EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Protection of groundwater against microbial contamination

Jack Schijven, Harold van den Berg, and Saskia Rutjes
Jack Schijven et al.
  • RIVM + Utrecht university, Utrecht, the Netherlands (

A novel microbial risk analysis of groundwater as part of the Dutch guideline document for Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) of drinking water consumption encompasses 1) vulnerability assessment of groundwater production sites, 2) calculating the protection zone against microbial contamination to remain below an infection risk of 1/10,000 persons/year, 3)  assessment of contamination sources within the protection zone, and 4) QMRA for identified contamination sources. Protection zones are based on a standard virus contamination scenario and may be computed using a required minimal travel time, a hydrological model that includes a first order decay term for virus inactivation and attachment, or the computational tool QMRAwell. QMRAwell is designed for unconfined and (semi)confined sandy aquifers with a forced groundwater gradient due to pumping. QMRAwell can also be used to conduct  QMRA.

How to cite: Schijven, J., van den Berg, H., and Rutjes, S.: Protection of groundwater against microbial contamination, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11053,, 2023.