Karamitros, Filareti, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg PA, PA, 17837, email@example.com; Gwin, Carley, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sills, Deborah, Deborah.email@example.com; Gonzalez, Demi,firstname.lastname@example.org; Gamboa, Melanie, email@example.com, Ndhlovu, Omuhle, firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Bucknell University, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg PA, 17837.
Our lab, in collaboration with the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, monitored the water quality in Buffalo Creek, as well as worked to determine the source of bacterial pollution within the watershed. We collected samples from 13 sites, and did so 5 times following PA DEP collection protocols as well as their established limits during analysis. Laboratory work using the water samples collected included nutrient testing, turbidity, total suspended solids, and bacteria plating. We simultaneously extracted DNA from fecal matter belonging to swine, cow, horse, goose, chicken, human, and dog, as well as extracted DNA from the water samples. We then used a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine to amplify the extracted fecal DNA, and ran gel electrophoresis on manure samples to establish the specific animal primers match correctly to their own markers. Ultimately there is still work to do in regards to the primers, as our processes likely need to be altered to ensure we are obtaining the most accurate and viable results.
In addition, we obtained Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) from the Union County Conservation District Office (CCD), which we dissected and organized the offered information into various spreadsheets. From the dissected plans, we were able to track all of the imports and exports of manure within Union County, as well as find the exact parcel PINs of land where the reported amount of manure would be placed. This offers insight into the sources for the bacterial pollution present in the waterways, especially the presence of E. coli due to its typical residence in the gut of animals.We created three spreadsheets for the transactions of chicken, cow, and swine manure. The information was obtained from 46 plans, with poultry holding the largest quantity of manure moved, then swine, then cow. All of the data for the current year was collected using these plans, and are now compacted and thoroughly organized into these spreadsheets. This geographical and quantitative information will be used to map Union County based off of manure locations, and we will be able to determine the proximity of these fields to our sampling sites.
Though there is more work to be completed involving microbial source tracking and PCR testing on the water samples, as well as manure application mapping within the county, our research well establishes the abundance of bacteria present in Buffalo Creek waterways. This work is focused on the improvement of community standards, and by working with the BCWA we will aid in spreading information about areas impaired for recreation and establish goals for repair and continue to contribute to the long-term monitoring of this watershed.
Microbial Source Tracking, Geographical Information Systems