Control strategies against waterborne fungi have been studied only to a small degree. In order to increase knowledge of the effect of water treatment on waterborne fungi, the dose–response effect of four commonly used drinking water disinfection methods was tested on selected fungal species: Aspergillus calidoustus, Penicillium spinulosum, Trichoderma viride and Fusarium solani. These species are all common in Norwegian drinking water, and are regarded as emerging pathogens, toxigenic and/or food contaminants. Spore suspensions were treated with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, ozone, chlorine and chloramine. Three different doses were tested for each disinfectant and all doses were repeated three times. Bacillus subtilis was included as a control for the disinfection processes and to compare the resistance. P. spinulosum and T. viride were resistant to chlorine and chloramine. They were also very tolerant to UV-irradiation and ozone, although the highest doses of ozone had a small inactivation effect, especially on T. viride. Ozone was found to be most effective against fungi in general. It is apparent that fungal species may have very different properties when it comes to tolerance to water disinfection, and the inactivation of B. subtilis spores cannot be used as an indicator of fungal spore inactivation after water treatment.

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