The aims of the Seawater Microbiology project are to evaluate the performance of the methods used in Europe for the enumeration of indicator germs of faecal contamination in seawater for the monitoring of bathing areas. Due to the instability of the seawater, 34 microbiologists of the E.C. member states will meet at the Institut Pasteur de Lille in order to apply their own method on the same samples.
The project involves in particular:
1) the study on artificially contaminated seawater, for:
- the recovery of the methods for faecal streptococci enumeration according to the taxonomic and physiological axes,
- the influence of the interfering germs on the enumeration of faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci.
2) the study on naturally contaminated seawater of the above target organism from:
- Irish sea, Baltic sea and Channel waters
- South Atlantic Ocean and 2 Mediterranean waters
At the end of this work it should be known, from a qualitative and quantitative point of view, what are the selectivity and the precision of the methods. On the basis of this knowledge, a certain harmonization of the methods could be envisaged and quality control guidelines could be drawn.