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Article

Observations and Correlations from a 3-Year Study of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in the Mohawk River in Upstate NY

1
Department of Chemistry, and Center for Neuroscience Research, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, USA
2
Department of Engineering, State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, Utica, NY 13502, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Katarzyna Kowalczewska-Madura
Water 2022, 14(13), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132137
Received: 30 May 2022 / Revised: 26 June 2022 / Accepted: 1 July 2022 / Published: 5 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality Changes of Lakes and Rivers)
Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), such as E. coli and Enterococci, are used to indicate the potential of fecal contamination in waterways. One known source of FIB in urbanized areas is the occurrence of combined sewer overflows (CSOs). To explore the impact of CSOs on local water quality and FIB presence, sampling was conducted during the summers of 2017–2019 of two cities, one with CSOs and one without, on the Mohawk River in upstate New York, USA. Sampling included in situ physiochemical parameters of pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen and laboratory tests for E. coli, Enterococci, nitrates, and total organic carbon (TOC). Correlations between parameters were explored using the Wilcoxon rank sum test and Spearman’s Rank correlation with and without considerations of site and city location. Overall, positive correlations between FIB and rainfall were identified in one city but were less significant in the other, suggesting a buffering of FIB concentrations likely due to inflow contributions from a reservoir. Samples collected downstream from an active CSO reached the detection limit of the FIB tests, demonstrating a 2-log or greater increase in FIB concentrations from dry weather conditions. The city with CSOs demonstrated greater FIB concentrations, which are likely a combination of greater urban runoff, CSOs, and the potential resuspension of sediment during high flow events. Due to the widespread presence of FIB in the region, future research includes utilizing microbial source tracking to identify the sources of contamination in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; fecal indicator bacteria; combined sewers; surface water; statistical analysis; Spearman’s rank correlation; Wilcoxon rank sum test water quality; fecal indicator bacteria; combined sewers; surface water; statistical analysis; Spearman’s rank correlation; Wilcoxon rank sum test
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lininger, K.J.; Ormanoski, M.; Rodak, C.M. Observations and Correlations from a 3-Year Study of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in the Mohawk River in Upstate NY. Water 2022, 14, 2137. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132137

AMA Style

Lininger KJ, Ormanoski M, Rodak CM. Observations and Correlations from a 3-Year Study of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in the Mohawk River in Upstate NY. Water. 2022; 14(13):2137. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132137

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lininger, Kyle J., Michael Ormanoski, and Carolyn M. Rodak. 2022. "Observations and Correlations from a 3-Year Study of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in the Mohawk River in Upstate NY" Water 14, no. 13: 2137. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132137

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