The major objective of this study was to characterize advanced methods that facilitate sensitive and specific microbial monitoring in wastewater for key enteric pathogens (bacteria, virus, and protozoa) to better understand implications for future direct potable reuse (DPR) treatment goals. This project, which examined 11 microbes in five wastewater systems between northern and southern California, highlighted that method standardization is needed to understand pathogen occurrence, seasonal variability and impacts of operational processes. Advanced molecular methods are convenient, sensitive, and specific, but they need to incorporate viability measurement. Microbial surrogates can have a role in DPR applications, provided expectations are modified appropriately, and potable reuse treatment goals should be reviewed in light of existing and emerging data. Published in 2023.
Originally funded as WERF project Reuse-14-02.