Water Sanitation Health

Methods for detection of fecal contamination of drinking-water

The "H2S test" is often advocated as a simple method to assess fecal contamination of drinking-water, even in poor and inaccessible areas.

This report to reviews the basis of the hydrogen sulfide test as a measure of fecal contamination of drinking water and the available scientific and empirical evidence for and against the test as a valid, useful and reliable measure of fecal contamination and drinking water quality. It addresses the fundamental microbiological considerations of the test, including its chemical and biochemical basis, what organisms it detects and how it detects and quantifies them and the reported experiences with its practical application to assessing water quality.