The sources for drinking water in Finland are surface water, groundwater or artificially recharged groundwater. There are approximately 1400 groundwater plants in Finland that are microbiologically at a high risk level because in most cases they do not use any disinfection treatment. Campylobacter jejuni has caused waterborne epidemics in several countries. Since the middle of the 1980s, C. jejuni has been identified as the causative agent in several waterborne outbreaks in Finland. Between 1998 and 2001, C. jejuni or C. upsaliensis caused seven reported waterborne epidemics. In these epidemics approximately 4000 people acquired the illness. Most of the outbreaks occurred in July, August , September or October. In four of them source water and net water samples were analysed for total coliforms or fecal coliforms, E. coli and campylobacters. We showed that large volumes of water samples in studies of indicator organisms (up to 5000 ml) and campylobacters (4000–20,000 ml) increased the possibility to identify faecal contamination and to detect the causative agent from suspected sources.

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