Escherichia coli can survive and replicate in drinking water with the help of forming a biofilm
• Is Escherichia Coli an indicator organism or a contaminant to water itself?
• For what time period can Escherichia Coli live for in drinking water?
• Are the methods used for investigating bacterial contamination in water outdated?
• Is there a possibility of Escherichia Coli replicating and survive on a biofilm after it enters drinking water?
The layout of the scientific study was to a high standard with the hypothesis being easy to find within both the introduction, abstract and discussion. The data itself is presented in easily accessible in tables with sub-headings which are shown above each sub-set of results, showing again the accessibility of the paper.
One aspect of the study that could be improved is looking at more than three strains of Escherichia coli as what was used does not give a full set of results. These may differ throughout strains. The researcher could have also investigated the other microorganisms – which were referenced in the introduction – as those microorganisms may be infecting the drinking water and reproducing despite E. coli not being able to do this. Regardless of this, the researcher did analyse the results obtained to a high standard, showing that all the strains of Escherichia coli experimented on did survive out with the 70-day experiment. This conveys that more research is required within this subject of study as the survival rate was longer than the retention times of the World Development Systems (WDS). The researcher did provide necessary information highlighting that despite not replicating the Escherichia coli could survive and form a biofilm within drinking water – raising a variety of questions which can be researched further.
The time scale of the experiment and keeping the three strains of Escherichia Coli in the same environment ensured a fair experiment was carried out, although this experiment could have been carried out again to improve the reliability of the results concluded.
The researcher has identified that Escherichia Coli could survive within the drinking water which could raise the question of whether the water is safe to drink. This emphasises that further researcher should be done to ensure that there is no risk to the public and that no other, perhaps more pathogenic bacteria are also surviving within the water.
The researcher only conducted the experiment using the three strains Escherichia Coli meaning that the results may not be reliable. If the experiment was to be conducted again, to gain wider knowledge there would need to be an increase in the strains of Escherichia Coli used to improve reliability of results.