University of Hawaii Study Investigates Bacteria in Sand

Tao Yan, Ph.D., and his team from the University of Hawaii in Manoa will investigate how fecal indicators of pathogens are transported to beach sand and seawater during rainfall events and their rates of survival, according to the Water Environmental Research Foundation.

Because inland waters usually play significant roles in transporting fecal contamination to coastal recreational waters, the researchers will also look at how land-use patterns affect the abundance levels of these indicators in stream water and bank soil. The indicators include E. coli and enterococci, as well as C. perfringens, which has been adopted as an unique fecal indicator for the state of Hawaii. The results will provide insight in to the transport routes of fecal indicators and associated health risks, and provide valuable information to inform U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's upcoming revisions to the national recreational water quality criteria.

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