Degree Name

MSEH (Master of Science in Environmental Health)


Environmental Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Phillip R. Scheuerman

Committee Members

Ranjan N. Chakraborty, Kurt Maier


Fecal pollution of surface water is a significant environmental health issue. Indicator organisms are used to monitor microbial water quality, but often their presence does not coincide with the presence of pathogens. Bacterial source tracking is a term describing methods to determine the origin of fecal pollution based on bacterial traits. The objective of this research is to evaluate the use of 2 bacterial source tracking techniques, antibiotic resistance analysis (ARA) and ribotyping, to determine the sources of bacteria isolated from Sinking Creek. Based on the results of this study, ARA and ribotyping are not useful techniques for identifying sources of fecal pollution in Sinking Creek. ARA classification rates were low, and ribotype pattern generation success was 37%. The results of this study bring into question the reliability and reproducibility of these 2 source tracking methods for routine use in small watersheds.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.