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Effectiveness of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) Profiling to Determine Sources of Microbial Pollution in Chester Creek Watershed

The objective of the proposed research is to evaluate the field   efficacy of a recently developed novel technology, fatty acid methyl   ester (FAME) profiling, for predicting sources of microbial   pollution in a full-scale watershed in Southeastern Pennsylvania.   The high accuracy of FAME profiling to distinguish sources of fecal   matter has been shown by research group of the PI in the laboratory   setting and the encouraging results merit a field evaluation of this   innovative approach. For that purpose, FAME profiles fecal coliforms   and Enterococcus isolates cultured from water sampling collected in   the most impaired section of Goose Creek (Chester Creek Watershed)   will be developed through a year-long sampling. The profiles of the   environmental isolates then will be compared to the known-source   FAME profile library developed by the research team over the last   three years.    Due to its capability to differentiate closely related microbial   species, relative simplicity, quick turnover time (six samples can   be analyzed on a GC within one hour), and the low cost per sample   (less than $2.5  per sample), FAME technology has high potential to   produce a reliable, economical, and effective tool for microbial   source tracking. The proposed research is a critical step in full   establishment of FAME technology as an effective tool for predicting   sources of microbial pollution. If favorable results are obtained,   the FAME technology would provide state agencies and other stake   holders in the watershed protection field with the means to   accurately determine source(s) of microbial pollution so that they   can do more accurate TMDL developments and launch focused corrective   actions targeting the exact source, rather than having to target all   possible sources, even when they have limited budgets. In addition,   the proposed research will provide educational and research   opportunities for one graduate and two undergraduate students.    (Microbial contamination); (fecal pollution); (fecal coliform);   (Enterococci); (fatty acid methyl ester (FAME)); (profiling);   (TMDL); (microbial source tracking); (MST); (bacterial source   tracking); (BST)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Metin DuranPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
David DeWalleResearcher
Associated with 1 projects

Funding 15 projects for a total of $273,800.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
State Province
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Restrictions on Drinking Water Consumption or Taste and Odour Problems
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater
Pollution from Non-Point Sources
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater
    Pollution from Non-Point Sources
  • Annex 17

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