FECAL-INDICATOR BACTERIA IN STREAMS ALONG A GRADIENT OF RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION , 38 , 2002

Frenzel, S.A., Couvillion, C.S.

Fecal-mdicator bacteria were sampled at 14 stream sites in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, as part of a study to determine the effects of urbanization on water quality. Population density in the subbasins sampled ranged from zero to 1,750 persons per square kilometer. Higher concentrations of fecal-coliform, E. coli, and enterococci bacteria were measured at the most urbanized sites. Although fecal-indicator bacteria concentrations were higher in summer than in winter, seasonal differences in bacteria concentrations generally were not significant. Areas served by sewer systems had significantly higher fecal-indicator bacteria concentrations than did areas served by septic systems. The areas served by sewer systems also had storm drains that discharged directly to the streams, whereas storm sewers were not present in the areas served by septic systems. Fecal-indicator bacteria concentrations were highly variable over a two-day period of stable streamilow, which may have implications for testing of compliance to water-quality standards.