Standard Article

Microbial Regulations

Environmental Policy and Regulation

  1. Timothy J. Wade1,
  2. Alfred P. Dufour2,
  3. Jeffrey A. Soller3,
  4. Larry Wymer4

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn005

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Wade, T. J., Dufour, A. P., Soller, J. A. and Wymer, L. 2013. Microbial Regulations. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    US Environmental Protection Agency, NC, USA

  2. 2

    US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, USA

  3. 3

    Soller Environmental LLC, Berkeley, CA, USA

  4. 4

    US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Until relatively recently, exposure to fecally contaminated water caused massive morbidity and mortality due to diseases such as typhoid and cholera. While waterborne disease remains a major threat to public health in the developing world, the treatment and disinfection of public water and wastewater supplies have vastly reduced the transmission of these and other waterborne infectious diseases. The discovery and application of fecal indicator bacteria as a simple marker of feces resulted in simple methods to identify contaminated water sources and has been used worldwide. Despite these and other recent improvements in sanitation and hygiene, challenges remain. Even in developed countries, outbreaks of waterborne disease occur regularly affecting thousands each year. Outbreak surveillance, epidemiology studies, and quantitative microbial risk assessment can be applied to identify, prioritize, and quantify risks. Events such as the reemergence of cholera in Haiti emphasize the need for continued vigilance to maintain the microbial safety of water supplies.


  • water;
  • diarrhea;
  • bacteria;
  • risk assessment;
  • epidemiology;
  • outbreaks;
  • swimming