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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ask Tom! Column

Ask Tom! Column

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Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two of the most important microscopic pathogens that can be transmitted via drinking water. Both are present in most surface waters around the world. Infection by either organism is particularly serious for immunocompromised individuals as no effective drug treatment is available. The problem is becoming ever more significant as many of the world’s highly populated areas are experiencing diminished water supplies, due to greater demand and an increasingly arid climate. Alternative water sources are therefore being sought; including for example treated municipal wastewater. Such alternatives may be more likely to contain higher concentrations of protozoan parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Water treatment programs are the front line in the defence against all waterborne pathogens. This article presents experimental data that demonstrate an effective technique for maximizing the efficiency of water sanitation methods, involving the measurement of zeta potential to enhance contaminant coagulation.

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