This study was designed to compare the die-off of E.coli and F*bacteriophages with that of enteric pathogenic viruses in groundwater and raw wastewater at various temperatures.
At low temperatures, the die-off of E.coli was greater than that of HAV and poliovirus 1. Under conditions compatible with bacterial growth no die-off of E.coli was observed. Under most experimental conditions no die-off was observed for F*bacteriophages. The survival of HAV and poliovirus 1 was strongly affected by temperature. Regardless of the water type, the highest die-off of viruses was observed at 30°C, whereas at 10°C the titer of HAV and poliovirus 1 was reduced by 1 to 2 log10 after 90 days incubation. The data presented in this study indicated that E.coli cannot serve as an index for the survival of HAV and poliovirus 1 in ground and wastewater. Since F+bacteriophages were not affected by the tested conditions, their acceptance as indicators for viral pollution of water sources needs further evaluation.