In the 63-month period from January 1988 to March 1993, monthly levels of adenoviruses, enteroviruses (coxsackie B, polio, echo) and reoviruses in the urban river water in Nara Prefecture, Japan were in the range 0-25, 0-190 and 0-325, plaque forming units per liter (PFU/liter), and the average levels were 2.4, 40.6 and 56.2 PFU/liter, respectively. The peak reovirus level was found in winter during the cold weather months (Nov. to Mar.). The peak enterovirus level was found in summer (May to Sept.) but continued to be found in autumn-winter (Oct. to Jan.) from 1991 to 1993. The levels of adenoviruses were low throughout all 5 years, as compared to those of reoviruses and enteroviruses. Polioviruses were isolated following the administration of vaccine. Although a changing pattern of serotype prevalence was seen with the coxsackie B viruses and echoviruses from 1988 to 1993, this is not so for polioviruses, which remained almost unchanged for the five-year period. Adenoviruses were isolated throughout all five years, though in small numbers. Reoviruses were isolated most frequently throughout five years.