Bacterial indicator occurrence and the use of an F+ specific RNA coliphage assay to identify fecal sources in Homosassa Springs, Florida

Microbial Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

A microbiological water quality study of Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (HSSWP) and surrounding areas was undertaken. Samples were collected in November of 1997 (seven sites) and again in November of 1998 (nine sites). Fecal bacterial concentrations (total and fecal coliforms, Clostridium perfringens, and enterococci) were measured as relative indicators of fecal contamination. F+-specific coliphage genotyping was performed to determine the source of fecal contamination at the study sites. Bacterial levels were considerably higher at most sites in the 1997 sampling compared to the 1998 sampling, probably because of the greater rainfall that year. In November of 1997, 2 of the 7 sites were in violation of all indicator standards and guidance levels. In November of 1998, 1 of 9 sites was in violation of all indicator standard and guidance levels. The highest concentrations of all fecal indicators were found at a station downstream of the animal holding pens in HSSWP. The lowest levels of indicators were found at the Homosassa Main Spring vent. Levels of fecal indicators downstream of HSSWP (near the point of confluence with the river) were equivalent to those found in the Southeastern Fork and areas upstream of the park influences. F+ specific RNA coliphage analysis indicated that fecal contamination at all sites that tested positive was from animal sources (mammals and birds). These results suggest that animal (indigenous and those in HSSWP) and not human sources influenced microbial water quality in the area of Homosassa River covered by this study.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bacterial indicator occurrence and the use of an F+ specific RNA coliphage assay to identify fecal sources in Homosassa Springs, Florida
Series title Microbial Ecology
DOI 10.1007/s002489900193
Volume 39
Issue 1
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 56
Last page 64
Country United States
State Florida
City Homosassa
Other Geospatial Homosassa Springs