A research project funded by the DVGW addresses the question of which pathways enterococci use to enter drinking water and how they behave. The investigations at TZW showed that evidence of enterococci in drinking water did not necessarily mean faecal contamination. Enterococci are also a component of the intestinal flora of insects and other invertebrates and are also present in soil. It is possible to quickly identify the enterococci species using modern molecular biological methods such as MALDI-TOF.
The recently released volume in the TZW publication series reflects the results of the research project and proves crucial support to water suppliers and authorities in the root cause analysis and to determine further measures to detect enterococci in drinking water.
In accordance with the German Drinking Water Ordinance, since January 2018, enterococci must be included in all microbiological drinking water analyses. As a result of this greatly increased rate of testing, many water supply companies and authorities are gaining experience with this parameter and the assessment of any positive findings. As microbiological parameters, enterococci and E. coli are treated the same as both have a limit value of 0 per 100 ml. Some of the boil water recommendations given by the authorities in past years were provoked by the detection of enterococci.
Contact: Dr. Michael Hügler, Tel. +49 721 9678-222, Send email