Pinpointing Water Pollution

Pollution Sources

University of Florida researchers have developed new DNA tests to determine causes of pollution in lakes, streams, bays and underground water supplies.

"Until now, it has been difficult to determine if germs in water are coming from human or animal sources," said Mark Tamplin, a food safety expert with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Our new tests are 99.9 percent reliable."

The tests capitalize on the fact that DNA patterns of human E. cold bacteria are different from those in animals and that many E. cold in humans have become resistant to antibiotics.

"If water contains E. cold from humans, there's a potential for diseases such as salmonella and hepatitis to be present," Tamplin said. "If there are no E. cold from humans, there's little chance of the water transmitting human disease. Our new tests can help prioritize where to put money."

The UF tests were first used in White County in north central Indiana to help settle an argument about whether septic tanks, wildlife or pig farms are causing dangerously high E. cold counts around the Lake Shafer resort area.

Tamplin is developing a contract with Broward County to test the effects of dog feces in waterways.


Reprinted from the University of Florida Focus, University Of Florida Alumni Association, PO Box 14425, Gainesville, Florida 32604-2425.

Enjoyed this article? Share with your friends...


embracing-new-life-allowing-your-creative-intuitive-power-to-lead-and-support-you by Simone Wright. I invite you to promise yourself that, from this moment forward, you will pursue with power and confidence every dream or desire you...Read More
love-holds-no-grievances by Joyce Vissell. I like the anonymous quote, “Holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This poison can...Read More
awakening-to-the-good-and-to-a-deep-sense-of-oneness by Ervin Laszlo. If we can choose the way we act, we have the responsibility to choose it wisely. Evidently, we can act to maximize our own...Read More
becoming-your-own-best-friend by Barbara Berger. One of the secrets of living a happy life is to become your own best friend. But you can only do this when you know who you are, when...Read More
you-don-t-have-to-find-your-path-you-re-already-on-it by Karen Maezen Miller. You stumble along thinking you don't know the way, and then one day you realize you're in the middle of it. I'd always thought...Read More
soaked by Kurt Koontz. If Noah were alive, this would have been a nice day to bring the ark out of retirement... I woke up early and started walking in the...Read More
animals-as-teachers by Marie T. Russell. Life surrounds us with teachers, if we are but willing to learn. Actually, everyone and everything in our life is our teacher --...Read More
debunking-marriage-myth-5-in-a-good-marriage,-all-problems-get-resolved by Marcia Naomi Berger. Couples can resolve virtually any problem by conducting marriage meetings. The meetings foster a spirit of goodwill and...Read More
alternative-currencies-and-the-new-sharing-economy by Beth Buczynski. Throughout history, local currencies have been used not only as a way to survive during periods of economic uncertainty, but also as...Read More
it-is-getting-easier-to-get-serious-about-your-privacy Nothing shocks me too much anymore about online abuses of privacy. It is hard to know just who you can trust online these days. We are being asked "Who...Read More
connecting-with-your-dog-animal-guides-and-being-happy by Jocelyn Kessler. My dogs had the ability to know what I needed before I did. And, they catered to me on a very spiritual almost human-like plane. It...Read More
blast-off-to-freedom-ellie-janow by Ellie Janow. I was aware for a long time of the miracles that resulted from practicing forgiveness and love before I tested this practice in my...Read More