Drinking water of good quality is essential to ensure the health and economical sustainability of human communities worldwide. The assessment of drinking water microbial quality is generally performed by detecting and/or quantifying faecal contamination indicators which may not provide an adequate evaluation of the health risks posed by several waterborne pathogens, for example Norovirus, Vibrio cholerae, and Cryptosporidium. In many instances, decentralized testing done in a mobile or more compact laboratory could increase the speed and capacity of predicting (or determining the source of) waterborne disease outbreaks, while offering unique opportunities to sensitize and train local populations on water and health issues. In this work, we describe the water molecular microbiology programme of the classical and molecular microbiology module of the Atlantis mobile laboratory complex, as well as the scientific, operational and design requirements that served to build a quite unique infrastructure used to study the microbial quality of drinking water in Northern Québec, Bermuda, and the Caribbean islands.

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