalk-like viruses and Coxsackievirus B4 in groundwater corresponded with seasonal variations in virus discharge to the sewer system. The observation of low levels of sewage-derived microbial contaminants at depth in the Triassic Sandstone aquifer is explained by the movement of infinitesimal proportions of bulk (macroscopic) groundwater flow along preferential pathways (e.g., fissures, bedding planes). The existence of very high microbial populations at source (raw sewage) and their extremely low detection limits at the receptor (multilevel piezometer) enable these statistically extreme (microscopic) flows to be traced. Rapid penetration of microbial contaminants into sandstone aquifers, not previously reported, highlights the vulnerability of sandstone aquifers to microbial contamination. en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Water Research en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Details obtained from http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0043-1354/ en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Microbial contamination of two urban sandstone aquifers in the UK en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/S0043-1354(02)00280-4 en
pubs.issue 2 en
pubs.begin-page 339 en
pubs.volume 37 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD en
dc.identifier.pmid 12502063 en
pubs.end-page 352 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 92708 en
pubs.org-id Science en
pubs.org-id School of Environment en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2010-09-01 en
pubs.dimensions-id 12502063 en

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