Coupling event sampling to ColiMinder® high-frequency monitoring of E. coli for improved microbial risk assessment in source waters (COLIRISK)
Safe drinking water supply is a daily need but it can be seriously threatened by microbial hazards originating from fecal contamination of source water, especially following periods of intense rainfall. In order to assess drinking water intakes (DWIs) vulnerability to fecal pollution and to take cost-effective decisions in case of hazardous events, it is urgent to implement early-warning systems. A recent enzyme-based technology, ColiMinder® enables to measure E. coli in water at high temporal resolution (every 30 minutes). In order to implement it for effective microbial risk assessment at DWIs, research first needs to clarify how E. coli signals are representative of the prevalent microbial risk (i.e. of pathogen loads). The present project thus aims at developing a simple and original system that integrates the ColiMinder® with an automated sampling device for event-based sampling and analysis of pathogens and fecal source tracers. This integrated system should prove useful in the implementation of the ColiMinder® at Canadian DWIs with the purpose to improve the assessment of their vulnerability to fecal pollution.