Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019ND199B

Understanding E. coli and water quality in stormwater retention and detention basins in Fargo as part of the Red River watershed

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $9,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $18,000

Principal Investigators: Christina L.M. Hargiss

Abstract: Urban stormwater in detention basins in the Red River Watershed have shown an increase in E. coli during and after major storm events; however, retention ponds in the same geographic area have not shown increases in E. coli. E. coli was also found at detention basins in the groundwater. Currently there is little known about E. coli in retention and detention basins, and beyond basic water quality sampling no E. coli research has been conducted on stormwater in the region. As the water leaves the basins, it goes directly to the Red River, and it is important to understand the impact on the watershed. Little is known about the changes both spatially and temporally throughout basins in both surface and ground water. The objectives of this study are to assess surface water within detention and retention basins and adjacent groundwater to determine how far E. coli travels within the system, how storms impact E. coli and whether this is different in retention and detention basins. Additionally, source tracking and pathogen presence of the E. coli will be conducted to better understand the impact to humans. This is especially important as Fargo is retrofitting their detention basins to be useable recreational spaces.