December 5, 2013 A Comparison of the Fecal Coliform found in the Elk and Kanawha Rivers Essay

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A Comparison of the Fecal Coliform found in the Elk and Kanawha Rivers

A coliform bacterium is in the family enterobacteriaceae and fecal coliform also belongs in the group. These bacteria may live in soil, water, and the digestive system of animals. Illnesses and infections may develop because a person is swimming in water that contains high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. These illnesses can occur from Pathogens entering the mouth, ear, nose, or cuts through the skin. Some of the factors affecting the fecal coliform are animal waste, sediment load, high temperatures, wastewater, and high levels of nutrients. The colonies of coliform bacteria can multiply and grow large enough to be seen and counted from a water sample (Murphy, 2007). The Most Probable Number (MPN) test examines untreated surface water so that it can determine which source may have the most or least fecal pollution (Orsanco, 1971). With the test if the fecal coliform is high, then actions have to be taken to see where the source the pollution is coming from.
Point source and nonpoint source are the two types of water pollution. When sources of pollution come from one discrete place of the river, usually a pipe it is called point source. This type of water pollution can be identified easily because it comes from one distinguishable source . Another type of water pollution is nonpoint source, which comes from various different sources. The source of the pollution is difficult to trace because it is covers a large area of water, so that makes it hard to control (Shammas, 2012).
A river from outside of the United States was analyzed to see what its Most Probable Number was the last time it was checked. The Tigris River, which is located outside of the United States in Iraq, is 1,150 miles long. This river was drained in the 1900’s and then restored in 2003. There are natural and ancient channels that are connected to the Euphrates and also water is diverted for irrigation by dams. Flooding occurs very often in the Tigris, but flood-control protects Baghdad from floods. The bible refers to the Tigris as Hiddekil. A lot of the pollution in this river comes from domestic and industrial waste (Tigris, 2013). However, there were two important rivers that were focused on in this experiment.
The Kanawha River and the Elk River were the two main rivers that were studied in this research. The location of the Kanawha River is in Charleston, West Virginia with latitude of 38°22'17" and longitude of 81°42'08". This river is 97 miles long, which runs through a coal and salt-brine region; however there are also a lot of chemical plants that are in the valley. The Kanawha River mainly runs through Charleston, West Virginia, but also flows to the Ohio River at Point Pleasant (Kanawha, 2013). The Elk River has a latitude of 38°28'15" and a longitude of 81°17'03". This river is 177 miles log starting in Pocahontas County. Also the Elk River provides drinking water to Charleston, West Virginia. The river is mainly a warm-water fishery, but it starts out as a trout stream. The elevation is 565 feet in Charleston and at its source, Pocahontas County; it is about 4,000 feet (Stover, 2012). We are measuring for the Most Probable Number of fecal coliform that is contained in the water; the hypothesis is that there will be no observable difference between the Elk River and Kanawha River.
Methods and Materials Sample Collection:
Kanawha River: The Kanawha River samples were collected at the UC riverbank on the boat ramp about 7:00 on Monday November 4 with a water sampler. The gage height was 18.37 feet and the flow is 5,000 cubic feet per second for that day. Once the water was obtained it was poured into a bottle and labeled with the name of the river.
Elk River: The Elk River samples were acquired approximately at 5:00 on the Mink Shoals public access point with the water sampler. The flow was approximately 180