Causes, factors and control measures of opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens—A critical review

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Applied Sciences (Switzerland)


This review critically analyses the chemical and physical parameters that influence the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens in the drinking water distribution system, specifically in premise plumbing. A comprehensive literature review reveals significant impacts of water age, disinfectant residual (type and concentration), temperature, pH, and pipe materials. Evidence suggests that there is substantial interplay between these parameters; however, the dynamics of such relationships is yet to be elucidated. There is a correlation between premise plumbing system characteristics, including those featuring water and energy conservation measures, and increased water quality issues and public health concerns. Other interconnected issues exacerbated by high water age, such as disinfectant decay and reduced corrosion control efficiency, deserve closer attention. Some common features and trends in the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens have been identified through a thorough analysis of the available literature. It is proposed that the efforts to reduce or eliminate their incidence might best focus on these common features.

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