Date of Award

10-26-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

David W. Buckalew. Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary E. Lehman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Eugene Morris

Abstract

Performing testing to detect for the presence of fecal coliform and fecal streptococci are the acceptable standard methods for judging the quality of water. Their presence and quantitation are presumed to be a predictive indicator of potentially more serious organisms being present. This study was initiated to look at the differences in fecal coliform counts between irrigation ponds and livestock ponds. The hypothesis was that livestock ponds would have a significantly higher count of fecal coliform and fecal streptococci than irrigation ponds. This hypothesis was accepted. Six privately owned ponds in Charlotte County, Virginia were used to evaluate for the presence of these indicator groups of organisms. Three of the ponds are used only for agricultural purposes (irrigation) and the other three are used as the primary water source for domesticated beef cattle (livestock). These ponds represent non-point source contamination. The most important 'untested' sources of pollution today, NPS represents the largest contributing source of pollution. The ratio between the two variables (fecal colifonn/fecal streptococci) is considered to have predictive value inestablishing what is the major species source of contamination. Therefore, a second hypothesis was made: the ratio of the two variables would have predictive value in determining the main source of contamination. The contamination source is known; wildlife in the irrigation ponds and domesticated cattle in the livestock ponds. This hypothesis was accepted when looking at the mean ratios for the entire period of the study.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.