Environmental Decay of Pathogens

EPA Grant Number: U915645
Title: Environmental Decay of Pathogens
Investigators: Easton, John H.
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2002
Project Amount: $94,300
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Health Risk Assessment , Health Effects , Academic Fellowships


The objective of this research project was to develop input parameters for modeling fate and transport of pathogenic microorganisms to assess the health risk of sewage contamination, especially from separate sewer overflow.


This research project included four phases. In Phase I, test organisms were selected. In Phase II, an evaluation of existing methods to enumerate these pathogens was conducted. Phase III consisted of an evaluation of appropriate existing computer modes to determine the types of input data required. Phase IV entailed conducting laboratory and field studies to generate typical model input parameters for fate and transport simulation. The research organisms selected were total coliforms, Escherichia coli, and Enterococci (bacterial indicators); E. coli O157:H7 (bacterial pathogen); and Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia (protozoan pathogens). These organisms were selected for the following attributes: they are an increasing public health concern, laboratory protocols for their enumeration exist, and/or they are of historical significance, allowing for comparison to previous studies.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, separate sewer overflow, SSO, health risk, sewage contamination, pathogens, fate and transport, pathogenic microorganisms, coliforms, Escherichia coli, Enterococci, E. coli O157:H7, Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final