Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM
OCCURRENCE OF FECAL INDICATIVE BACTERIA (FIB) IN JAMAICA BAY: CONSEQUENCES OF NUTRIENTS LOADING
Increase of both organic material and nutrients in estuaries due to urban anthropogenic activities, poses serious threats. The impact is manifested in enrichment of bacterial activity, and increase in BOD leading to potential oxygen depletion, both in the water column and in the sediment. This is relevant in coastal area of New York City (NYC) such as the Jamaica Bay, ~73 sq. km wetland estuary environment bordered by Kings County and Queens County of NYC, receives large inputs of the nutrients from several point and non-point sources including wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs), combined sewer overflows/storm water (CSOs), subway dewatering practices, landfills lining the shores, atmospheric deposition, and subsurface groundwater discharge. Improvements in storm water retention infrastructure by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) are expected to reduce the loading of pathogenic bacteria such as fecal coliforms and enterococci. This study attempts to capture the broad spectrum of nutrients and microbial contamination, by periodically collecting samples from various mixing zones (high to low) and locations close to point sources in Jamaica Bay area. Lachet nutrient analyzer and IDEXX method have been used for nutrient analysis and water microbiology respectively. Data from nearshore surfacewater showed nutrient concentrations varied spatially within meter scale. Preliminary scanning of microbe levels in the nearshore surfacewater showed high frequency and range of concentrations. Fecal coliform, Escherichia coli and Enterococci were consistently higher than previously reported. Fecal coliform concentrations were well above the 200 counts/100mL state bathing standard, with a geometric mean of 1200 counts/100 mL. Enterococci concentrations were found to be an order of magnitude higher than previous concentrations at 3 counts/100 mL. Based on these preliminary results, further investigation on water quality, as well as sediment analysis of FIB in this estuarine environment is required, to understand the extent of nutrients loading and bacterial contamination both temporally and spatially.