Cheryl Nenn: Milwaukee RiverkeeperJason Schroeder: Water Quality Assistant
Reducing Bacterial Contamination in Waterways
Our mission is to protect water quality and wildlife habitat and advocate for sound land use in the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. Our vision is for fishable and swimmable waters in our rivers and Lake Michigan.
We are the Milwaukee Riverkeeper®
One of 188+ Waterkeepers around the world licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, based in New York
We are an independent watchdog for the river We respond to citizen concerns and complaints We find solutions to environmental problems affecting our waterways We have a physical presence on the river, coordinate citizen based
stream monitoring, and bacterial monitoring/illicit discharge detection
SEWRPC Regional Water Quality Plan
Riverkeeper served on the Technical Advisory Committee
Menomonee model robust with data at 18 assessment points (USGS, DNR, MMSD, citizens)
Modeling showed fecal coliform levels in one section of the Menomonee River (between Burleigh and 60th) that regularly exceeded the recreational use standard (200 colonies/100 mls) by 15 times.
Max fecal coliform was 1,500 times the standard!
Diagnosing a Problem
Modeling showed bacterial levels much higher than anticipated from stormwater runoff alone—subsurface flows suspected
Model predictions did not calibrate with field collected data, and bacteria were high during “dry” weather in this section
Likely source of bacteria from aged and failing sanitary sewage and stormwater infrastructure (illicit discharges and cross connections)
Why Fecal Coliform?
Fecal coliform was selected for modeling because they can be used as an indicator of human sewage
We have water quality standards for fecal coliform in WI (NR 102)
Large amount of data existed for fecal coliform due to regulatory standard.
Fecal used as recreational use standard for beach closings (E. coli standard also exists)
Why Fecal Coliform?
Fecal coliform as well as E. coli serve as indicators of a broader range of threats to human health including pathogens associated with human sewage and animal waste
Pathogens include viruses and bacteria such as Salmonella spp., Vibrio cholerae, Shigella dysenteries, and protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Fecal not sufficient indicator of threat to human health
SEWRPC recommended new program to focus on pathogens from human sources that are most likely to be harmful to human health (animal sources could also pose threats)
SEWRPC recommended aggressive program for detection and elimination of illicit discharges (also required under national and State stormwater regs)
Also recommended human health and risk assessments to assess pathogens in stormwater runoff (exposure routes, dose-response, etc)
E. coli, Enterococcus, Bacteroides, oh my
E. coli — found in many animals/short lived/but can be counted “dead”
Enterococcus — more human specific/lives longer/less accurate
Bacteroides marker—common marker that is unique to humans and not found in other hosts (cows, raccoons, etc).
Sometimes genes can be inhibited by other pollutants (heavy metals, etc); DNA extraction can be inefficient
Overall Project Overview
Where should we study? 8 mile area of Menomonee River and adjacent tributaries that discharge to this area
What parameters should we monitor for? E. coli, Enterococcus, Bacteroides (for selected “suspicious” outfalls)
Who will test (who will pay), when, and how? Riverkeeper does sample collection; UWM-GLWI does testing; tests during dry and wet weather
GIS data acquisition - can be a lengthy process Obtain data for study area Does area cover multiple municipalities? (One stop
Types of GIS data Stormwater outfalls (local Sewerage District) Storm sewers (local Sewerage District) Aerial imagery (local planning department) Hydrology layers (State DNR, USDA Geospatial Data
Planning phase continued…
GIS analysis to prioritize outfalls Which outfalls drain the largest areas? Which outfalls are likely to contain human bacteria?
