Water Sanitation Health

Heterotrophic plate counts and drinking-water safety: The significance of HPCs for water quality and the human health

Edited by J. Bartram, J. Cotruvo, M.Exner, C. Fricker, A. Glasmacher

book cover

This book provides a critical assessment of the role of HPC measurement in drinking water quality management.

The HPC test (or Standard Plate Count), applied in many variants, is widely used to measure the heterotrophic microorganism population in drinking-water and other media. Heterotrophs are organisms, including bacteria, yeasts and moulds, that require an external source of organic carbon for growth.

This book provides valuable information on the utility and the limitations of HPC data in the management and operation of piped water systems as well as other means of providing drinking water to the public. It is of particular value to piped public water suppliers and bottled water suppliers, manufacturers and users of water treatment and transmission equipment and in-line treatment devices, water engineers, sanitary and clinical microbiologists, and national and local public health officials and regulators of drinking water quality.

Download expert consensus statement

Download the full document

Download individual chapters

Other information that may be of interest

Publishing and ordering information

Published on behalf of WHO by IWA Publishing
© WHO 2003
ISBN 92 4 156226 9 (WHO)
ISBN 1 84339 025 6 (IWA Publishing)
This document is in English only.

Order No.: 11500529
To order a copy, please contact bookorders@who.int