Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:10 AM
THE USE OF BACTERIOPHAGE TRACERS IN UNDERSTANDING GROUND WATER TRANSPORT OF PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Biological tracers are useful tools in determining the susceptibility of surface and ground waters to biological pollutants delivered via ground water transport. A number of tracer studies utilized bacteriophage to determine wastewater/groundwater movement were successfully conducted in the State of Florida at a number of coastal and inland sites (The Florida Keys, Chassahowitzka, Florida and Groveland, Florida). These studies determined the impact of septic systems and shallow injection wells on surrounding surface and ground water quality. A common trend that was noted in these studies was that the phage tracers typically moved faster than dye tracers that were or had been utilized in the same regions for similar purposes. One of the conclusions from these studies was that phage tracers better reflect actual microbial movement in ground waters. This presentation outlines the most useful bacteriophage tracers and methodology to determine microbial transport and viability. Issues such as source tracking, selection of the appropriate bacteriophage and the factors, which affect microbial transport and survival, will be described.