Microbial quality of reclaimed water used for irrigation in two golf courses located in the southern Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) was evaluated. Bacterial indicators for faecal pollution (total and faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli and enterococci) were tested by membrane filtration using appropriate selective media. In addition, somatic E. coli bacteriophages, enteric viruses (entero-, hepatitis A and rota-) and Legionella pneumophila were also analysed. The results obtained showed that all wastewater treatment processes reduced adequately the number of indicator microorganisms although a significant correlation between pathogenic and indicator microorganisms tested was not found. L. pneumophila was detected by PCR but not confirmed by culture. Survival experiments of pathogenic microorganisms in aerosols and irrigated turf are conducted to determine the health hazards for the golf practice and to propose a microbial standard for wastewater used for irrigation of golf courses.

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