Microbial Source Tracking in China and Developing Nations

  • Charles Hagedorn
  • Joe Eugene Lepo
  • Kristen Nicole Hellein
  • Abidemi O. Ajidahun
  • Liang Xinqiang
  • Hua Li


In less developed countries (LDCs) with poor water quality, sources of pollution are often obvious (especially point sources) and not difficult to find. Under such circumstances, microbial source tracking (MST) is not always necessary. However, there are situations such as identifying nonpoint sources and determining the relative contributions of multiple point and nonpoint sources where MST can be very useful. In this chapter, three water quality improvement case studies from different parts of the world, Malaysia (Asia-pacific), Poland (Eastern Europe), and Colombia (Latin America) are briefly described as successful examples for other LDCs. The actions in these countries resulted in reductions in pollution loads and improvements in water quality that other nations might emulate. While each case study has unique and different political and institutional structures, the three cases illustrate that pollution control is possible – but in all three it was enforcement that proved to be the key. This chapter then describes benefits, issues, and solutions that are common to all countries and presents different scenarios that can result: business as usual, sustainable water use, or water crisis. Six LDCs are then described (China, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Chile, and Nigeria), and a summary of each is presented based on what appears to be the most likely of the scenarios. Throughout the chapter, the role that MST can play to assist researchers and officials in accurately determining the sources of fecal pollution and how such information can be most effectively used in LDCs is described.


Developing countries and water quality [China, India, Philippines, Mexico, Chile, Nigeria] Microbial Source Tracking (MST) Fecal pollution of water Water and public health Drinking water contamination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Hagedorn
    • 1
  • Joe Eugene Lepo
  • Kristen Nicole Hellein
  • Abidemi O. Ajidahun
  • Liang Xinqiang
  • Hua Li
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil Environmental SciencesBlacksburgUSA

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