Indexed on: 16 Jul '10Published on: 16 Jul '10Published in: Water Research
Urban part of Seine River serving as drinking water supply in Paris can be heavily contaminated by Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis. In the absence of agricultural practice in this highly urbanized area, we investigated herein the contribution of treated wastewater to the microbiological quality of this river focusing on these two parasites. Other microorganisms such as faecal bacterial indicators, enteroviruses and oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii were assessed concurrently. Raw wastewaters were heavily contaminated by Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts, whereas concentrations of both protozoa in treated wastewater were lower. Treated wastewater, flowed into Seine River, had a parasite concentration closed to the one found along the river, in particular at the entry of a drinking water plant (DWP). Even if faecal bacteria were reliable indicators of a reduction in parasite concentrations during the wastewater treatment, they were not correlated to protozoal contamination of wastewater and river water. Oocysts of T. gondii were not found in both raw and treated wastewater, or in Seine River. Parasitic contamination was shown to be constant in the Seine River up to 40 km upstream Paris. Altogether, these results strongly suggest that treated wastewater does not contribute to the main parasitic contamination of the Seine River usually observed in this urbanized area.