Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


DHAR, Ratan, Earth and Physical Sciences, York College of the City University of New York, 94-20, Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11451 and GHOSH, Urmi, Geology and Environmental Health Science, Department of Earth and Physical Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, York College Of CUNY, 94-20, Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11451,

Ingestion of water with fecal microbes can lead to gastric problems that can complicate easily and lead to death. Water and soil samples were collected from Bowne Pond (Bowne Pond (N40º 46.260', W73º 48.480'), one of the New York City fresh water recreational ponds 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 this body of water. The water body investigated in this study are surrounded by roads, homes and apartments. These can lead to excess nutrients loading in the water and the soil around it; allowing fecal microorganisms to flourish in the water system. The water and the soil samples collected from the pond were enumerated for FIB using EPA approved IDEXX methods. FIB were extracted from the freshly collected soil core in distilled water, sterilized distilled water and buffered water in order to assess the soil for fecal indicative bacteria using the IDEXX method. Several column experiments using small chromatography column were conducted by running sterilized rain water through the soils of Bowne Pond Park with gravity force to simulate the effect of surface runoff during the rainfall events on water bodies with respect to FIB. The preliminary data shows that there is a correlation between increased bacteria in this very fresh water (70 µS/cm) water as the most probable number (MPN) of bacteria / 100 mL of water and in the soil as MPN of bacteria / kg of dry soil. The high level of FIB both in water and soil column are consistent with significant signs of urbanization in this area. Of particularly great concern is the level of Enterococci and total Coliform that greatly exceed the level the EPA has claimed is acceptable. The FIB population on the top portion of core is found to be higher than bottom portion suggests the surface contamination by fecal matters. The relatively high levels of FIB in rainwater effluent from columns containing frozen soils cores (1 week old) was very striking and suggests the fate of the soil microbes during the storm events. A further investigation needs to be carried out to understand the correlation between rainfall events and bacterial occurrence in the lakes/ponds.