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Validity Assessment of Methods to Distinguish Between Ruminant and HumanSources of Fecal Contamination in Watersheds

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, including runoff from agricultural  operations and failing or improperly sited septic systems can have a  substantial detrimental impact on source water quality. In addition to  environmental concerns, significant public health effects have been  attributed to NPS fecal contamination of both drinking and  recreational waters. Pathogens of concern include Giardia and  Cryptosporidium, pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli,  Salmonella sp., and Listeria monocytogenes. As indicator organisms are  commonly used to ascertain the safety of a water supply, it is  important to understand the behavior of these organisms under varying  environmental conditions.     This project will examine fecal suspensions in situ to concomitantly  measure seasonal and temporal effects on the survival of organisms  indicative of fecal contamination. Numbers of traditional indicator  organisms, including total coliforms, E. coli and enterococci will be  monitored over time using approved culture techniques. The results of  these studies will be compared with the survival of Bacteroides, using  the PCR-based technique developed by Bernhard and Field. In contrast  to detection methods based on culturing, this new technique identifies  fecal contamination through the amplification of Bacteroides DNA.  Additionally, molecular-based in situ hybridizations for the  identification of Bacteroides will permit the detection of viable  organisms, rather than dead cells. This project is important because  it will determine whether the Bacteroides method detects recent fecal  contamination, or whether the organisms detected could have originated  at a spatially or temporally distant site. These results are critical  to the validation of the Bacteroides method as an appropriate  technique for unambiguously discriminating between human and  agricultural sources of fecal pollution.    (non-point source pollution); (nonpoint source pollution); (MST);  (microbial source tracking); (BST); (bacterial source tracking);  (PCR); (polymerase chain reaction); (coliforms); (coliform); (E.  coli); (enterococci); (Escherichia coli); (water quality);  (wastewater); (non point source pollution); (drinking water); (beach  closing); (beach closings); (beach closure); (beach closures); (septic  system); (septic systems); (agricultural runoff)

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Biochemical
Ecosystem
Physical/Chemical
Land Use and Habitat
Wetlands
State Province
New York
Region Being Monitored
Coastal Wetlands
Resource Being Monitored
Emission / Release / Discharge / Waste Management
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Beach Closings
Restrictions of Fish and Wildlife Consumption
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.