Event Title

Characterization of Bacterial Impairment along the Rio Grande near Albuquerque

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

Description

Bacterial surface water impairment due to fecal contamination is a worldwide concern. Waterborne disease (predominantly due to fecal contamination) accounts for 4 billion episodes of illness and 2.2 million deaths yearly according to the World Health Organization. In the US, nearly 178,000 miles of waterways are considered impaired for pathogens, of which 160,000 miles are considered impaired for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria, which are indicators of fecal contamination and health risk. Exposure to humans occurs through contact with contaminated waters and consumption of crops irrigated with contaminated water. In arid regions (~40% of Earth’s land, holding ~1/3 of human population and ~1/2 of arable land and livestock) where populations depend on surface water, waterborne pathogens make stream water dangerous for agricultural and consumptive uses. Lack of knowledge of pathogens’ response to environmental conditions and the limitations of conventional testing (18-24 hours of sample incubation time) means we do not have a way to predict when contaminant levels will be too great for humans. In the context of decreasing groundwater recharge and streamflow in arid regions combined with growing populations, this issue will demand more attention worldwide as waste waters become less dilute and surface water demands increase. The objective of this project is to investigate the sources, transport and fate of fecal coliform in rivers such as the Rio Grande near Albuquerque, which the USEPA has consistently classified as impaired by E. coli bacteria. Here concentrations exceed water quality standards year-long, but dramatic episodes exceeding standards (>3 orders of magnitude) occur between July and August, when temperatures are highest and intense, short precipitation events coincide with low river flows. The data underlying the current analytical framework are of inconsistent frequency over 4 sites, likely leading to misidentification of overall trends due to the inherent variability of biologic systems. Very few studies have generated data isolating a range of potential contributors sampled with sufficient frequency to identify trends and drivers of exceedances. Monitoring of river water and sediment E. coli concentrations has generated a cohesive dataset updating our understanding of E. coli sources and trends in the Rio Grande.

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Nov 8th, 12:30 PM Nov 8th, 1:30 PM

Characterization of Bacterial Impairment along the Rio Grande near Albuquerque

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Bacterial surface water impairment due to fecal contamination is a worldwide concern. Waterborne disease (predominantly due to fecal contamination) accounts for 4 billion episodes of illness and 2.2 million deaths yearly according to the World Health Organization. In the US, nearly 178,000 miles of waterways are considered impaired for pathogens, of which 160,000 miles are considered impaired for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria, which are indicators of fecal contamination and health risk. Exposure to humans occurs through contact with contaminated waters and consumption of crops irrigated with contaminated water. In arid regions (~40% of Earth’s land, holding ~1/3 of human population and ~1/2 of arable land and livestock) where populations depend on surface water, waterborne pathogens make stream water dangerous for agricultural and consumptive uses. Lack of knowledge of pathogens’ response to environmental conditions and the limitations of conventional testing (18-24 hours of sample incubation time) means we do not have a way to predict when contaminant levels will be too great for humans. In the context of decreasing groundwater recharge and streamflow in arid regions combined with growing populations, this issue will demand more attention worldwide as waste waters become less dilute and surface water demands increase. The objective of this project is to investigate the sources, transport and fate of fecal coliform in rivers such as the Rio Grande near Albuquerque, which the USEPA has consistently classified as impaired by E. coli bacteria. Here concentrations exceed water quality standards year-long, but dramatic episodes exceeding standards (>3 orders of magnitude) occur between July and August, when temperatures are highest and intense, short precipitation events coincide with low river flows. The data underlying the current analytical framework are of inconsistent frequency over 4 sites, likely leading to misidentification of overall trends due to the inherent variability of biologic systems. Very few studies have generated data isolating a range of potential contributors sampled with sufficient frequency to identify trends and drivers of exceedances. Monitoring of river water and sediment E. coli concentrations has generated a cohesive dataset updating our understanding of E. coli sources and trends in the Rio Grande.