Repeated sampling of a water (raw, Ssished, recreational) is often used to assess microbial quality. Microbial distributions have often been found to be negative binomial distributed in such repeated samples. Under these conditions, it is shown that it is better to use a large number of small volume samples than vice versa, providing that the negative binomial dispersion parameter remains unaffected by volume. Further research is needed to determine if the latter assumption, which influences the conclusion proposed, is valid for various classes of microorganisms in various types of waters.
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Charles N. Haas; Microbial Sampling: Is It Better to Sample Many Times or Use Large Samples?. Water Sci Technol 1 February 1993; 27 (3-4): 19–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1993.0314
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