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Title: Detection of human and animal sources of pollution by microbial and chemical methods

item FURTULA, VESNA - Environment Canada
item CHAMBERS, PATRICIA - Environment Canada
item Jackson, Charlene

Submitted to: Environmental Pollution
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2011
Publication Date: 7/19/2011
Citation: Furtula, V., Chambers, P., Jackson, C.R. 2011. Detection of human and animal sources of pollution by microbial and chemical methods. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Remediation. July 17-19,2011. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A multi-indicator approach comprising Enterococcus, bacterial source tracking (BST), and sterol analysis was tested for pollution source identification. Fecal contamination was detected in 100% of surface water sites tested. Enterococcus faecium was the dominant species in aged litter samples from poultry farms (72.4 -100%). Enterococcus faecalis (26.6%) and Enterococcus faecium (24.5%) accounted for the largest portions of environmental samples. In surface water, cholesterol, dihydrocholesterol, desmosterol, coprostanol and epicoprostanol were detected ranging from 0.275-7.710 µg/L, 0.022-1.040 µg/L, 0.031-1.119 µg/L, 0.006-0.086 µg/L, and 0.006-0.086 µg/L, respectively. The plant sterols campesterol, stigmasterol and ß-sitosterol were detected ranging from 0.044-1.692 µg/L, 0.072-2.928 µg/L and 0.361-10.072 µg/L, respectively. Based on results of our sterol analyses, six ratios for detection of fecal contamination and four ratios for differentiating sources of fecal contamination were calculated and combined with BST and Enterococcus data. An integrated analysis of all indicators identified contribution from poultry and dairy industry as well as human fecal pollution.