Distinguishing between human and animal sources of fecal pollution in waters: A review

Punam Tyagi, D. R. Edwards, M. S. Coyne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This review paper discusses some of the earlier and current methods used to identify the human and non-human sources of fecal pollution in water. It is mainly focused on chemical approaches, i.e., fecal sterol and bile acid biomarkers, to identify the sources of fecal pollution. Findings of our study are in agreement with earlier investigations, that it is unlikely for any single determinant to be useful in all situations but a multiple biomarker approach or statistical analysis of microbial and chemical determinants offer the possibility of identifying and apportioning human and animal fecal inputs to natural waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Bacteriophages of bacteriodes
  • Bifidobacteria
  • F-specific RNA coliphages
  • FC/FS ratio
  • Fecal sterols and bile acid
  • Human enteric viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinguishing between human and animal sources of fecal pollution in waters: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this