2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Decay Rates of Escherichia coli in an Urban Stream
Erik Moody
Dr. Cynthia Cooper, Faculty Mentor

A study of the survival of Escherichia coli in environmental samples isolated from a semi-rural urban stream was conducted in Adair County, Missouri. The goal was to determine if the E. coli in stream sediment would survive longer than that of the surface water. The experimental design involved obtaining water and sediment from two sites on two occasions (May and June). Results: The survival of E. coli in the four water studies showed bimodal decay rates. The sediment samples always contained many more E. coli bacteria than the water samples with the fold increase being higher with initial contaminant load. Three of the 4 sediment samples showed a significant increase in the number of E. coli in the first 48 hours. Our data show that when there was a high level of E. coli in surface water, the load in the sediment was much higher, persisted longer, and with some population growth in the sediment.

Keywords: E. coli, Sediment, Water, Survival, Decay

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 211-4
Location: MG 1098
Time: 10:15

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