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

Chapter A7. Biological Indicators


The National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (National Field Manual) is comprised of nine chapters that provide guidelines and standard procedures for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel who collect data used to assess the quality of the Nation's surface-water and groundwater resources. This chapter of the National Field Manual includes guidelines for the determination of biochemical oxygen demand (using a 5-day bioassay test), fecal indicator bacteria, fecal indicator viruses (coliphages), protozoan pathogens, algal biomass, and cyanobacterial toxin and taste-and-odor compounds in lakes and reservoirs.

Sections of Chapter A7:

Cover, contents, and introduction (90KB PDF)

7.0 Five-day biochemical oxygen demand

7.1 Fecal indicator bacteria, ver. 2.1, 5/2014

7.2 Fecal indicator viruses

7.3 Protozoan pathogens

7.4 Algal biomass indicators

7.5 Cyanobacteria in lakes and reservoirs: toxin and taste-and-odor sampling guidelines, ver. 1.0, 9/2008

Conversion factors, References, and Appendix (1.2MB PDF) [Note: References for sections 7.4 and 7.5 are included in those sections, not in this final section.]

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Citation Information

U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated, Biological indicators: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 9, chap. A7, accessed __list date__, from


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