251380 Effect of storm events on pathogen loads in a drinking water reservoir

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:45 PM

Jill Stewart, PhD , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Storm events and the resulting runoff are expected to increase with climate change, with the potential to adversely impact drinking water reservoirs and other surface waters. This study evaluated loading of microbial contaminants into a drinking water reservoir as a function of rainfall and landuse. Samples were collected bimonthly under dry-weather conditions and over the course of three storm events. Each sample was analyzed for concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria and for markers of human-source fecal contamination. Concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria, including fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli, were generally higher in more developed watersheds. Fecal indicator bacteria were also significantly greater during storm events than during dry-weather conditions. Dry-weather loads of fecal indicator bacteria showed considerable seasonal variation. However, the average storm event delivered contaminant loads equivalent to months of dry-weather loading. Analysis of intra-storm loading patterns provided little evidence to support “first-flush” loading of fecal indicator bacteria. This loading pattern suggests that traditional best management practices (BMPs) may be ineffective for protecting reservoirs against microbial contaminants during storms. However, human-specific markers tested in this study proved useful for identifying areas for targeted restoration. These results help elucidate mechanisms by which contaminants are mobilized and transported, and introduce novel tools for the protection and management of drinking water sources. This study also helps to identify timing and conditions for public health vulnerabilities, and for effective management interventions.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. List two indicators used to detect fecal pollution of surface waters. 2. Describe three issues associated with the use of traditional fecal indicator bacteria to monitor water quality. 3. Define microbial source tracking (MST) and describe how MST can be used to mitigate water pollution.

