Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 16
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


BARRON Jr., Herbert Pat1, BLANKENSHIP, Megan Rae1, EDLIN, Tyler L.1, BAGGETT, Ethan C.1, ENGEMAN, Kevin A.1, DUNKLE, Kallina M.1, SANDERS, Laura D.2 and BROOKS, Chad S.2, (1)Department of Geosciences, Austin Peay State University, PO Box 4418, Clarksville, TN 37044, (2)Department of Biology, Austin Peay State University, PO Box 4418, Clarksville, TN 37044,

Three of the Cumberland River’s tributaries in Millersville and Goodlettsville, Tennessee have been placed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 303(d) list, restricting them from being used for municipal water supply. After years of sampling that began in 2001, Mansker’s Creek, Slater’s Creek, and Lumsley Fork were placed on the 303(d) list by the EPA in 2006 due to Escherichia coli measurements above maximum allowable contaminant levels. E. coli contaminates surface water and groundwater from sources that include municipal sewage, septic systems, and agricultural runoff. Slater's Creek and Lumsley Fork have several locations with exposed pipes and sewage drains, as well as a few locations with an excessive amount of trash or dead animals. Since spring 2013, one to four locations on each stream have been periodically analyzed for pH, total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, and alkalinity to look for chemical trends. In order to locate the sources of stream contamination and potentially initiate the remediation process, water samples have been collected and tested for E. coli since November 2014, with weekly testing in 2015. A DNA-detection technique, called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), was used to detect the presence of E. coli. PCR has been a widely practiced molecular technique used in research labs across the world to detect trace amounts of very specific DNA in water samples. Determining a source for the E. coli contamination would facilitate developing a plan for remediating the streams, with the ultimate goal of removing the streams from the 303(d) list and allowing unrestricted use of the streams.