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Microbial regrowth in drinking water distribution systems can lead to a deterioration of the aesthetic water quality. In worst‐case circumstances, regrowth can allow the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria, resulting in a hygienic risk to the consumer.1 Some European countries, e.g. The Netherlands, has taken the approach of distributing high quality drinking water without the use of additional residual disinfectants such as chlorine. Drinking water treatment in such countries aims to limit microbial regrowth through limitation of the nutrients essential for growth. Under these conditions, the need to accurately monitor the general quality and microbial stability of drinking water has a high priority.

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