ABSTRACT: This study evaluates the protozoan contamination of river waters, which are used for drinking water in Paris and its surrounding area (about 615,000 m(3) per day in total, including 300,000 m(3) for Paris area). Twenty litre samples of Seine and Marne Rivers were collected over 30 months and analyzed for Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts detection according to standard national or international methods. Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts were found, respectively, in 45.7% and 93.8% of a total of 162 river samples, with occasional high concentration peaks. A significant seasonal pattern was observed, with positive samples for Cryptosporidium more frequent in autumn than spring, summer and winter, and positive samples for Giardia less frequent in summer. Counts of enterococci and rainfalls were significantly associated with Giardia concentration but not Cryptosporidium. Other faecal bacteria were not correlated with monitored protozoan. Marne seems to contribute mainly to the parasitic contamination observed in Seine. Based on seasonal pattern and rainfall correlation, we hypothesize that the origin of contamination is agricultural practices and possible dysfunction of sewage treatment plants during periods of heavy rainfalls. High concentrations of protozoa found at the entry of drinking water plants justify the use of efficient water treatment methods. Treatment performances must be regularly monitored to ensure efficient disinfection according to the French regulations.
Water Research 12/2008; 43(1):211-7. · 4.86 Impact Factor