Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015AL169B

Identification of pollution sources on agricultural farms and evaluation of new fecal indicators for surface water quality monitoring

Institute: Alabama
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,856 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,045

Principal Investigators: Luxin Wang, Eric Reutebuch

Abstract: As indicated by the “State Water Resources Competitive Grant Program” RFP, one of the major water resources problems in Alabama is surface water point-source and non-point source contamination. Although the Good Agricultural Practices have been implemented for years, studies are still needed in order to develop efficient strategies to minimize the pollution from agricultural, industrial and urban non-point sources. The research team led by the two PIs of this proposal conducted a survey in 2014 (funded by USDA) and found that E. coli concentrations downstream of cattle farms were significantly higher than those upstream of the farms. The results indicate that, 1) a more efficient surface water quality monitoring protocol is still needed to better understand the sources and transport of fecal pollution, and, 2) improved methods that can identify the contamination sources are of great importance for future development and implementation of BMPs.