Cladophora in the Great Lakes: Impacts on beach water quality and human health

Water Science and Technology
By: , and 



Cladophora in the Great Lakes grows rapidly during the warm summer months, detaches, and becomes free-floating mats as a result of environmental conditions, eventually becoming stranded on recreational beaches. Cladophora provides protection and nutrients, which allow enteric bacteria such as Escherichia coli, enterococci, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Salmonella to persist and potentially regrow in the presence of the algae. As a result of wind and wave action, these microorganisms can detach and be released to surrounding waters and can influence water quality. Enteric bacterial pathogens have been detected in Cladophora mats; E. coli and enterococci may populate to become part of the naturalized microbiota in Cladophora; the high densities of these bacteria may affect water quality, resulting in unnecessary beach closures. The continued use of traditional fecal indicators at beaches with Cladophora presence is inadequate at accurately predicting the presence of fecal contamination. This paper offers a substantial review of available literature to improve the knowledge of Cladophora impacts on water quality, recreational water monitoring, fecal indicator bacteria and microorganisms, and public health and policy.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Cladophora in the Great Lakes: Impacts on beach water quality and human health
Series title Water Science and Technology
DOI 10.2166/wst.2010.230
Volume 62
Issue 1
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher IWA Publishing
Publisher location London, UK
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Water Science and Technology
First page 68
Last page 76
Country United States
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