Index to The Viable but Nonculturable State of Bacteria
                                        
    in
          Drinking water and sewage effluents: sludge biosolids and reclaimed water

Microbial ecologists have long recognized that large proportions of the microbial populations inhabiting
natural habitats appear to be nonculturable.  Indeed, plate counts of bacteria in soil, rivers and oceans
typically indicate that far less than 1% of the total bacteria observed by direct microscopic examination can be
grown on culture media.  It has also long been known that certain portions of bacterial populations in natural
environments seem to disappear during certain seasons, only to reappear at other times.  We now
understand that at least part of the explanation for these observations is not due to seasonal die-off of the
cells, but to their entry into what is most commonly called the “viable but nonculturable” state

Has it really taken
WEF 25 years to discover the studies on viable, but non-culturable bacteria?

Effects of Receiving-Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment on Injury, Survival, and Regrowth of Fecal-
Indicator Bacteria and Implications for Assessment of Recreational Water Quality

Repair and Enumeration of Injured Coliforms