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Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens (2004)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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INDICATORS FOR WATERBORNE PATHOGENS

Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens

Board on Life Sciences

Water Science and Technology Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESERACH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Grant X-82928901 between the National Academies and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-09122-5 (Book)

International Standard Book Number 0-309-52941-7 (PDF)

Library of Congress Control Number 2004108875

Cover:

The Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens thanks the following organizations and individuals for use of their images on the cover of this report:

  • City of Wilsonville, Oregon

  • Isle Royale National Park (Michigan), National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

  • Randal Kath, The State University of West Georgia, Carrollton

  • National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority, Westminster

  • James Terry, Jr., Concord, Massachusetts

Additional copies of this report are available from the
National Academies Press,
500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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COMMITTEE ON INDICATORS FOR WATERBORNE PATHOGENS1

MARY JANE OSBORN, Chair,

University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington

R. RHODES TRUSSELL, Vice Chair,

Trussell Technologies, Inc., Pasadena, California

RICARDO DELEON,

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, La Verne

DANIEL Y.C. FUNG,

Kansas State University, Manhattan

CHARLES N. HAAS,

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DEBORAH A. LEVY,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

J. VAUN MCARTHUR,

University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

JOAN B. ROSE,

Michigan State University, East Lansing

MARK D. SOBSEY,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

DAVID R. WALT,

Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

STEPHEN B. WEISBERG,

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority, Westminster

MARYLYNN V. YATES,

University of California, Riverside

Staff

MARK C. GIBSON, Study Director

JENNIFER KUZMA, Co-Study Director (until January 2003)

SETH H. STRONGIN, Project Assistant

1  

The activities of the Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens were organized and supported by the National Research Council’s Board on Life Sciences (lead) and Water Science and Technology Board. Biographical sketches of committee members are contained in Appendix E and current rosters of the two parent boards are contained in Appendix D.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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WORKSHOP ON INDICATORS FOR WATERBORNE PATHOGENS PARTICIPANTS

September 4, 2002

JOHN M. COLFORD, JR., University of California, Berkeley

CHRISTOPHER S. CROCKETT, Philadelphia Water Department

RAYMOND P. MARIELLA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

PETER MARSDEN, Drinking Water Inspectorate of the United Kingdom

J. MICHAEL RAMSEY, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

GEOFFREY I. SCOTT, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

MARK D. SOBSEY, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

TIMOTHY J. WADE, University of California, Berkeley

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
×

Preface

The use of bacterial indicator organisms to signal the possible presence of human pathogens in drinking water began more than a century ago in the United States, at a time when contamination of drinking and source waters by enteric bacterial pathogens, such as the typhoid bacillus, was a major public health threat. In subsequent decades, the use of bacterial indicators, predominantly coliforms, has been expanded to U.S. ambient, recreational, and shellfish waters and continues to focus on identification of fecal contamination, principally of human origin. Although these approaches have been extremely effective in reducing outbreaks of waterborne human disease, significant numbers of such outbreaks are still reported annually, many of unknown etiologic origin, and it is generally agreed that a substantial number of occurrences of waterborne human disease go unrecognized or unreported.

Recent advances in understanding the diversity and ecology of waterborne human pathogens as well as the ongoing rapid development of new techniques for detection and identification of waterborne microbes make it timely to reevaluate the standard indicators and indicator approaches employed to determine the microbiological quality of waters used for recreation or as sources of drinking water. Accordingly, the National Research Council (NRC) formed the Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens in 2002 at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to report on candidate indicators and/or indicator approaches (including technologies for detection) for assessing contamination of U.S. recreational waters and source water (including groundwater) for drinking water. The original charge to the committee excluded coastal marine and marine-estuarine waters, but these were added after subsequent discussion

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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with EPA, and it was agreed that the study would then give less emphasis to some other aspects of the charge as described in Chapter 1. For example, the committee did not explicitly address indicators of water treatment performance. Furthermore, the report does not specifically address the threat of bioterrorism or the protection of vulnerable subpopulations such as infants and immunocompromised persons regarding microbial water quality.

To address its charge, the Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens met four times, starting in April 2002. The committee quickly concluded that it is not possible to identify a single, unique indicator or even a small set of indicators that is capable of identifying all classes of waterborne pathogens of public health concern for all applications and water media. Rather, priority should be given to the development of a phased monitoring approach for assessing microbial water quality that relies on a flexible “tool box” containing a spectrum of indicators and indicator approaches (to include direct monitoring of pathogens) that can be matched according to specific circumstances and needs. Thus, the committee did not conduct a comprehensive evaluation of candidate indicators or specific pathogens per se.

