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Microbial Source Tracking of Escherichia coli in a Constructed Wetland

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Little information has been gathered on the effect of avian species on the microbial water quality in constructed wetlands. To address this concern, fecal pollution from nonpoint and point sources was evaluated in a constructed wetland in Tolleson, Arizona. Antibiotic resistance profiling and biochemical fingerprinting were performed on 325 Escherichia coli isolates, collected from key points in the wetlands. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to interpret the data for samples collected on October 3 and December 12, 2000, and January 16, 2001. It was found that the passerine population was the major source of the Escherichia coli in the water samples collected in the wetlands on October 3 and December 12, 2000, whereas the regrowth in the treated municipal wastewater was the main source on January 16, 2001. This information is useful in providing data for operators in the monitoring of wetlands created for wastewater treatment and wildlife habitat.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; avian species; constructed wetlands; microbial source tracking

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • 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.
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