Fecal Indicator Bacteria Management

Fecal Indicator Bacteria Management

Elevated fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) levels are the most frequent cause of water quality impairment in streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches and drinking water supplies across the U.S. Controlling bacteria represents a major challenge for state and local governments that seek to protect public health at the lowest cost for their citizens.
To date, there are few resources that quickly summarize data on bacteria source tracking and removal techniques in a way that can be easily applied by watershed planners and managers. The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Urban Stormwater Workgroup (USWG) identified bacteria management as a priority and convened a small team to review and summarize the recent science and existing data for the workgroup.

This new report from CSN focuses on the last 15 years of research on bacteria management, and summarizes findings in three key areas:

  • Bacteria land use loading rates – improve understanding of bacteria “hot spots” for source targeting efforts and determine if research exists to support land use loading rates that could serve as a potential baseline for well-defined BMP removal efficiencies.
  • Bacteria source analysis techniques — provide guidance on track-back efforts, monitoring techniques and other source identification and control strategies to more effectively target controllable bacteria sources that pose the greatest risk to the community.
  • Stormwater BMP performance — summarize data on bacteria removal performance of Chesapeake Bay Program-approved stormwater BMPs and source control techniques.

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