Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

An Integrated Approach to Characterize and Reduce Microbial Pathogens, Nutrients, and Sediment Transport in Runoff and Drinking Water Source

EPA Grant Number: R827589E03
Title: An Integrated Approach to Characterize and Reduce Microbial Pathogens, Nutrients, and Sediment Transport in Runoff and Drinking Water Source
Investigators: Marchin, George L. , Erickson, Larry E. , Graham, David W. , Mankin, Kyle R.
Institution: Kansas State University
EPA Project Officer: Winner, Darrell
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through March 30, 2003
Project Amount: $147,821
RFA: EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: EPSCoR (The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)


We have utilized an analysis of carbon source oxidation by fecal streptococci as determined using a commercially available procedure (Biologâ) to compare known-source bacteria with a variety of unknowns from watersheds in Kansas in order to identify the origins of fecal pollution. We have also utilized antibiotic resistance analysis (ARA) to develop profiles on a known-source database and compared the same unknowns described above to that database to identify the sources of fecal pollution in various watersheds.


Antibiotic resistance analysis and carbon source oxidation by fecal streptococci may represent an economical procedure for determining the origin of fecal bacterial pollution in the watersheds of Kansas. Literature citations suggest that the techniques are valid and technically simpler than molecular techniques that purport to obtain the same data. In addition the procedures are economical and thus within the budgets of typical rural municipalities.


Known fecal streptococci isolates were obtained from livestock, humans, wildlife and domestic pets and subjected to carbon source oxidation analysis and antibiotic resistance analysis. Antibiotics used were: chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, streptomycin, cephalothin, erythromycin, tetracycline, neomycin, vancomycin, and amoxicillin. Antibiotics were used on average at three different concentrations. This database constitutes a set of "known" patterns and currently consists of over 1,200 individual isolates. Unknown water samples were obtained from the following sites: Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, sites near St. John's Kansas, streams on the Konza prairie, Tuttle Creek Reservoir, Black Vermillion River, Cheney Lake, the Arkansas River that runs through Wichita. Additional sites within Kansas, too numerous to mention, were also sampled. Fecal streptoccocci from these samples were also selected and analyzed using carbon source oxidation assays and antibiotic resistance analysis.

Expected Results:

The data should allow a decision as to which technique, Biologâ or ARA, is valid for determining the origin of fecal pollution from non-point sources. Data derived from the unknown samples will be compared with the known-source patterns using a pattern recognition or discriminant analysis statistical package called JMP IN. Conclusions will then be drawn on the origin fecal pollution in these watersheds. The possibilities of appropriate remedial measures will then be possible based on knowledge of sources.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 25 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Biologâ, carbon source oxidation, antibiotic resistance analysis, fecal streptococci, non-point source pollution, discriminant analysis, RFA, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Ground Water, Water & Watershed, State, Water Pollutants, Drinking Water, Microorganisms, Watersheds, microbial contamination, nutrient transport, bacteria, contaminant transport, fecal contamination, runoff, sediment transport, microbial pathogens, Kansas (KS), water quality, drinking water contaminants, watershed assessment, carbon nutrients

Progress and Final Reports:

Final Report