Pathogen concentrations in raw water

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What are typical concentrations of pathogens in raw water used for drinking water?


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Raw water has been categorized based on its source and cleanliness:

  • Ground water - clean
    • Clean groundwater
  • Groundwater - surface water contamination
    • for ex. shore infiltration
  • Surface water - low contamination
    • Relatively clean surface water
  • Surface water - medium contamination
    • for ex. low waste water contamination
  • Surface water - high contamination
    • for ex. waste water contamination


The concentrations are based on experts' estimates on concentrations of different pathogens in different kinds of raw water sources and contamination situations. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Pathogen concentrations in raw water(microbes/l)
1Ground water - cleancampylobactermicrobes/l0
2Ground water - cleanE.coli O157:H7microbes/l0
3Ground water - cleanrotavirusmicrobes/l0
4Ground water - cleannorovirusmicrobes/l0
5Ground water - cleansapovirusmicrobes/l0
6Ground water - cleancryptosporidiummicrobes/l0
7Ground water - cleangiardiamicrobes/l0
8Ground water - surface water contaminationcampylobactermicrobes/l0
9Ground water - surface water contaminationE.coli O157:H7microbes/l0
10Ground water - surface water contaminationrotavirusmicrobes/l0
11Ground water - surface water contaminationnorovirusmicrobes/l0
12Ground water - surface water contaminationsapovirusmicrobes/l0
13Ground water - surface water contaminationcryptosporidiummicrobes/l0
14Ground water - surface water contaminationgiardiamicrobes/l0
15Surface water - low contaminationcampylobactermicrobes/l1
16Surface water - low contaminationE.coli O157:H7microbes/l1
17Surface water - low contaminationrotavirusmicrobes/l0.1
18Surface water - low contaminationnorovirusmicrobes/l0.1
19Surface water - low contaminationsapovirusmicrobes/l0.1
20Surface water - low contaminationcryptosporidiummicrobes/l0.1
21Surface water - low contaminationgiardiamicrobes/l0.1
22Surface water - medium contaminationcampylobactermicrobes/l50
23Surface water - medium contaminationE.coli O157:H7microbes/l50
24Surface water - medium contaminationrotavirusmicrobes/l1
25Surface water - medium contaminationnorovirusmicrobes/l1
26Surface water - medium contaminationsapovirusmicrobes/l1
27Surface water - medium contaminationcryptosporidiummicrobes/l10
28Surface water - medium contaminationgiardiamicrobes/l50
29Surface water - high contaminationcampylobactermicrobes/l1000
30Surface water - high contaminationE.coli O157:H7microbes/l1000
31Surface water - high contaminationrotavirusmicrobes/l100
32Surface water - high contaminationnorovirusmicrobes/l100
33Surface water - high contaminationsapovirusmicrobes/l100
34Surface water - high contaminationcryptosporidiummicrobes/l100
35Surface water - high contaminationgiardiamicrobes/l500


Put the data in this page into an ovariable

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The raw water default class: Surface water - high contamination

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Use the ovariable to only include data from one raw water class

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See also


  1. Hrudey, S. E. and Hrudey, E. J. (2004). Safe Drinking Water. Lessons from Recent Outbreaks in Affluent Nations. London, IWA Publishing.
  2. Medema, G. J., Teunis, P. F., Blokker, M., Deere, D., Davidson, D., Charles, P. and Loret, J. F. (2009). Risk assessment of Cryptosporidium in drinking water, World Health Organisation.
  3. Pedley, S., Yates, M., Schivjen, J. F., West, J., Howard, G. and Barrett, M. (2006). Pathogens: Health relevance, transport and attentuation. Protecting Groundwater for Health Managing the Quality of Drinking‐water Sources. O. Schmoll, G. Howard, J. Chilton and I. Chorus, World Health Organization
  4. WHO (2004). Guidelines for Drinking‐water Quality Third Edition. Volume 1. Geneva, World Health Organization.
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