Keywords: Water Quality, Climate Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: EDUCATION Ph.D. Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2003 M.S. Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1998 B.A. Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Ecology and a minor in Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1996 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 2008-present Assistant Professor, UNC Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering 2002-2008 Contract Microbiologist, NOAA National Ocean Service, Charleston, SC 1999-2002 PhD Student/Fellow, NOAA National Ocean Service, Charleston, SC 1999 Product Development Chemist, HaloSource Corp., Seattle, WA 1996-1998 Research Assistant, Environmental Health Microbiology Lab, UNC 1996 Research Assistant, Coastal Wetlands Ecology Lab, UVA 1995-1996 Research Assistant, Isotope Geochemistry Lab, UVA 1995 REU (undergraduate researcher), NSF Virginia Coastal Reserve LTER Project PUBLICATIONS Books and Chapters Stewart, JR, LE Fleming, JM Fleisher, AM Abdelzaher and MM Lyons. Waterborne Pathogens. Chapter 2 In: Issues in Environmental Science and Technology Vol. 33: The Marine Environment and Human Health. R. M. Harrison and R. E. Hester (eds.). Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Publishing. London. In press. Number of manuscript pages: 58. Jofre, J, JR Stewart and W Grabow (2011). Phage Methods. Ch. 6 In: Microbial Source Tracking: Methods, Applications and Case Studies. C Hagedorn, AR Blanch and VJ Harwood (eds.). Springer Publishing Co. New York, NY. In press. Number of manuscript pages: 35. Stewart, JR, J Santo Domingo, and TJ Wade (2007). Fecal pollution, public health and microbial source tracking. Ch. 1 In: Microbial Source Tracking. J Santo Domingo and M Sadowsky (eds). American Society for Microbiology. Washington D.C. 32pp. Referreed Papers/Articles Wu, J, RA Rodriguez, JR Stewart and MD Sobsey (2011). Development of a simple and rapid virus concentration method and its application for detection of human adenoviruses in small volumes of source water. Journal of Applied Microbiology. Accepted. Available online Feb. 24. Shah, AH, AM Abdelzaher, H Phillips, R Hernandez, HM Solo-Gabriele, J Kish, G Scorzetti, JW Fell, MR Diaz, TM Scott, J Lukasik, VJ Harwood, S McQuaig, CD Sinigalliano, ML Gidley, D Wanless, A Agar, J Lui, JR Stewart, LR Plano and LE Fleming. Indicator microbes correlate with pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and helminthes in sand at a subtropical recreational beach site (2011). Journal of Applied Microbiology. Accepted. Available online March 29. Abdelzaher, AM, M E Wright, C Ortega, AR Hasan, T Shibata, H M Solo-Gabriele, J Kish, K Withum, G He, SM Elmir, J A Bonilla, TD Bonilla, CJ Palmer, TM Scott, J Lukasik, VJ Harwood, S McQuaig, CD Sinigalliano, ML Gidley, D Wanless, LRW Plano, AC Garza, X Zhu, JR Stewart, JW Dickerson, H Yampara-Iquise, C Carson, JM Fleisher and LE Fleming (2011). Daily measures of microbes and human health at a non-point source marine beach. Journal of Water and Health. Accepted. Gregory, JB, LF Webster, JF Griffith and JR Stewart (2011). Improved detection and quantification of norovirus from water. Journal of Virological Methods. 172(1-2):38-45. Johnston, C, JA Ufnar, JR Griffith, J Gooch and JR Stewart (2010). A real time qPCR assay for the detection of the nifH gene of Methanobrevibacter smithii, a potential indicator of sewage pollution. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 109(6):1946-1956. Rosario, K, EM Symonds, C Sinigalliano, J Stewart and M Breitbart (2009). Pepper mild mottle virus as an indicator of fecal pollution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 75(22):7261-7267. DiDonato, GT, JR Stewart, DM Sanger, BJ Robinson, BC Thompson, AF Holland and R. Van Dolah (2009). Effects of changing land use on the microbial water quality of tidal creeks. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 58(1): 97-106. Stewart, JR, RJ Gast, RS Fujioka, HM Solo-Gabriele, JS Meschke, LA Amaral-Zettler, E Del Castillo, MF Polz, TK Collier, MS Strom, CD Sinigalliano, PDR Moeller and AF Holland (2008). The coastal environment and human health: Microbial indicators, pathogens, sentinels and reservoirs. Environmental Health. 7(Suppl 2):S3. Kelsey, RH, LF Webster, DJ Kenny, JR Stewart and GI Scott (2008). Spatial and temporal variability of ribotyping results at a small watershed in South Carolina. Water Research. 42(8-9):2220-8. Klopchin, J, JR Stewart, LF Webster and PA Sandifer (2008). Assessment of environmental impacts of a colony of free-ranging rhesus monkeys (Macca mulatta) on Morgan Island, South Carolina. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 137:301-313. Siewicki, TC, T Pullaro, W Pan, S McDaniel, R Glenn and J Stewart (2007). Models of total and presumed wildlife sources of fecal coliform bacteria in coastal ponds. Journal of Environmental Management. 82:120-132. Stewart, JR, J Vinjé, SJG Oudejans, GI Scott, & MD Sobsey (2006). Sequence variation among group III F+RNA coliphages from waters and swine lagoons. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 72(2):1226-1230. Stewart, JR, JW Daugomah, DE Chestnut, DA Graves, MD Sobsey and GI Scott (2006). FRNA coliphage typing for microbial source tracking in surface waters. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 101(5):1015-1026. Richter, J, M Livet, J Stewart, G Scott, G Feigley (2005). Coastal terrorism: Using tabletop discussions to enhance infrastructure through relationship building. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Nov. (Suppl). S45-S49. Vinjé, J, SJG Oudejans, JR Stewart, MD Sobsey and SL Long (2004). Molecular detection and genotyping of male-specific coliphages by reverse transcription-PCR and reverse line blot hybridization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 70(10):5996-6004. Noble, RT, SM Allen, AD Blackwood, W Chu, SC Jiang, GL Lovelace, MD Sobsey, JR Stewart, and DA Wait (2003). Use of viral pathogens and indicators to differentiate between human and nonhuman fecal contamination in a microbial source tracking comparison study. Journal of Water and Health. 1(4):195-208. Stewart, JR, RD Ellender, JA Gooch, S Jiang, SP Myoda, & SB Weisberg (2003). Recommendations for microbial source tracking: Lessons from a methods comparison study. Journal of Water and Health. 1(4): 225-231. Refereed Reports Sanger, D, A Blair, G DiDonato, T Washburn, S Jones, R Chapman, D Bergquist, G Riekerk, E Wirth, J Stewart, D White, L Vandiver, S White, D Whitall (2008). Integrative Ecological Assessments of NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserves System (NERRS), Volume I: The Impacts of Coastal Development on the Ecology and Human Well-being of Tidal Creek Ecosystems. NOAA Technical Memorandum. NOS NCCOS 82. 76 pp. Santo Domingo, J, T Edge, J Griffith, J Hansel,VJ Harwood, M Jenkins, A Layton, M Molina, C Nakatsu, R Oshiro, M Sadowsky, O Shanks, G Stelma, J Stewart, D Stoeckel, B Wiggins and J Wilbur (2005). Microbial Source Tracking Guide Document. EPA/600-R-05-064, Office of Research & Development. Cincinnati, OH. 123pp. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600r05064/600r05064.pdf. SYNERGISTIC ACTIVITIES • Chair-Elect, Division Q of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 2011 • Participated by invitation in an NSF Ecology of Marine Infectious Diseases (EMID) Workshop (Feb. 12-13, 2011; San Juan, PR). • Provided expert consultation to the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) Beaches and Recreational Water Quality Work Group in association with the Great Lakes Beach Association Conference (Oct. 21-22, 2010; Erie, PA). • Participated by invitation in an EPA workshop on final indicators of ecosystem services for estuaries and wetlands. (June 7-10, 2010; Denver, CO). • Participated in an Experts Scientific Workshop on Inland Waters coordinated by the Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and sponsored by EPA’s Office of Water (Feb. 18-20, 2009; Dallas, TX). • Participated on the Environment Technical Panel at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conference on accelerating innovation in biosciences (Oct. 2008; Gaithersburg, MD). • Facilitated session on Seafood Quality and Safety, and Natural Products from the Sea at the NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative all-PI meeting (Oct 24, 2007; Muskegon, MI). • Served on a project advisory committee for the American Water Works Association Research Federation (2006-2008). • Performed as rappateur for breakout group identifying human health research priorities for National Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (April 2006; Denver). • Facilitated session “Designing an Ocean Observation System to Support Public Health Decisions” at Coastal Observations for Decision Making Conference (Jan. 23-25, 2006; St. Petersburg, FL). • Co-Chaired session titled “Understanding and Predicting Pathogens in an Ecosystem Context” at the NOAA Oceans and Human Health all-PI meeting (Jan. 18 2006; Charleston SC).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.