• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 20
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


MALDONADO, Lisa1, PARVIN, Momana2, DHAR, Sutapa3, ANCIRO, Stephanie4, SINGH, Andrew5, TIRMIZI, Atiqa5 and DHAR, Ratan6, (1)CUNY- NYCSEF/CN Summer Internship Program, Forest Hills High School, 67-01 110 Street, Queens, NY 11375, (2)CUNY- NYCSEF/CN Summer Internship Program, HS for Health Professions and Human Services, 345 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003, (3)Bridge to Research, York College of City University of New York, William C. Bryant High School, 48-10 31st. Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11103, (4)Bridge to Research, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, 94-50 159th Street, Jamaica, NY 11451, (5)Geology Discipline, Earth and Physical Sciences, York College of City University of New York, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11451, (6)Earth and Physical Sciences, York College of the City University of New York, 94-20, Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11451,

Ingestion of water with fecal microbes such as Escherichia Coli, Coliforms, and/or Enterococci can lead to gastric problems that can complicate easily and lead to death (Stahl, 2011; McCoy, 2010). Water and soil samples were collected from seven New York City ponds and lakes in Queens to test for microbial levels of fecal indicative bacteria (FIB) including total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Escherichia Coli and Enterococci. Increased use of these ponds and lakes for recreation, and lack of maintenance has led to the accretion of waste around the areas adjacent to and in these bodies of water. The urbanization of the areas encompassing the bodies of water pertaining to this study is likely to have adverse effects on the quality of the water and the soil with respect to FIB. The water bodies investigated in this study are surrounded by roads, homes, apartments, highways. These can lead to excess nutrients loading in the water and the soil around it; allowing fecal microorganisms to flourish in the water systems (DeFabio et al., 2011). Several of these lakes were littered with trash and objects not natural to the area such as plastics along with numerous decaying animals in and around the water. The water and the soil samples collected from the lakes and ponds in Queens were enumerated for FIB using EPA approved IDEXX methods. FIB were also extracted from the freshly collected soil cores in sterilized distilled water in order to assess the soil for fecal indicative bacteria using the IDEXX method.

The preliminary data shows that there is a correlation between increased urbanization and the most probable number (MPN) of bacteria / 100 mL of water. Areas with significant signs of urbanization, such as Meadow Lake, has significantly high levels of FIB, all of these are well beyond the standard microbe level set by the EPA. Of particularly great concern is the level of Enterococci and total Coliform that greatly exceed the level the EPA has claimed is acceptable. The average level found in Meadow Lake is found 2864 counts/100 ml, 74 counts /100 ml, 133 counts/100 ml and >200 counts/100 ml for total coliforms, fecal coliforms, E. coli and Enterococci respectively. The area around Baisley Pond is also very urbanized, having very high counts for total Coliforms, E. coli and Enterococci in the soil closest to the water in comparison to the other lakes and ponds.

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