Masters Theses


Kaleb Bassett

Keywords and Phrases

E. coli; Fecal Bacteria; Nonpoint Source Pollution; Sediment; Turbidity; Water Quality; Limnology


"Escherichia coli, an intestinal bacterium, can serve as an indication of the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in water systems used by humans for recreation, agriculture, or drinking water. Many aquatic systems in the United States exceed the E. coli standard, set by the Environmental Protection Agency, for safe drinking water and recreational use. During 2016, a water sampling program was established in the Mill Creek watershed, a rural watershed located near the city of Newburg in Phelps County, Missouri. Water samples were collected before, during, and after storms throughout the year to examine the relationship between E. coli concentrations and measures of surface water runoff, such as turbidity and discharge. Results indicated that E. coli was primarily entering the stream (possibly bound to solid particles) via surface runoff during storm events. Sediment samples were also collected and revealed that it was possible for E. coli to become stored in the sediment bottom, where it could persist for 60 to 90 days. Disturbance of sediment reservoirs resulted in elevated E. coli concentrations in the stream, indicating that sediment reservoirs can prolong the potential for waterborne disease outbreak. Thus, a series of lab and field experiments were designed to investigate potential factors that may influence the survival and longevity of E. coli in the water column and sediment of streams. A better understanding of the sources, distributions, and controls of E. coli in aquatic systems will help guide management of fecal pollution in watersheds to minimize the threat to public health"--Abstract, page iii.


Niyogi, Dev

Committee Member(s)

Westenberg, David J.
Fitch, Mark W.


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

M.S. in Applied and Environmental Biology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2017


ix, 155 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 149-154).

Geographic Coverage



© 2017 Kaleb Colt Bassett, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11214

Electronic OCLC #