Bacteriological characterization of feces and source differentiation

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Seyfried, P.
Harris, E.

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Ontario Ministry of the Environment


The potential for fecal pollution of Toronto Area Watersheds and lakefront is high due to the number of combined sewer and contaminated storm sewer outfalls plus a large animal and bird population in the Metro Toronto area. Efforts to solve pollution problems emphasize detection methods that can locate and differentiate the source of the pollution input (ie. human or non-human) and older methods, such as FC/FS ratios, are still being used. However, the variability of published information on FC/FS ratios and the bacterial populations in the feces of humans and other warm blooded animals presents a problem when trying to apply these findings to Microbiology Water Quality Studies, in Ontario. The majority of the studies used to develop bacteriological indices, such as the FC/FS ratio, have been conducted in other countries and therefore diet and other environmental factors as well as the media and methods used differ from those in Ontario. To remedy this existing situation, a 2 year study examining the bacterial levels and populations in the feces of humans, animals and birds was conducted during the period of June, 1984 to May, 1986 under the sponsorship of the Toronto Area Watershed Management Strategy (TAWMS) Study.


Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Other O.M.E. Environmental Reports


fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci, E. coli, Enterococci, pathogenic bacteria, fecal pollution, bird feces, sewage