Caffeine levels in water tied to contaminationNovember 22nd, 2011 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Nov 22 (IANS) Traces of caffeine in water indicates the presence of contaminants, including deadly pathogens coming from sewers, says a study.
“Our study has determined that there is a strong correlation between the levels of caffeine in water and the level of bacteria, (especially E. coli),” said Sebastien Sauve, researcher at the University of Montreal.
“This data reveals that any water sample containing more than the equivalent of 10 cups of coffee diluted in an Olympic-size swimming pool is definitely contaminated with faecal coliforms,” he said.
“Chemists can therefore use caffeine levels as an indicator of pollution due to sewerage systems,” he added, the journal Chemosphere reported.
“A caffeine sampling programme would be relatively easy to implement and might provide a useful tool to identify sanitary contamination sources and help reduce surface water contamination within an urban watershed,” concluded Sauve, a university statement said.
Researchers took samples from streams, brooks and sewer pipes and analyzed them for caffeine, faecal coliforms and a third suspected indicator, carbamazepine.
Shockingly all the samples were found to have various concentrations of the contaminants, which suggested that defilement is widespread in the urban environment.
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Tags: bacteria, brooks, chemists, chemosphere, contamination sources, correlation, defilement, e coli, faecal coliforms, olympic size, pathogens, researcher, sampling, sewer pipes, sewers, surface water contamination, swimming pool, university of montreal, urban environment, urban watershed