Aug 31, 2021

Tracking Bacteria in Storm Water Runoff During Dry & Wet Weather

The SWS Webinar Series is continuing Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT with a presentation on runoff. 

beach runoff

Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT 

Register here.

Beaches are an important recreational and economic resource in Southern California where roughly 200 million beach visits occur annually. While isolated hot spots of fecal indicator bacteria still occur during dry weather, approximately 98% of beach-mile days meet water quality objectives in summer months. In contrast, high levels of fecal indicator bacteria during wet weather are ubiquitous in the region’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and dozens of total maximum daily load (TMDL) deadlines for fecal indicator bacteria are looming on the horizon. Previous studies measured the health risk of beach-goers during and immediately following rainfall events, including the presence of human pathogens. An estimated 100 billion dollars will be necessary to build sufficient stormwater infrastructure to treat this urban runoff. However, the utilization of new genetic testing has found the presence of human fecal markers (Bacteroidales HF183) in many storm drains during wet weather throughout the region.

Learning Objectives

Presented as a partnership between Storm Water Solutions and the Center for Watershed Protection, this presentation will discuss the burgeoning tools necessary to identify these human-specific sources of fecal pollution that will provide >1,000 times the public health protection at less than 1/100th of total cost compared to cumulatively treating non-point sources of urban runoff. These new tools focus on advanced microbial techniques such as community source profiling of sanitary sewer biofilms, nontargeted chemical analysis of raw wastewater, and volume loss measurements due to exfiltration from sanitary sewer pipes. These cutting-edge source tracking tools can be used in both dry and wet weather, and may be useful to watershed managers across the country.

About CWP

The Center for Watershed Protection’s mission is to protect and restore our streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and bays. Our experienced staff of scientists, planners and environmental professionals are the technical experts who help municipalities, advocates, policymakers and citizens get clean water projects in the ground. Founded in 1992, the Center began as a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education on watersheds. With an initial focus on protecting urban streams from the impacts of land development, the organization has grown over the years to become a national leader on stormwater management and watershed planning.

Register here.