There has been a significant shift in the recent past towards protecting chemical and microbial quality of source waters rather than developing advanced methods to treat heavily polluted water. The key to successful best management practices in protecting the source waters is to identify sources of non-point pollution and their collective impact on the quality of water at the intake. This article presents a few successful applications where artificial neural networks (ANN) have proven to be the useful mathematical tools in correlating the nonlinear relationships between routinely measured parameters (such as rainfall, turbidity, fecal coliforms etc.) and quality of source waters and/or nature of fecal sources. These applications include, prediction of peak concentrations of Giardia and Cryptosporidium, sorting of fecal sources (e.g. agricultural animals vs. urban animals), predicting relative ages of the runoff sources, identifying the potential for sewage contamination. The ability of ANNs to work with complex, inter-related multiparameter databases, and provide superior predictive power in non-linear relationships has been the key for their successful application to microbial water quality studies.