Home Programs Water Quality Citizen Scientists Look for Sources of Bacteria Pollution
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Citizen Scientists Look for Sources of Bacteria Pollution
Written by Jennifer Kalt for EcoNews   

 

Since 2005, our Citizen Water Monitoring Program has sampled streams from Little River to Elk River. In 2015, the U.S. EPA designated six creeks as “impaired” by bacteria based on our data. Since then, we have been working with the Regional Water Board and Humboldt County Public Health Lab to identify source animals (humans, cattle, dogs, birds, and other wildlife). After four sampling events in 2016, we are waiting for the results of the genetic analysis, which Humboldt County Public Health Lab is perfecting.

 

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What is E. coli?


E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the guts of warm-blooded animals. It is an indicator of fecal bacteria and viruses that can cause illness when ingested in food or water. People can be exposed to it by drinking contaminated water or through contact with polluted water when swimming, surfing, etc. You can prevent exposure by avoiding contact with streams, bay, and ocean for 72 hours after storms.

 

Thanks to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Humboldt County Public Health Lab, Pacific Watershed Associates, Coast Seafoods, Moonstone Beach Surf Camp, Environment Now, and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, and all of our volunteer Citizen Scientists for making this work possible!

 
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