Another primary concern to water utilities is to ensure that the drinking water that is supplied does not pose an unacceptable health risk to consumers. As the number and type of different pathogens present in waters is extensive, varied and dependent on a range of environmental factors, it LP533401 hcl is not feasible to isolate and identify each specific pathogen on a regular basis. Hence, reliance has traditionally been placed on the measurement of total plate counts, as an overall indicator of microbial load and detection of faecal indicator bacteria and other coliform bacteria for contamination. Although these culture based tests give precise enumeration, pioneer community can take more than 30 h to perform from sample receipt to results. It is also known that, in the natural environment, often only 1% or less of microbes can be cultured in this way, leading to what has become commonly known as the “great plate count anomaly” (Staley and Konopka, 1985, Amann et al., 1995 and Allen et al., 2004).