Project #1565

Validation of Rapid Methods for Enumeration of Markers for Human Sewage Contamination in Recreational Water

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Dr. Daniel M. Woltering, Ph.D.
Florida Stormwater Association Education Foundation (FSAEF)
Water Quality
Microbes & Pathogens


This study compared standard, membrane filtration culture-based measures of the fecal indicator bacteria E. coli and enterococci to rapid quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods in terms of correlation and consistency of performance in various types of waters. The genes of two human-associated microorganisms, one from the bacterial group Bacteroidales and one from human polyomaviruses JCV and BKV, were used to quantitatively assess the presence of human sewage using qPCR in various types of subtropical waters in Florida, including fresh, brackish, and saltwaters. The qPCR methods tested proved to be robust enough to produce reliable, quantitative results. The human-associated MST markers showed that their use could be beneficial in informing monitoring agencies about water quality in instances where standard culture methods for FIBs may fall short. Published by WERF. 202 pages. Online PDF. (2011)

Originally funded as WERF project PATH3C09.