Research Proposal: Bacterial Source Tracking and Total Maximum Daily Load

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BACTERIAL SOURCE- TRACKING & TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD

Microbial Source Tracking lacks a methodology that is appropriate in the tracing of bacterial contamination in the environment resulting in the identification and control of these pollutant sources which affects the decision-making in water-quality and management in a negative manner. The method for making identification of sources of microbial pollution is 'Microbial Source Tracking' or MST which was developed by the IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, Dr. Mansour Samadpour. MST is stated to have as its basis the use "of genetic fingerprinting of Escherichia coli strains' which is isolated by ribotyping from the sourced samples. It is reportedly the...DNA fingerprint of the E. coli that lives within the animal that is typed-not the DNA of the specific animal. Though fecal coliform bacteria found in many animal species are very similar genetically, there are differences among members of the same species that have adapted to live in different host species. It is thought that these distinctions in bacteria occur because the intestinal environments differ between animals, including humans." (IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 2008) Even though the fecal coliform bacteria in many of the species of animals are very similar genetically there still are many differences among "...members of the same species that have apparently adapted to live in different host species." (IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 2008) it is believed that these differences in bacteria occur due to the intestinal environments differing from one to another animal and including humans. Distinction of these bacteria in identifying their source makes it possible to associate bacteria with specific species. It is related as well that in order to achieve success in relation to "...any type of microbial source tracking methodology, it is necessary to build a library of isolates from known sources. Isolates from the database library of known sources are matched or associated with the environmental samples collected. The larger and more diverse the library, the more likely a match can be made. IEH, Inc. has a library of approximately 120,000 source isolates used to accomplish such investigations." (IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 2008)

PART ONE

Applications of the Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) Methods in the Environment Including Different Techniques and How These Are Used to Track Water Contamination Sources (Water Environment-Watersheds)

The work entitled: "Bacterial Source Tracking in the Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Process" published in the Environmental Regulations Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference" states the fact that in the U.S. "pathogen contamination is the second leading cause for placing surface waters on the 1998 303(d) list of impairments, second only to sediments." (Kern, et al., 2002) There are noted to be 5,281 impairments nationwide, fecal coliform contamination accounts for approximately 13% of all impairments." (Kern, et al., 2002) Kern, et al. (2002) states: 'Bacterial Source Tracking' is an essential tool for addressing all aspects of the TMDL process, as it is applied to pathogen impaired waters." The work of Kern et al. reviews the currently available BST methodologies and states that the use of BST "in all stages of the TMDL process is examined and including the assessment of waters, TMDL development, implementation plan development and implementation. It is stated in Kern et al.'s (2002) report it is related that presently MapTech Inc. is in the process of "developing calibration techniques for models simulating fecal-coliform fate and transport by incorporating the results of bacterial source tracking (BST)." (2002) it is demonstrated by Kern et al. (2002) and others that "....BST can be used in the TMDL process. A minimal amount of BST data can be used to verify the presence or absence of sources in a watershed, which allows for a qualitative analysis of the source inventory and modeling effort." However, it is stated as well that in the future the improvement of the initial calibration of the model can be improved to more accurately reflect the contribution of different sources." (Kern et al., 2002) Finally stated is that such a model "...in such a fashion and linked to measured data should be more widely accepted by stakeholders in a TMDL setting." (Kern, et al., 2002)

It is stated in the University of Georgia's CSREES Southern Regional Water Quality Program publication that Bacterial Sources Tracking is particularly important examining bodies of water and making a determination concerning whether they reach water quality standards for fecal bacteria content and the 'Total Maximum Daily Load' set out in the Federal Clean Water Act in relation to analyses of the level of bacteria in water and sources of bacteria and the in understanding the seasonable variation of the contamination. The primary goals of bacteria source tracking is stated to be the reduction of contamination as well as the goal of water meeting regulatory standards which varies from one state to another. Many times it is not possible to pinpoint contamination sites however stated as the best method for conducting BST in one in which the source of contamination is located via 'targeted sampling' and stated id "...Conduct rigorous water quality monitoring to select the specific stream reaches or tributaries that contribute to the problem. Intensive sampling, coupled with good field observations and land use information could identify the areas where fecal bacteria numbers are high." (CSREES, 2002) it is related as well that 'Bacterial Source Tracking' is viewed as being a part of 'Microbial Source Tracking' (MST) which includes bacteria, protozoa and viruses.

It is related in the "Microbiological Source Tracking Workshop: Workgroup Findings and Recommendations" Microbiological source tracking methods are potentially powerful tools that are increasingly being used to define the nature of water-quality problems in watersheds across the nation. While these techniques show much promise, most are still in the early stages of development. Many of these techniques have been tested in a limited number of watersheds and with a limited number of possible sources." (Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002) the following figure lists the two-way classification of some of the tracking methods that are widely used which focus on genotypes or phenotypic characteristics and their relative dependence on a background library or database of genotypic or phenotypic characteristics." (Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002)

BST Tracking Methods

Source: Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002

This study reports one in which four subgroups of participants in the workshop "discussed conceptual, technical, policy, logistical, and economic issues involved in improving the application of microbiological source tracking methods to the point where they could be used consistently, broadly, and with confidence in a range of real-world conditions." (Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002) it is related in this work that following a review of the work of the four separate subgroups, the participants stated an agreement that the set of criteria as follows should serve well as the basis for any methods comparison study:

measurement reliability;

management relevance;

Cost and logistics. (Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002)

Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg (2002) state the category of criteria and specific evaluation criteria of these three to be as shown in the following chart labeled Figure 2.

Measurement Reliability; Management Relevance, and Cost Logistics (Bernstein, Griffith, and Weisberg, 2002)

PART TWO

Role of Bacterial Source Tracking Methods in Source Appointment among Different Animal Species and Calculating the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in both Environment and Watershed

Water, when contaminated with feces has the potential to negatively impact humans both in terms of their health as well as having economic impacts. Healthwise, it is understood that water with a high level of fecal bacteria is "likely to contain pathogenic bacteria" which will make human beings very sick. Economically speaking, water that becomes reportedly unclean will impact the economics of individuals residing in or near that area because losses in the tourist industry are severely felt when unclean waters are noted as being such. According to Washington State University - College of Veterinary Medicine in the work entitled: "Microarray Lab-Microbial Source Tracking' that water quality specialist use MST in tracking fecal microbes to the host animal and it is expected that management and mitigation efforts may be effectively designed toward the reduction of fecal flora in surface waters. Additionally, it is hoped that the identification of the "primary sources of fecal contamination may help to refine estimates of the human health risk posed by various sources of fecal contamination." (Soule, Loge, and Gay, 2007) There have been various markers proposed for MST which are classified broadly as either 'library-dependent' methods or library independent methods. These patterns may be utilized in the derivation of a "classification function that I s then used to putatively identify the host animals from which the fecal flora originated." (Soule, Loge, and Gay, 2007) Stated to be inclusive in the library-dependent method challenges is a need for construction of a massive library prior to work actually beginning. (Soule, Loge, and Gay, 2007) Library-independent methods result in the need for markers or microbes or genes that "are specific to a given animal. Assuming these markers are functionally linked to the host animals, then the markers should… [END OF PREVIEW]

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