The concentration of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water - The role and importance of recovery efficiency
The concentration of Cryptosporidium and of Giardia in surface water is a subject of importance to public health and public water supply. The term concentration is a fundamental property of any water quality parameter having a classical definition as used in chemistry and biology. Analytical methods for measuring the occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water find only a fraction of the organisms actually present. This paper collects recently available data to examine the role and importance of recovery efficiency measurement to description of the concentrations of these organisms. Data from Australian sources graphically illustrate the variability of recovery efficiency at individual sites over relatively short time scales. Additional data on replicated recovery measurements establish their reproducibility. The recently released USEPA LT2 data along with those from Australia illustrate the independent variation of Cryptosporidium and Giardia occurrence and recovery efficiency at individual sampling locations. Calculation of concentration from paired raw numbers and recovery efficiency measurements clearly shows the magnitude and importance of taking recovery into account in expressing the concentration of these organisms.