The transmission of water-borne pathogens typically occurs by a faecal-oral route, through inhalation of aerosols, or by direct or indirect contact with contaminated water. Previous molecular-based studies have identified viral particles of zoonotic and human nature in surface waters. Contaminated water can lead to human health issues, and the development of rapid methods for the detection of pathogenic microorganisms is a valuable tool for the prevention of their spread. The aims of this work were to determine the presence and identity of representative human pathogenic enteric viruses in water samples from six European countries by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) and to develop two quantitative PCR methods for Adenovirus 41 and Mammalian Orthoreoviruses. A 2-year survey showed that Norovirus, Mammalian Orthoreovirus and Adenoviruses were the most frequently identified enteric viruses in the sampled surface waters. Although it was not possible to establish viability and infectivity of the viruses considered, the detectable presence of pathogenic viruses may represent a potential risk for human health. The methodology developed may aid in rapid detection of these pathogens for monitoring quality of surface waters.