Bacterial populations and indicator concepts in feces, sewage, stormwater and solid wastes
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The mystique of diseases associated with drinking water began to be dispelled with the emergence of the science of microbiology in the late nineteenth century. Once the causative agents of these diseases were identified as microorganisms that were discharged in the feces of infected individuals, the search for microbiological indicators in fecally contaminated water began. The use of bacteria as indicators of the sanitary quality of water probably dates to 1880 when Von Fritsch described Klebsiella pneumoniae and K. rhinoscleromatis as microorganisms characteristically found in human feces. A short time later, Escherich reported that Bacillus coli was the predominant organism in feces.