Skip to main content

Fecal pollution events reconstructed and sources identified using a sediment bag grid

Buy Article:

$22.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Conventional microbiological surveys, relying on periodic sampling of the water column, were unable to identify sources of fecal contamination at a local beach in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Many sources of human and/or animal wastes to the cove were evident (for example, storm sewers, animal feces on the beach, urban streams, discharges from boats, leaking sanitary sewers) but it was not possible to identify any one source as the cause of the pollution by sampling the water column since the contaminant source was likely episodic (that is, discharging for only brief periods). It was unlikely that any conventional sampling survey would coincide with a pollution event and thereby reveal a pattern of contamination. As a result, a novel sampling strategy was devised using sediment bags (porous bags filled with sand) suspended from buoys and deployed in a grid pattern around the beach. The sand in these bags accumulated fecal bacteria during pollution events and retained them long enough so that they could be analyzed during weekly sampling surveys; in this way, the true pattern of the pollution plume was documented and the source was revealed. Results from an analysis of the sediment bag grid indicated that storm sewers were the principal contaminant sources. The subsequent clean-up was inexpensive compared with other proposed remedies (for example, diversion of urban creeks, replacement of sanitary sewers).
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: analysis; fecal bacteria; microbiology; oceans; sampling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 1994

More about this publication?
  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • WEF Bookstore
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more