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Revista de Ciencias Ambientales

On-line version ISSN 2215-3896Print version ISSN 1409-2158


MORALES-MORA, Eric; REYES-LIZANO, Liliana; BARRANTES-JIMENEZ, Kenia  and  CHACON-JIMENEZ, Luz. Temporal and spatial assessment of the surface water microbiology quality: A case in a human consumption water supply system in Costa Rica. Ciencias Ambientales [online]. 2022, vol.56, n.1, pp.120-137. ISSN 2215-3896.


Drinking water is a determining factor in human health; when obtained from surface sources, it can be affected by microbiological contaminants that cause disease, which in turn could be influenced by environmental conditions. However, these effects have been little studied in Costa Rica.


To determinate the environmental variability influence in the concentrations of pathogen microorganisms and fecal indicators in a drinking water system.


samples were collected twice a month for one year. Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia sp., somatic coliphages, and Escherichia coli concentrations were measure. Spatial conditions were analyzed using geographic information systems, and climate conditions analysis were performed using descriptive technics. To data analysis were used censored data technics and Poisson regression models to evaluate the influence of the rainfall on microorganisms’ concentrations.


seasonal differences were found for somatic coliphages and E. coli. Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. concentrations were more frequent with weak precipitation intensity. Meanwhile, coliphages and E. coli concentrations were higher when precipitation intensity increase.


The four micro-basins presented pollution vulnerability for their spatial conditions. Besides, study microorganisms were affected differently by climatic seasonality and 24 h previous intensity of the precipitation. Therefore, it is recommended an individual evaluation of them periodically.

Keywords : environmental health; precipitation intensity; seasons; water quality..

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