The efficiency of a Millitube MF cartridge filter, a membrane filter, for recovery of poliovirus from 100-gal volumes of both fresh (tap) and estuarine water was determined. In the high multiplicity of virus input-output experiments, recovery of 97% or greater of input virus was achieved in both types of water when the final concentration of divalent cation as Mg2+ was 1,200 μg/ml and the pH was 4.5. Virus was effectively eluted from the membrane cartridge with 5× nutrient broth in 0.05 M carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at pH 9.0. Four elutions of 250 ml each were used. In the low multiplicity of virus input-output experiments under the same cationic and pH conditions, up to 67% of the input virus was recovered when the virus was further concentrated from the eluates by the aqueous polymer two-phase separation technique. The volume reduction was 126,000-190,000 to 1. The use of the combined techniques, i.e., membrane adsorption followed by aqueous polymer two-phase separation, provided a highly sensitive, simple, and remarkably reliable sequential methodology for the quantitative recovery of poliovirus occurring at multiplicities as low as 1 to 2 plaque-forming units per 5 gal of water.