Water Resources--Office of Water Quality
Each chapter of the National Field Manual is published separately and revised periodically. Newly published and revised chapters will be announced on the USGS Home Page on the World Wide Web under "New Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey." The URL for this page is http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/.
TWRIs are grouped under major subject headings called books. The Book 9 series, Handbooks for Water-Resources Investigations, is designed for field use and was developed to summarize, from other TWRIs and other references, techniques for planning and conducting specialized work in water-resources investigations. The National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (National Field Manual) is Section A of Book 9. The National Field Manual is comprised of individually published chapters. Chapter numbers are preceded by an "A" to indicate that the report is part of the National Field Manual.
Chapter A7 on biological indicators includes procedures and guidelines for the collection, identification, and enumeration of fecal indicator bacteria in water. Sections and other chapters of the National Field Manual are referred to in this report by the acronym "NFM" and the chapter and (or) section number. For example, general information on field measurements of ground water is covered in section 6.0.2 of Chapter A6 "Field Measurements" and is cited here as NFM 6.0.2.
Data collectors must have formal training and field apprenticeship in order to correctly implement the procedures described in this report. The National Field Manual is meant to complement such training. The information provided in Section 7.1 (Fecal Indicator Bacteria) is to be used in conjunction with Methods for Collection and Analysis of Aquatic Biological and Microbiological Samples edited by L.J. Britton and P.E. Greeson (TWRI, Book 5, Chapter A4, 1989).
It is impractical to provide guidance that would encompass the entire spectrum of data-collection objectives, site characteristics, environmental conditions, and technological advances related to water-quality studies. The fundamental responsibility of data collectors is to select methods that are compatible with the scientific objective for the field work and to use procedures that are consistent with USGS standard procedures to the extent possible. Under some circumstances, data collectors may have to modify standard procedures. Whenever a standard procedure is modified or an alternative procedure is used, a description of the procedure used and supporting quality-assurance information are to be reported with the data.
The editors and authors are indebted to I.M. Collies, who provided editorial expertise and guided this document through many revisions; to C.M. Eberle and B.B. Palcsak for a thorough editorial review of the first draft; and to E.A. Ciganovich and G.J. Allord for their expertise, talent, and innovation in book design and publication.
Technical reviewers E.M. Godsy and J.J. Rote provided valuable contributions that improved the quality of information for the section on Fecal Indicator Bacteria.