Laboratory studies quantified the relative survival of F+ coliphages, B. fragilis phages, hepatitis A virus, poliovirus, and rotavirus in seawater and seawater-sediment mixtures. Samples of each matrix were seeded with mixed populations of the viruses and incubated at 5 and 25°C for 60 days. F+ coliphages were inactivated faster than three enteric viruses in seawater at 25°C. In seawater-sediment mixture at 5 and 25°C or at 5°C in seawater, their survival was comparable to those enteric viruses that died off rapidly. In contrast, B. fragilis phages survived comparable to or better than enteric viruses in all conditions. Except for HAV, greater percentages of total detectable viruses were distributed in sediment over time. The effect of sediment on survival of viruses differed among viruses. Survival rates were significantly greater at 5°C than at 25° for all five viruses.

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