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Characterizing sources and growth potential of indicator bacteria in cold region streams

Fecal coliform (FC) bacteria are the most prevalent contaminant in   urbanized Alaskan surface waters. Currently, a significant amount of   scientific and regulatory effort is underway to better monitor and   understand the distribution of FC bacteria in a number of impacted   waterways. This study seeks to escalate that effort through the   adaptation and implementation of Antibiotic Resistance Analysis, a   cost-effective method for distinguishing FC source organisms in   surface waters. This distinction will allow managers to more   accurately assess potential source vectors (e.g., leaking   sewers,waterfowl ponds, etc.) and ultimately develop mitigation   measures appropriate to the source. In the analysis, bacteria of   known origin will be cultured and subjected to an array of   antibiotics. As bacteria originating from different species will   result in differential resistances to antibiotics, discriminant   variables will be derived from the known cultures that can serve to   identify the source of unknown cultures. In addition to the   antibiotic resistance analysis, this study intends to employ a   coliform growth response bioassay in order to better characterize   the capacity of surface waters to promote instream growth of   indicator organisms. The bioassay will entail culturing Enterobacter   cloacae in sterilized stream water. Growth of the culture after five   days will be used as a measure of assimilable organic carbon, which   in turn indicates the potential for streams to promote FC growth.   This effort is designed to aid in the interpretation of monitoring   results, as the extent of in-stream FC reproduction in cold regions   is currently unclear. Finally, as the aforementioned activities will   allow for more accurate identification of FC source areas and in-  stream decay coefficients, this study intends to use the new data to   refine a current FC modeling effort for an Anchorage area stream.    (microbial source tracking); (MST); (bacterial source tracking);   (BST)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
William SchusterPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 3 projects
Khrys DuddlestonResearcher
Associated with 4 projects

Funding 1 projects for a total of $21,549.00
WERC $ 20,000.00USDEstimates

Funding 1 projects for a total of $20,000.00
U.S. Geological Survey $ 19,960.00USDEstimates

Funding 13 projects for a total of $538,321.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Restrictions on Drinking Water Consumption or Taste and Odour Problems

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