UNC Water Microbiology Conference 2017: May 15-17

International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology: May 15-19

The 19th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology is organized by the International Water Society (IWA) Specialist Group on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM) biennially. In 2017, the Symposium will run concurrently with the UNC Water Microbiology Conference to create a forum for researchers and practitioners focused on microbiology and public health to come together around the intersection of the two. The Conferences will be held in Chapel Hill.

The Conferences will blend interactive workshops with scientific symposia and poster socials, offering participants a variety of opportunities to exchange ideas, debate challenging topics and explore potential collaborations. The focus will be on water microbiology from watershed to human exposure including current concerns in recreational waters, shellfish harvesting waters, emerging technologies and quantitative tools.

IWA members will be able to participate in all Water Microbiology Conference sessions as well a dedicated track each day for members of the IWA Specialist Group on Health-Related Water Microbiology.

Conference Information Guide (PDF)

Conference Organizing Committees

Local Committee – UNC

Mark Sobsey
Rachel Noble
Jill Stewart
Jamie Bartram
Denene Blackwood
Heather Pace

HRWM Committee

Gary Toranzos- Chair
Rosina Girones- Secretary
Hiroyuki Katayama- Vice-Chair
Marion Savill- Past-Chair

Apply For A Scholarship by April 15th April 22nd

The scholarship deadline has been extended to April 22nd.

The IWA Health-Related Water Microbiology committee is pleased to announce a bursary to aid students and post-doctoral associates attending the 19th HRWM Symposium at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Up to three students will receive a maximum of $2,500 USD for travel expenses, and up to three students will receive a maximum of $500 towards accommodations. All six students will have their registration fees waived. Only students from developing countries and those post-doctoral students currently at their home institutions are eligible for the award. Those students studying at universities in industrialized countries are not eligible to apply.

To apply, please send a copy of your Curriculum Vitae, a copy of your accepted abstract(s) and a short personal statement to:  Dr. Gary A. Toranzos, Chair, HRWM at gary.toranzos@upr.edu

Conference Themes

Sources & Reservoirs

  • One Health, including human and animal wastes
  • Effluents, discharges, biosolids, biofilms and stormwaters
  • Drinking, reclaimed, recreational and irrigation waters
  • Rural water supply and sanitation
  • Disasters and extreme events


  • Survival, persistence, transport, fate and occurrence
  • Hazards (including antimicrobial resistance, water based and zoonotic organisms)
  • Shellfish, produce, irrigation, water reuse
  • Health risks, epidemiology and one health issues
  • Emerging pathogens and exposures



  • Rapid molecular and enzymatic methods
  • Alternative indicators including coliphages and bacterial spores
  • Metagenome, resistome and community analysis
  • Method comparison, validation and performance
  • Microbial source tracking
  • Modeling and prediction


Management & Treatment

  • Water and wastewater treatment and disinfection technologies including onsite wastewater systems
  • Criteria, standards, surveillance and monitoring
  • Stormwater including BMPs
  • QMRA, decision analysis, water safety plans and surveillance
  • Post-treatment microbial dynamics