Article Title

Wastewater Bacteria and Shellfish





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Extensive field and laboratory studies were conducted from 1986 to 1989 to determine relationships between wastewater discharges and bacteria in shellfish. Dyed wastewater plume studies showed rapid decrease in recoverable bacteria in seawater. Weekly measurement of water column bacteria throughout the study area over a year-long period showed that waters met the standards for approved growing waters for shellfish. Nevertheless, some shellfish tissue samples exceeded market standards for total and fecal coliform bacteria. Thus, spatial deployments of oysters and mussels were used to evaluate potential sources of bacteria. Bacterial concentrations in shellfish showed poor correlation with periods of disinfection and non-disinfection of wastewater discharges. Bacteria in shellfish correlated with periods of storm water runoff. Laboratory studies determined the rate of uptake and depuration of wastewater bacteria by shellfish. Results showed that there must be cultureable bacteria in the water to retrieve cultureable bacteria in shellfish. Fecal Streptococcus appeared to be a better indicator than total and fecal coliform for correlating bacteria in shellfish with various sources of bacteria.