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Use of the quantitative microbial source tracking method (QMST) for source identification and load allocation in TMDL studies

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While in most TMDL studies, tremendous attention is given to how the data is modeled, especially in the case of microbial TMDLs, the integrity, adequacy, and the validity of the data seem to get very little attention. It is not uncommon to use sparse data sets, supplemented generously with assumptions to model a system. We have developed a quantitative microbial source tracking (QMST) approach to quantify the impact of each of the sources of microbial contamination in a watershed. The QMST is based on a unique sampling plan and integration the source identification data with microbial loads of samples. The method, if used properly, can generate accurate load allocation data for TMDL studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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