Aquatic environment

Environmental factors influencing the distribution of total and fecalcoliform bacteria in six water storage reservoirs in thePearl River Delta Region, China

Huachang Hong , Jianwen Qiu , Yan Liang


Received August 23, 2009,Revised November 11, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 22,2010,Pages 663-668

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The Pearl River Delta (PRD) is one of the most developed and densely populated regions in China. Quantifying the amount of pathogens in the source of drinking water is important for improving water quality. We collected water samples from six major water storage reservoirs in the PRD region in both wet and dry seasons in 2006. Results showed that external environmental factors, such as precipitation, location, as well as the internal environmental factors, i.e., physicochemical properties of the water, were closely related with the distribution of coliforms. Seasonally, the coliform bacterial concentrations in wet season were one to two orders of magnitude greater than those in dry season. Spatially, coliform bacterial levels in reservoirs near urban and industrial areas were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those in remote areas. Correlation analyses showed that the levels of coliforms had close relationships with pH, temperature, suspended solid, organic and inorganic nutrients in water. Principal components analysis further demonstrated that total coliforms in the reservoirs were closely related with water physicochemical properties, while fecal coliforms were more associated with external input brought in by seasonal runo .

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