Data communication via Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) Satellites between portable hydrometeorological measuring stations is the backbone of our system. This networking allows automated event sampling with short time increments also for E. coli field analysis. All activities of the course of the event-sampling can be observed on an internet platform based on a Linux-Server. Conventionally taken samples compared with the auto-sampling procedure revealed corresponding results and were in agreement with the ISO 9308-1 reference method. E. coli concentrations were individually corrected by event specific inactivation coefficients (0.10-0.14 day−1), compensating losses due to sample storage at spring temperature in the auto sampler.

Two large summer events in 2005/2006 at an important alpine karst spring (LKAS2) were monitored including detailed analysis of E. coli dynamics (n=271) together with comprehensive hydrological characterisations. High-resolution time series demonstrated a sudden increase of E. coli concentrations in spring water (approximately 2 log10 units) with a specific time delay after the beginning of the event. Statistical analysis suggested the spectral absorption coefficient measured at 254 nm (SAC254) as an early warning surrogate for real time monitoring of faecal input. Together with the LEO-satellite based system it is a helpful tool for early-warning systems in the field of drinking water protection.

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