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Thread: High-Levels of Bacteria in River

  1. #1 High-Levels of Bacteria in River 
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    Hey, i went swimming the other day in a small river. About a month ago i volunteered to help do water quality tests on this river. One of the tests was colilert-18, which came to show an unsubstantial amount of bacteria in the water. However, the test only checks for 3 kinds of bacteria - one being e.coli.

    Anyways, on our walk back we saw a sign that said swimming was prohibited since May 2006 because of bacteria. Now i am wondering what other kinds of bacteria could be present that would shut down the river to swimming? The water is flowing quite fast, the river is slightly rapid in some spots so there are no pools. It's remote, so not many bird or animal feces wind up in the river - at least that i expect.

    Thanks,
    Bryby


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  3. #2  
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    It could be something as simple as a remote cabin with either no septic system or a failed system.


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  4. #3  
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    Yea, that probably was once true, but you think that would be evident in the coliforms test.. The test showed no high coliforms or ecoli bacteria levels. It has been closed for 3 years now, and it's a public park. There must be some other type of bacteria...
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  5. #4  
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    If there is an upstream stagnant area, Giardia is a possibility. ALthough Giardia is not a bacterium, it would explain the closure, and the sign may have been at hand for use altho not accurate. Giardia would not be detected in colilert.

    Other, bacterial, pathogens with an oral port of entry, that would not be detected in Colilert, would include Clostridium difficile or relatives (a spore-forming pathogen), Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. I do believe the common water-borne intestinal pathogens (causing cholera, dysentery, etc) would be detected by Colilert.
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