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Water Lice and Other Macroinvertebrates in Drinking Water Pipes: Diversity, Abundance and Health Risk

Gunkel, Günter; Michels, Ute; Scheideler, Michael

Activities to ensure and maintain water quality in drinking water networks, including flushing, are presented after standardized hydrant sampling combined with a stainless-steel low pressure–high flow rate (NDHF) filter and a 100 µm mesh size was used to separate pipe inhabitants. A databank of more than 1000 hydrant samples in European lowland areas was developed and used to analyze the diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates in drinking water networks. Load classes for water louse (Asellus aquaticus) and oligochaetes are given with three evaluation classes: normal colonization, increased colonization, and mass development. The response of Asellus aquaticus in drinking water networks to environmental conditions are presented as are their growth and reproduction, promotion of a third generation by climate change effects, food limitations, and the composition and stability of their feces. Finally, the health risks posed by dead water lice and water lice feces with bacterial regrowth and the promotion of microbe development on house filters are analyzed.
Published in: Water, 10.3390/w13030276, MDPI