SS4.13 Water Quality of Lakes, Rivers and Coastal Zones
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
ForrestF, Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development, Alberta , Canada, Francine.Forrest@gov.ab.ca
Wuite, J, J, Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development, Alberta, Canada, Jamie.Wuite@gov.ab.ca
 
BACTERIAL SOURCE TRACKING: EVALUATING THE USE OF BST TECHNOLOGY FOR WATER MONITORING PROGRAMS IN ALBERTA, CANADA
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Fecal bacteria concentrations often exceed Health Canada's recreational guidelines in several surface water bodies in Alberta. Human sewage, livestock, and wildlife can all contribute substantial amounts of fecal bacteria to surface waters. Identifying the source of fecal contamination is often difficult and as a result mitigation efforts are often ineffective or prohibitively expensive. Bacterial source tracking is a promising new methodology, which allows for the identification of fecal pollution in a watershed. There are several molecular and biochemical bacterial source tracking methods available. Application of these techniques can be used to help identify non-point sources, assess the effectiveness of beneficial management practices, and monitor changes in bacterial source contributions. A comparison of procedures, precision, expenses and applications will be discussed for four promising bacterial source-tracking techniques: ribotyping, pulse-field gel electrophoresis, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA, and antibiotic resistance analysis. Advantages and disadvantages of using a combination of these techniques will be provided in the context of their implementation into current water monitoring programs and available laboratory resources in Alberta.