Fecal Coliform

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Dangerous Waters
Fecal Coliform

Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………3 Purpose…………………………………………..………………………………………………………………3 Hypothesis………………………………………………………………………………………………………4 Materials…………………………………………………………………………………………………………4 Procedures…………………………………………………………………………………………….….…4-5 Variables…………………………………………………………………………………………………………5 Results…………….………………………………………………………………………………………………6 Analysis……………………………………………...………………………………………………..………6-7 Conclusion………………………………………………….………………………………………..………7-8 Real Life Application..……………………………………………………………………….…….………8 Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………..…….8 Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………..…….…9

Introduction:
Fecal coliform is bacteria found in human and animal waste. It can enter our rivers and streams from direct discharge from animals, storm runoff, and human sewage. Some of the sources for human sewage include septic systems from waterfront property, boats that have improper plumbing, and municipal sewer systems that overflow. Water that contains fecal coliform can be harmful to the environment by reducing dissolved oxygen levels. This may reduce the oxygen level enough to kill fish and other aquatic life. In high concentrations, fecal coliform can also cause illness in people that consume the aquatic life.

Fecal coliform is a subgroup of coliform bacteria used to establish water quality. This bacteria is able to live in higher temperatures which make it a more accurate indicator of fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals. The presence of fecal coliform indicates that fecal contamination has occurred.

Purpose:
Are there high concentrations of fecal coliform in the St. Lucie River that make it dangerous for humans and animals that are in contact with the water?

Hypothesis:
The water near the Roosevelt Bridge should have the highest concentration of fecal coliform since that area is heavily populated with homes that use septic systems and have a mooring field where people live in their boats.

Materials:
* Boat
* Car
* Nine sterile water collection bottles (provided by the lab) * Cooler to hold the bottles (provided by the lab)
* Ice for cooler
* Permanent marker to label bottles

Procedure:

* Take water samples from three locations: The Roosevelt bridge in the St. Lucie River, The St. Lucie Inlet, and Manatee Pocket.

* Collect the water samples in containers provided by Florida Spectrum, a laboratory located in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. * Collect the sample by dipping the container over the side of our boat and filling it with water. * Place sample in iced cooler.

* Drive the water samples to the laboratory where the testing will take place within a few hours of taking the sample to ensure there is little change in sample temperature that would affect the water. * Obtain the lab results by mail showing the amount of fecal matter, if any, in each sample. * Compare and analyze the amount of fecal levels in each location. * Repeat procedure a total of three times and average results.

Variables:

* Independent variable is the location where the water samples were taken: Manatee Pocket, the St. Lucie River, and Stuart Beach. * Dependent variable is the amount of fecal coliform found in the water samples. * Controlled variables are the amount of water samples collected and the distance of the location from the Roosevelt Bridge where water samples are collected.


Results:

After taking an average of the results for each of the three locations tested, the following was found: * Inlet: No Traceable Fecal Coliform
* Manatee Pocket: 10 Colony Formation Units/100ml
* Roosevelt Bridge: 240 Colony Formation Units/100ml

Analysis:

According to the Florida Department of Health, the following guidelines should be used to evaluate the levels of fecal coliform. * 0-199 is good (safe)
* 200-399 is...
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