Title

The Effects of Land Use Practices on Giardia and Cryptosporidium Concentrations in Surface Water in Whatcom County, Washington

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Robin A. Matthews

Second Advisor

Emily R. Peele

Third Advisor

Richard Mayer

Abstract

This study examines the distribution and prevalence of the waterborne pathogens Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Whatcom County surface waters to determine the effect of land use practices on parasite densities. Four sites on three streams, Kamm Creek, Austin Creek, and Brannian Creek, were investigated. The four sites exhibited a range of human impacts, agricultural, residential and forest. Bimonthly water samples were collected between April and July 1994. Fecal coliform, turbidity, and precipitation data were also collected to determine if a model based on standard water quality data could predict parasite levels. Giardia was highest downstream from dairy farms and lowest downstream from second growth forest. Mean concentrations of cysts were 2.4 cysts per liter in Kamm Creek, 0.45 cysts per liter in Brannian and upper Austin Creeks and 0.33 cysts per liter in lower Austin Creek. Cryptosporidium was also highest downstream from dairy farms and lowest downstream from pristine second growth forest. Mean concentrations of oocysts were 1.3 oocysts per liter in Kamm Creek, 0.33 oocysts per liter in Brannian Creek, 0.25 oocysts per liter in upper Austin Creek and 0.95 cysts per liter in lower Austin Creek. ANOVA detected statistically significant differences between sites for both Giardia (pCryptosporidium (pGiardia densities were positively correlated with fecal coliform counts (pCryptosporidium densities were positively correlated with fecal coliform counts (p

This document is currently not available here.

Find at Western Libraries

Share

COinS