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Keywords:

  • bacteriophages;
  • bacterial indicators;
  • wastewater;
  • sludge

Abstract

The use of bacteriophages as potential indicators of faecal pollution has recently been studied. The correlation of the number of bacterial indicators and the presence of three groups of bacteriophages, namely somatic coliphages (SOMCPH), F-RNA-specific phages (FRNAPH) and phages of Bacteroides fragilis (BFRPH), in raw and treated wastewater and sludge is presented in this study. Raw and treated wastewater and sewage sludge samples from two wastewater treatment plants in Athens were collected on a monthly basis, over a 2-year period, and analysed for total coliforms, Escherichia coli, intestinal enterococci and the three groups of bacteriophages. A clear correlation between the number of bacterial indicators and the presence of bacteriophages was observed. SOMCPH may be used as additional indicators, because of their high densities and resistance to various treatment steps.