E.coli and coliform concentrations in developed and undeveloped nearshore surface water within an inland lake

Abstract There are a number of sources that impact the microbial water quality of nearshore surface water.  These include development, avian species, and rainfall, to name just a few.  It is often difficult to elucidate the exact cause of these changes due to numerous variables that cannot be controlled.  However, the development of shorelines has often been implicated in eroded nearshore water quality.  This study utilized a single lake that has minimal inputs of  microorganisms from external sources such as rivers, outfalls, avian species, etc..  The lack can easily be divided into developed and undeveloped regions as the US Forest Service owns a good portion of the lake shoreline.  This greatly decreases the variables between sampling locations.   The overall objective of this study was to evaluate if residential development along an inland lakeshore would impact E.coli and/or coliforms found in the adjacent nearshore surface water.  The developed regions of the lake showed significantly higher (alpha<0.05) concentrations of coliforms and E.coli when compared to undeveloped regions for all three seasons of the study.  While the study lasted three sample seasons, each year resulted in very similar overall results to each other.  Yearly means of coliforms and E.coli at each sample location group were compared to each other and found that the means between these groups were similar each year and not statistically different.  While this project does not suggest what the cause of the increased coliform and E.coli concentrations in the nearshore, it does provide an important contribution to other work that suggests development may adversely impact nearshore water quality.  This unique study site could be used for future studies due to unusual ability to control extraneous inputs of coliforms and E.coli.

Keywords bacteria in water, E. coli, inland lake, shoreline development, water quality.

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E.coli and coliform concentrations in developed and undeveloped nearshore surface water within an inland lake

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