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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item O'hearn, Rebecca
item Kremer, Robert
item Jones, John
item Knowlton, Matt

Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2008
Publication Date: 3/15/2008
Citation: O'Hearn, R., Kremer, R.J., Jones, J.R., Knowlton, M. 2008. Fecal indicators in recreational waters of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri(abstract). American Society for Microbiology Branch Meeting. March 14-15, 2008, Liberty, MO. p. 5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lake of the Ozarks is a popular whole body contact recreational reservoir in South Central Missouri. The reservoir shoreline and watershed are highly developed with residential and business units. Fecal contamination is a health concern for visitors and residents because of extensive use of septic systems in the local porous soils. Septic systems may potentially leach human fecal material into the water, which is used for whole body contact recreation. We correlated housing density, a human development index, of 35 coves (undeveloped, low, intermediate, and highly developed) with fecal coliform (FC) analysis to determine water quality. Three main channel sites were used for controls. FC values ranged from 0 to 3,325 colony-forming units (CFU) per 100 ml during the 1981-82 recreational seasons. In 2007, FC and E. coli values ranged from 0 to 4,880 and 0 to 546 CFU, respectively. From 1980 to 2007, FC increased in main channel, undeveloped, low, and intermediate developed sites by 66.8%, 207.3%, 77.7%, and 59%, respectively. In 2007, FC density in highly developed coves was 57% lower than in 1980. Increases in FC appeared to be associated with development in both 1980 and 2007, except in highly developed coves in 2007. E. coli also increased with development, except that levels in highly developed and intermediate developed coves were similar. Lower FC and E. coli values detected in highly developed sites are likely due to installation of community sewage systems that service current densely populated areas instead of reliance on individual septic systems. Results demonstrate that residential areas near the sampled coves are a primary source of bacterial contamination of Lake of the Ozarks water; however, 2007 analyses of highly developed areas indicate that reduction in water contamination may be related to improved sewage disposal systems installed since 1980.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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