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USGS scientists deploy SPMD and POCIS samplers to collect waterborne contaminants in Manoa Stream on Oahu, Hawaii.


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Chapter A7. Biological Indicators

National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (TWRI Book 9)

7.1 Fecal Indicator Bacteria (Version 2.1, 5/2014 - includes minor updates) [1.45 MB PDF]

By D.N. Myers, D.M. Stoeckel, R.N. Bushon, D.S. Francy, and A.M.G. Brady

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Fecal indicator bacteria are used to assess the microbiological quality of water because, although not typically disease causing, they are correlated with the presence of several waterborne disease-causing organisms. The concentration of indicator bacteria is a measure of water safety for body-contact recreation or for consumption. This report provides information on the equipment, sampling protocols, and identification, enumeration, and calculation procedures that are in standard use by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel for the collection of data on fecal indicator bacteria.


7.1 Fecal indicator bacteria

7.1.1 - Sampling equipment and equipment sterilization procedures

7.1.2 - Sample collection, preservation, storage, and holding times

7.1.3 - Identification and enumeration methods

7.1.4 - Calculating and reporting fecal indicator bacteria densities

7.1.5 - Selected references

7.1.6 - Acknowledgments

Comments/Errata page

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Section 7.1 Archives

Citation for Section 7.1

Myers, D.N., Stoeckel, D.M., Bushon, R.N., Francy, D.S., and Brady, A.M.G., 2014, Fecal indicator bacteria (ver. 2.1): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 9, chap. A7, section 7.1, May 2014, accessed __ list date __ from

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