Occurrence of Chromobacterium violaceum in six protected drinking water springs in Uganda was investigated. C. violaceum showed a contrasting occurrence, which was independent of human impact as assessed by faecal pollution indicators. It was isolated from two springs (S1 and S2) that were located close to each other (3 km) but not in the rest. In S1 C. violaceum was continuously detected, in concentrations ranging from 6 to 270 cfu 100 ml−1, while in S2 it was detected on only one sampling occasion. C. violaceum was never detected in the investigated upper soil layers (down to 15 cm) in the immediate surroundings (50 m radius) of the springs, despite continued isolation of faecal indicators. The results of the study indicate that C. violaceum may not be ubiquitous in spring water, but could occur in significant numbers in particular potable groundwaters as an autochthonous member.

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Authors contributed equally to this manuscript