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Modeling and Beach Closure Forecasting at Burns Ditch and Five Beaches

Beaches along the Indiana coast of Lake Michigan have experienced an  increase in the number of beach closures due to high levels of E.   coli bacteria, an indicator of potential sewage contamination and   associated pathogens. Research on Burns Ditch, Portage, Indiana, has  shown that it contributes significant amounts of E. coli and   associated bacteria to the nearshore beach areas of southern Lake   Michigan, but the extent of impact on the nearby beaches from   increased bacteria counts has not been determined. Escherichia coli   levels at these beaches have remained fairly stable over the years   but levels are generally unpredictable. Sources and causes for the   fluctuations in E. coli remain unknown. Beach monitoring has been   sporadic (once per week), and few additional resources have been   devoted to developing a more consistent, reliable monitoring   program. The current monitoring program has been proven inadequate,   particularly if samples are collected only periodically. The   relationship between the high counts of bacteria in Burns Ditch,   particularly during rain events, and E. coli counts at the beach has   not been established, despite the known releases of untreated sewage   into the waterway during measurable rainfall events. By examining   indicator bacteria counts daily in Burns Ditch, and the four beaches   to the west, along with ambient hydrometeorological conditions at   several fixed stations, a multi-beach predictive model can be  developed that characterizes E. coli abundance and movement.    Results of 2  4 model development have been published, which showed   that models were better able to predict E. coli counts when winds   were from the north and beaches were more impacted by the ditch.   Additionally, 2  5 model validation was conducted at the study   locations, and results of comparisons are being prepared for   publication. Daily reports of model predictions were distributed to   beach managers through the 2  5 study period.    (E. coli); (Escherichia coli); (beach closure); (beach closures);   (beach closing); (beach closings); (Lake Michigan); (Indiana);   (bacteria); (bacterial)

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Landscape
Land Use and Habitat
Shoreline
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Michigan
State Province
Indiana
Region Being Monitored
Near and OpenShore Waters
Nearshore Terrestrial
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Beach Closings
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
Research & Development
Annex 17
Physical and transformational processes affecting delivery of pollutants
General
Monitoring
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Physical and transformational processes affecting delivery of pollutants

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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.