The committee would like to thank the many experts who contributed to this report by participating and/or speaking at committee meetings, including Rita Schoeny, Betsy Southerland, Ephraim King, Alfred Dufour, and Rebecca Calderon, EPA; and Roger Fujioka, University of Hawaii.

The committee also sponsored a one-day public workshop on candidate indicators and indicator approaches for waterborne pathogens on September 4, 2002, in Washington, D.C. This workshop provided insight on a wide variety of subjects related to the committee’s charge, ranging from epidemiology to emerging detection technologies. The names and affiliations of the workshop presenters are listed in the front of this report.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the NRC in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jennifer Clancy, Clancy Environmental Consultants, Inc.; James Crook, Consultant; Mark Gold, Heal the Bay; Robert Haselkorn, University of Chicago; Mark LeChevallier, American Water; Laura Leff, Kent State University; Daniel Lim, University of South Florida; Christine Moe, Emory University; Erik Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council; David Relman, Stanford University; and Gary Toranzos, University of Puerto Rico.

Although the reviewers above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommenda-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
×

tions nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Edward Bouwer, Johns Hopkins University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

This report would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Mark Gibson, study director and staff officer for the NRC’s Water Science and Technology Board. The committee would like to thank project assistant Seth Strongin from the Board on Life Sciences (BLS) for logistical support throughout the study. We would also like to thank former co-study director Jennifer Kuzma and research associate Laura Holliday of the BLS for their early contributions to this report.

Finally, I would like to thank the 12 members of this committee for bringing this report together. Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives provided for lively and insightful discussions throughout the course of the entire study.

Mary Jane Osborn, Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11010.
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 Bacteria,

 

124

   

 Protozoan Parasites,

 

135

   

 Yeasts and Molds,

 

149

   

 Summary: Conclusions and Recommendations,

 

151

   

 References,

 

153

4

 

ATTRIBUTES AND APPLICATION OF INDICATORS

 

164

   

 Introduction,

 

164

   

 Indicator Attributes,

 

164

   

 Indicator Applications,

 

170

   

 Summary: Conclusions and Recommendations,

 

187

   

 References,

 

190

5

 

NEW BIOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

196

   

 Introduction,

 

196

   

 Issues in Sampling and Analysis,

 

205

   

 Assessment of Methods and Their Attributes,

 

211

   

 Standardization and Validation of Methods,

 

219

   

 Challenges and Pitfalls of New Technology,

 

231

   

 Look to the Future,

 

233

   

 Summary: Conclusions and Recommendations,

 

235

   

 References,

 

239

6

 

A PHASED APPROACH TO MONITORING MICROBIAL WATER QUALITY

 

243

   

 Introduction,

 

243

   

 Phased Monitoring Approach,

 

244

   

 Application to Marine Beaches,

 

248

   

 Application to Surface Drinking Water Sources,

 

252

   

 Application to Groundwater Sources of Drinking Water,

 

257

   

 Impediments and Drivers to Implementation,

 

261

   

 Summary: Conclusions and Recommendations,

 

262

   

 References,

 

264

 

 

APPENDIXES

 

 

A

 

Emerging and Reemerging Waterborne Pathogens,

 

267

B

 

Review of Previous Reports,

 

273

C

 

Detection Technologies,

 

287

D

 

National Research Council Board Membership and Staff,

 

308

E

 

Committee Biographical Information,

 

311

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Recent and forecasted advances in microbiology, molecular biology, and analytical chemistry have made it timely to reassess the current paradigm of relying predominantly or exclusively on traditional bacterial indicators for all types of waterborne pathogens.Β Nonetheless, indicator approaches will still be required for the foreseeable future because it is not practical or feasible to monitor for the complete spectrum of microorganisms that may occur in water, and many known pathogens are difficult to detect directly and reliably in water samples.Β

This comprehensive report recommends the development and use of a β€œtool box” approach by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and others for assessing microbial water quality in which available indicator organisms (and/or pathogens in some cases) and detection method(s) are matched to the requirements of a particular application.Β The report further recommends the use of a phased, three-level monitoring framework to support the selection of indicators and indicator approaches.Β

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