Occurrence of coliphages in urban stormwater and their fate in stormwater management systems

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AimsTo investigate the occurrence of coliphages in, and their removal from, urban stormwater.Methods and ResultsInflow and outflow concentrations of somatic and f-specific RNA coliphages to two stormwater treatment systems were determined on 21 occasions over a period of 5 months. Somatic coliphages were detected in 19 (90%) of the constructed wetland inlet samples, 13 (62%) of the pond inlet samples, and less frequently at the outlets of the two systems. F-specific RNA coliphages were detected at the inlets but only occasionally at the pond outlet. Somatic coliphages were found to attach preferentially to particles <5 μm in size and persisted in the sediments of the two systems.ConclusionsTreatment systems providing conditions that are conducive to the settlement of fine particles may effectively remove sediment-bound coliphages and, therefore, possibly enteric viruses from stormwater.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe results will aid the design of systems for effective removal of viral contaminants from urban stormwater.

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