Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Elias Dueker

Abstract/Artist's Statement

After rain, all storm runoff contains a variety of bacteria, including total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and enterococcus, derived from the land the water flows over. The fecal coliforms and Fecal streptococci originate from the feces of animals. Legionella pneumophila (Lp) is a genus of gram-negative bacteria and it is known to cause a disease known as Legionnaires’ disease, which is contracted by inhaling the pathogen in aerosolized water. My senior project investigates what communities of bacteria live in temporary water bodies (puddles); is Lp present?, and are fecal indicator bacteria (FIBs) also present? I asked the questions,``Do temporary bodies of water serve as reservoirs for bacteria or microbial agents of concern, like FIBs, in ways that differ from permanent bodies of water?” Lp, is transmitted to humans through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. Through tests for FIBs I was able to come to the conclusion that there is a high concentration of FIBs in the temporary water bodies and there are also high counts of Lp. There is a significant relationship between Lp and E. coli. The frequent presence of Lp in puddles of rainwater on asphalt roads, especially during wet weather, indicates the possibility of frequent contact with Lp containing aerosols. These results present an indication of wet weather contamination from street water discharge into the bioswales, tributaries and river samples.These findings are promising for the relationship of Lp in the environment in order to address global ignorance of harmful bacteria existing in public waterways.

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