2012 November – Wonthaggi – Lower Powlett Road (Victoria) – E.coli

Wonthaggi – Lower Powlett Road (Victoria) – E.coli
E. coli was also detected in a sample taken from the Lower Powlett Road trunk main in Wonthaggi on the 13th November 2012. As water was being drawn through the trunk main
on an intermittent basis only, it was likely that water had aged within the pipeline; flushing to remove this aged water was carried out accordingly. There was no E. coli detected for a resample collected from the site on the 14th November.

Escherichia coli should not be detected in any 100 mL sample of drinking water. If detected
in drinking water, immediate action should be taken including investigation of potential
sources of faecal contamination.

“Coliforms are Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria that are capable of aerobic and facultative anaerobic growth in the presence of bile salts or other surface active agents with similar growth-inhibiting properties. They are found in large numbers in the faeces of humans and other warm-blooded animals, but many species also occur in the environment.

Thermotolerant coliforms are a sub-group of coliforms that are able to grow at 44.5 ± 0.2°C. E. coli is the most common thermotolerant coliform present in faeces and is regarded as the most specific indicator of recent faecal contamination because generally it is not capable of growth in the environment. In contrast, some other thermotolerant coliforms (including strains of Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Enterobacter) are able to grow in the environment and their presence is not necessarily related to faecal contamination. While tests for thermotolerant coliforms can be simpler than for E. coli, E. coli is considered a superior indicator for detecting faecal contamination…” ADWG 2011