Monitoring and Statistical Analysis of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in Lower Sardis Lake, Mississippi

Author(s): Surbeck, C.

The quality of a recreational water body is usually assessed by quantifying fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in the water. FIB are groups of bacteria that together may indicate the presence of pathogens and have been strongly correlated with diseases contracted by swimmers in recreational waters. A two-week monitoring event was conducted in the summer of 2008 at 10 locations in the Lower Sardis Lake in northern Mississippi. Samples at selected beaches and embayments were collected and analyzed for total coliforms, E. coli, temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, phosphate, and phenols. Concentrations of the FIB E. coli were generally below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criterion of 126 per 100 mL for swimming freshwaters, which is consistent with previous research that attributes high FIB concentrations to large urban centers and not rural areas, such as the field location of this study. However, higher concentrations than the EPA criterion were found in lake water near a residential area and at an embayment with presence of wildlife. Further, results from creek sampling at a nearby town indicate consistently high E. coli concentrations at a geometric mean of 424 per 100 mL. Given the incidences of higher than standard FIB concentrations, statistical analyses were conducted to relate FIB concentrations to days of high-swimmer visits, presence of nutrients, and location.


Technical Presentations

  • Delta Water Quality
  • Delta Water and Agriculture
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • Sediments
  • Non-Point
  • Management and Sustainability
  • Wood Treatment
  • Modeling
  • Soil and Water Treatment


Responsible Site Design: Implementing Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies

The primary goal of the workshop is to create a dynamic learning experience that examines the role of stormwater management in the built environment. The workshop will focus on integrating ecologically sound water management approaches into site design. After the workshop, attendees will be familiar with the following concepts and technical issues:

  • Knowledge of the stormwater treatment chain
  • Knowledge of the impact of land use codes on stormwater management
  • Application of a design process that mitigates the effects of stormwater on-site
  • Knowledge of the relationship between land use codes and design for innovative stormwater management


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Jessie Schmidt
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