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MEM Oral Presentation - Betsy Ugberase-FR

Author: myUNB News

Posted on Apr 9, 2018

Category: News and Notices

The MEM Report Presentation of Betsy Ugberase will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at 9 a.m. in F & G 202, Dean's Conference Room. 

Report Presentation Chaired By: Dr. B. Leblon, FOREM
Supervisor:  Dr. M. Gray, FOREM

Report Title:  Development of a Bacteria Water Quality Index to Examine Long-Term Trends for the New Brunswick Surface Water Monitoring Network
 
Abstract:  The quality of surface water can be affected by natural phenomena such as erosion from rainfall, topography of watershed, weather, seasons and unnatural human inputs. The quality of a waterbody can be determined by testing the physical, chemical and biological components to track its state over time. Standard guidelines are put in place and vary based on different uses. The objective of my research project was to analyze the seasonal and long-term quality of freshwater in New Brunswick using guidelines established for the protection of aquatic life and recreational activities. The focus was on the presence of fecal bacteria (Escherichia coli) as an indicator of anthropogenic and land use inputs, using a modified Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) water quality index (WQI) to achieve this. This simplifies reporting of complex water quality results by categorizing the quality from poor to excellent (on a scale of 0-100; the higher the WQI value, the better the quality). To calculate a WQI with a bacterial focus (WQIB), we included the following related water quality parameters: nitrate, nitrite, nitrogen, phosphorus, total dissolved solids, pH and dissolved oxygen. As a case study, long-term trends of E. coli and associated land use activities were examined for stations along the mainstem Saint John River. The project results highlight that NB rivers are largely in fair to excellent condition, with the summer/autumn demonstrating a decline in water quality at many stations. Along the Saint John River, some stations have E. coli concentrations that frequently exceed the recreational guideline, and the application of the WQIB shows how the water quality fluctuates as you move downstream in response to adjacent land use and other anthropogenic inputs.

Article Contact Information

Contact: Faith Sharpe

Email Address: fsharpe@unb.ca