Predicting Streambed Sediment and Water Column Escherichia coli Levels at Watershed Scale

Pramod Pandey, Michelle L. Soupir, Charles D. Ikenberry, Chris R. Rehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sub-model for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is developed to predict Escherichia coli levels in the streambed sediment as well as in the water column. New formulations to estimate the levels of E. coli in streambed sediment and the water column are derived. These equations include calculations of E. coli resuspension from the streambed sediment to the water column, E. coli deposition from the water column to the streambed sediment, E. coli growth in the streambed sediment and the water column, and instream E. coli routing. These formulations were programmed in FORTRAN and integrated into SWAT. The modified SWAT model was applied to Squaw Creek Watershed, Iowa, to predict E. coli levels in the stream. Escherichia coli concentrations in the streambed sediment and the water column were monitored extensively in this watershed, and observations were used to verify the model predictions. The model proposed here can predict E. coli concentrations in streambed sediment as well as in the water column. Approximately 58% of the predictions of E. coli levels in the bed sediment were within 1 order of magnitude from the observed value, and in the water column 83% of the predictions of E. coli levels were within 1 order of magnitude. Results suggest that the proposed model will help predictions of instream bacterial contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-197
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Microorganism fate and transport
  • Pathogen indicator
  • Water quality model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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