Water is needed both in production and processing of leafy greens and as such may serve as a source of enteric pathogens.  Depending on the source of the water, variations in quality and safety occur.  Unfortunately, increasing demands as well as pollution of existing resources have led to increasingly scarce high quality freshwater resources.  Consequently, water reuse for both food production and food processing will likely increase in the future. 


To aid our visitors to this site, we are providing 3 sources of information below for those who wish to explore this subject in greater depth:

1) a list of review articles dedicated to the discussion of pathogens in environmental water sources (see list at the end of this page);

2) a table listing the results from several surveys examining the prevalence of pathogens in environmental water sources (click on image below to download the table); and

Prevalence Pathogens in Water Pathogen Prevalence in Environmental Water Sources

3) a list and a few highlights of articles examining the prevalence and fate of pathogens in environmental water sources (click on image below to download the list and notes).

Article List of Pathogen Fate in Water Fate of Pathogens in Environmental Water Sources


As is the case for all subject areas within this website, it is acknowledged that the listing provided is not comprehensive and many more articles have been published on this subject.


Review articles dedicated to the discussion of pathogens in environmental water sources

Bichai, F., P. Payment, and B. Barbeau. 2008. Protection of waterborne pathogens by higher organisms in drinking water: a review.  Can. J. Microbiol. 54:509-524.

Ferguson, C., A.M. de Roda Husman, N. Altavilla, D. Deere, and N. Ashbolt. 2003. Fate and transport of surface water pathogens in watersheds.  Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 33:299-361.

Ferguson, C.M., K. Charles, and D.A. Deere. 2009. Quantification of microbial sources in drinking-water catchments.  Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39:1-40.

Fremaux, B., C. Prigent-Combaret, and C. Vernozy-Rozand. Long-term survival of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in cattle effluents and environment: An updated review.  Vet. Microbiol. 132:1-18.

Guan, T.Y. and R.A. Holley. 2003. Pathogen survival in swine manure environments and transmission of human enteric illness – A review.  J. Environ. Qual. 32:383-392.

Kirby, R.M., J. Bartram, and R. Carr. 2003. Water in food production and processing: quantity and quality concerns.  Food Control 14:283-299.

Levantesi, C., L. Bonadonna, R. Briancesco, E. Grohmann, S. Toze, and V. Tandoi. 2012. Salmonella in surface and drinking water: Occurrence and water-mediated transmission.  Food Res. Int. 45:587-602.

Maule, A. 2000. Survival of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 in soil, water and on surfaces.  J. Appl. Microbiol. 88:71S-78S.

Pachepsky, Y.A., A.M. Sadeghi, S.A. Bradford, D.R. Shelton, A.K. Guber, and T. Dao. 2006. Transport and fate of manure-borne pathogens: Modeling perspective.  Agric. Wat. Management 86:81-92. 

Peng, X., T. Murphy, and N.M. Holden. 2008. Evaluation of the effect of temperature on the die-off rate for Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in water, soils, and feces. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74:7101-7107.

Seymour, I.J. and H. Appleton. 2001. Foodborne viruses and fresh produce.  J. Appl. Microbiol. 91:759-773.

Smith, J.E., Jr. and J.M. Perdek. 2004. Assessment and management of watershed microbial contaminants.  Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 34:109-139.

Steele, M. and J. Odumeru. 2004. Irrigation water as source of foodborne pathogens on fruit and vegetables.  J. Food Prot. 67:2839-2849. 

Suslow, T.V. 2010. Standards for irrigation and foliar contact water. PEW Issue Paper. Available at: http://www.producesafetyproject.org/admin/assets/files/Water-Suslow-1.pdf.

van Elsas, J.D., A.V. Semenov, R. Costa, and J.T. Trevors. 2011. Survival of Escherichia coli in the environment: fundamental and public health aspects.  ISME J. 5:173-183.

Wei, J, and K.E. Kniel. 2010. Pre-harvest viral contamination of crops originating from fecal matter.  Food Environ. Virol. 2:195-206