| Project objectives:
This project is focussed on tracking the origin of faecal pollution in surface waters. Standardised or established methods will be used to characterise surface
water with faecal pollution from known origin. The development of new methods, that could complement the available methodologies, is also planned. The implementation
of the new methods and the factorial analysis of results have an added value because they will be performed using standardised techniques on a common sampling
strategy and at a transnational level. The main benefits of this project are to provide an innovative set of microbiological and chemical determinants to identify
faecal pollution sources and characterise surface water from different origin.
The scientific objectives of the project are:
1. To compare different established methods for tracking the origin of faecal pollution (human or animal) in surface water.
2. To study the feasibility of these methodologies within the European dimension.
3. To characterise surface water with faecal pollution from different origin by using standardised and established methodologies.
4. To develop new microbiological methods to identify the source of faecal pollution.
5. To implement the new methods and compare them with the available ones in order to improve techniques of measuring faecal pollution.
The project seeks to develop an innovative tool to determine faecal pollution sources using standardised methods, in a common sampling strategy within the
EU dimension. Levels of present microbial faecal indicators (faecal coliforms and streptococci, spores of clostridia and somatic coliphages) will be compared
with levels of proposed parameters (phages of Bacteroides fragilis, subgrouping of F- specific RNA phages, phenotyping of faecal coliforms/streptococci
and levels of beta-stanol) for tracking faecal sources of pollution in a wide range of surface waters. The proposal plans to develop and compare new methods
(speciation and biochemical phenotyping of Bifidobacterium spp., specific detection of Giardia spp., human viruses indicator detected by nucleic acid
recognition and antibiotic resistance profiles in faecal streptococci) with established approaches. The end users that could benefit from the findings
of this project have been identified.