Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.
9210 Corporate Boulevard, Suite 470, Rockville, MD 20850
stream order, EPA, river, contamination, pollutant, feces, pooper scooper, runoff, aseptic technique, quality, Chesapeake Bay, estuary, creek, enterococci, selective, differential
Many bodies of water in Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay, fail to meet the expectations of the US Clean Water Act of 1972. This act requires natural waters to be “fishable and swimmable”. Loads of pollutants affect streams and rivers throughout the US.
A major concern is contamination of waterways by bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract and feces of mammals. These bacteria enter the watershed in a number of different ways and can cause disease in people who eat seafood or who swim in the water. One type of bacterium, known as enterococci, is used as an indicator of the overall level of fecal contamination.
In this activity your students will collect and monitor levels of bacterial pollution in the area surrounding your school or neighborhood. They will measure bacterial contamination using EPA Method 1600, which is the standard method used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for enumerating fecal enterococci in natural waters.
Upon completion of What Lives in Your Water students will be able to: