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New methods for fecal source tracking in Norwegian water catchments

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The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Bioforsk, has tested and implemented a set of methods for the detection of fecal pollution in Norwegian watercourses. The methods, which combine microbial and molecular biological techniques, can give answers as to whether the contamination is a result of human or animal excreta. In addition, the methods provide grounds for assessing whether the water pollution poses a health risk or not.

Fecal contamination in water is one of the most common reasons for human diseases. Molecular methods can reveal if the contaminants derive from human or animal excreta. The methods also provide a basis for determining whether water contamination constitutes a health risk or not.
Fecal water contamination occurs when excreta from humans or animals enter a water source due to e.g. sewage leakage or inadequate wastewater treatment.

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