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Multi-year microbial source tracking study characterizing fecal contamination in an urban watershed

February 1, 2017

Microbiological and hydrological data were used to rank tributary stream contributions of bacteria to the Little Blue River in Independence, Missouri. Concentrations, loadings and yields of E. coli and microbial source tracking (MST) markers, were characterized during base flow and storm events in five subbasins within Independence, as well as sources entering and leaving the city through the river. The E. coli water quality threshold was exceeded in 29% of base-flow and 89% of storm-event samples. The total contribution of E. coli and MST markers from tributaries within Independence to the Little Blue River, regardless of streamflow, did not significantly increase the median concentrations leaving the city. Daily loads and yields of E. coli and MST markers were used to rank the subbasins according to their contribution of each constituent to the river. The ranking methodology used in this study may prove useful in prioritizing remediation in the different subbasins.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title Multi-year microbial source tracking study characterizing fecal contamination in an urban watershed
DOI 10.2175/106143016X14798353399412
Authors Rebecca N. Bushon, Amie M.G. Brady, Eric D. Christensen, Erin A. Stelzer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Environment Research
Series Number
Index ID 70188375
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Ohio Water Science Center