Residential areas Industrial areas Agriculture areas
Print maps for identification & field samplingSend coordinates from GIS to GPS for hard to
find outfallsCreate form for field sampling
Form modified from: Center for Watershed Protection @ www.cwp.org
Sampling methods – Year One
Grab all outfalls running in dry weather
Grab as many outfalls during rain events as possible
Sample directly at outfall via sampling pole
Samples immediately stored on ice to preserve bacteria
Sampling methods continued
GLWI cultures for E. coli and Enterococcus on plates
Count bacteria colonies
High bacteria counts are candidates for DNA testing for human marker (Bacteroides)
Many samples have questionable resultsDiluted from stormwater or interference from
organic substances, metals, etc…
Sample all outfalls not tested in wet weather during the first year
Classify tested outfalls as: “BAD” – need no further testing “GOOD” – need no further testing (requires 2 negative results) “QUESTIONABLE” – need further testing
Prioritize questionable outfalls for retesting: Outfalls with highest bacteria counts and negative for human
marker Outfalls with largest drainage area for 2nd year
Reasons for using a GIS
Repository for outfall results and field notes
Reasons for using a GIS continued…
Provide analysis for outfall prioritization
Produce professional quality maps Provide documentation to Municipalities
Export to Google Maps or Google Earth for public viewing Google Earth (basic KML editor) Import KML to Google Maps
Use of Google Earth
Basic functions of a GIS to the desktop for free
Satellite imagery already there
Easy to share GIS data for others to view Export layers from GIS as a KML file KML file is an overlay on Google Earth Publish KML file on web site or email sharing
Use as a KML editor Display and edit text, data, and images easily
“Export to KML” Google Earth or Maps
Google Maps and alternatives
Constantly getting easier to make maps
Advantage: Anyone can view – no special software
Balloons allow display of data, pictures, text
Promote our work to the general public, fundraise
Can integrate our Citizen Based Stream Monitoring and Cleanup Sites
93 samples analyzed for E. coli & Enterococcus
E. coli ranged from 0 – 630,000 and greater (Too Numerous To Count)
Enterococcus ranged from 0 – 1,300,000 Median = 2,620 Mean = 48,941 Geometric Mean = 3,465
144 total outfalls identified
93 total samples analyzed 48 during baseflow 45 during wet weather
74 unique outfalls (19 samples – duplicates) 46 during baseflow & wet weather 28 during wet weather only
(40.5%) of outfalls sampled tested positive for human Bacteroides (30 of 74 outfalls)
GIS software: ArcGIS desktop for non-profits (ArcView, $175, 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, $195) -
www.techsoup.org ArcGIS grants program (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcINFO, extensions - Minimum $100) -
http://www.esri.com/grants/ GRASS GIS (Open source, free) - http://grass.osgeo.org/ Google Earth (free) - http://earth.google.com/
GIS tools: Minnesota DNR GPS tool for ArcGIS (free) -
ESRI Export to KML script (City of Portland, free download) - http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=14273
KML to Shapefile converter (online web browser, free) - http://www.zonums.com/online/kml2shp.php
Shapefile to KML converter (free download) - http://www.zonums.com/shp2kml.html
GIS data: USDA Geospatial Data Gateway - http://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/ U.S. Geodata – www.geodata.gov
Working with Municipalities
Opportunity for partnerships with municipalities for illicit discharge detection and public outreach
Help municipalities prioritize repairs
Outreach to private homeowners regarding need for lateral repairs (e.g. 78th and Mt. Vernon); city pilot project
Encouraging/supporting requests for stimulus, SRF funding, Great Lakes Restoration funding, etc.
Milwaukee area alone needs $1B in sewer repairs
State of WI SRF program: $200M per year
Stimulus funds for wastewater in 2009: $106M
Requested “shovel ready” projects for SRF in Wisconsin for 2009 (Intent to Apply): $1.2B
Need for additional funds
Need for new technologies (pipe sealing, end of the pipe treatments, etc)?
Help is on the way?!
Southeastern Wisconsin Watershed Trust (SWWT) - goal to implement programs and practices that will most cost-effectively improve water quality
Joyce funded NGOs — received funding to help create and implement watershed restoration plans (based on SEWRPC plans) for the Menomonee and KK Watersheds.
Milwaukee 7 Water Council – focused on advancing technologies to improve water quality/making Milwaukee a freshwater tech “hub”and UN Global Compact City
UW-Milwaukee - investing in new school of Freshwater Sciences and expansion of Great Lakes Water Institute
And not a moment too soon!
Phone: (414) 287-0207Cheryl Nenn x229
[email protected] Schroeder x235
Great Lakes Water Institute (McLellan Lab) - http://www.glwi.uwm.edu/research/genomics/ecoli/index_sep08.php
Bacteria research publications: Bower, P.A., Scopel, C.O., Jensen, E.T., Depas, M.M. & McLellan, S.L.
2005. Detection of genetic markers of fecal indicator bacteria in Lake Michigan and determination of their relationship to Escherichia coli densities using standard microbiological methods.Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71(12): 8305-8313
McLellan, S.L. 2004. Genetic diversity of Escherichia coli isolated from urban rivers and beach water. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.70(8):4858-65
McLellan, S.L., Daniels, A.D. & Salmore, A.K. 2003. Genetic characterization of Escherichia coli populations from host sources of fecal pollution by using DNA fingerprinting. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.69(5):2587-94