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Fecal contamination of storm sewers: Evaluating wastewater micropollutants, human-specific Bacteroides 16S rRNA, and mitochondrial DNA genetic markers as alternative indicators of sewer cross connections

Abstract : A set of fecal indicator bacteria and alternative markers were tested for their use to identify priority sectors of two urban watersheds in the Greater Montreal region with unintended household sewage connections to storm drainage systems. Analyses were performed for thermotolerant (fecal) coliforms (FC), Escherichia coli, human-specific Bacteroidales (HF183) and mitochondrial DNA (Hmt) markers, carbamazepine (CBZ), caffeine (CAF), theophylline (THEO) and acetaminophen (ACE). A high incidence of human fecal contamination was observed, illustrating the need for a method to appropriately prioritize sectors for the rehabilitation of sewer cross-connections. Concentrations of alternative markers were not significantly different between the residential and industrial/commercial/institutional (ICI) sectors. However, median E. coli concentrations were higher in the residential as compared to ICI sectors (p < 0.05). Hmt marker, CAF, and THEO were well correlated to E. coli in the ICI sector (r > 0.61, p < 0.05). Considering all sites, only CAF and THEO were correlated to E. coli (r > 0.59, p < 0.05), possibly as a result of higher E. coli inputs from other sources such as domestic animals or fauna in the residential sector. Thresholds were determined to relate alternative markers to E. coli for use in an index for prioritizing sectors with sewer cross-connections. HF183, Hmt, CAF, THEO, and ACE were identified as suitable markers for identifying sewer cross-connections and are more reliable than E. coli alone, most importantly in residential sectors.
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https://hal-riip.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-02135931
Contributor : Michel Courcelles <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 4:13:31 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 20, 2020 - 1:06:06 PM

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Mariam Hajj-Mohamad, Mounia Hachad, Guy Deschamps, Sébastien Sauvé, Richard Villemur, et al.. Fecal contamination of storm sewers: Evaluating wastewater micropollutants, human-specific Bacteroides 16S rRNA, and mitochondrial DNA genetic markers as alternative indicators of sewer cross connections. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2019, 659, pp.548-560. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.378⟩. ⟨pasteur-02135931⟩

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