Ohio Water Microbiology Program

The microbiology program in the USGS Ohio Water  Science Center has been steadily growing over the past ten years. Projects have evolved from monitoring of fecal-indicator bacteria in surface waters to studies that investigate the processes and factors that affect bacteria, viral, and protozoan pathogens and indicators in the environment.

Analyses for fecal-indicator bacteria are done by field personnel and guidance on these methods can be provided by the Ohio Water Science Center. In addition, the Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory has the capability of analyzing samples for coliphage, enteric viruses, Clostridium perfringens, Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Analytical and Field Methods Current Projects Laboratory NAWQA Other Sites

News Releases:


Many USGS reports on water resources are now being served online. Most publications located at this site and other USGS sites can be located by subject, author, date, USGS series or publication series number by using the reports and thematic maps electronic Publications Warehouse.

Data Series 143 Bacteriological water quality in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, September 2005, by D.M. Stoeckel, R.N. Bushon, D.K. Demcheck, S.C. Skrobialowski, C.M. Kephart, E.E. Bertke, B.E. Mailot, S.V. Mize, and R.B. Fendick, Jr. 

FS-2005-3072  Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory

FS-134-02  Escherichia Coli in the Swash Zone at Four Ohio Bathing Beaches

FS-132-02 Forecasting Bacteria Levels at Bathing Beaches, in Ohio

FS 112-98 How do we determine when the beaches are safe for swimming?

NEWEST ITEM OFR2005-1386   A Spatial, Multivariable Approach for Identifying Proximate Sources of Escherichia coli to Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio, by Donna S. Francy, Pamela Struffolino, Amie M.G. Brady, and Daryl F. Dwyer

OFR2005-1282  Preliminary Investigations of Wastewater-Related Contaminants Near Home Sewage Treatment Systems in Ohio by D.H. Dumouchelle and D.M. Stoeckel

OFR2003-374 Preliminary geochemical, microbiological, and epidemiological investigations into possible linkages between lignite aquifers, pathogenic microbes, and kidney disease in northwestern Louisiana, by Joseph E. Bunnell, Rebecca N. Bushon, Donald M. Stoeckel,  Amie M. Gifford, Marisa Beck, Harry E. Lerch, Runhua Shi, Benton McGee, Bradford C. Hanson, Jonathan Kolak, and Peter D. Warwick.

SIR2004-5219 Environmental factors and chemical and microbiological water-quality constituents related to the presence of enteric viruses in ground water from small public water supplies in southeastern Michigan, by Donna S. Francy, Rebecca N. Bushon, Julie Stopar, Emma J. Luzano, and G. Shay Fout.

WRIR 03-4333 Microbiological Water Quality in Relation to Water-Contact Recreation, Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, 2000 and 2002, by Rebecca N. Bushon and G.F. Koltun.

WRIR 02-4285  Escherichia coli at Ohio Bathing Beaches --Distribution, Sources, wastewater Indicators, and Predictive Modeling, by Donna S. Francy, Amie M. Gifford, and Robert A. Darner

WRIR 02-4122 Water Quality of the Mahoning River and Selected Tributaries in Youngstown, Ohio, by Donald M. Stoeckel and S. Alex Covert

WRIR 00-4018 Microbiological Monitoring for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program, by Donna S.  Francy, Donna N. Myers, and Dennis R. Helsel.

WRIR 98-4241 Factors Affecting Escherichia coli Concentrations at Lake Erie Public Bathing Beaches, by Donna S. Francy and Robert A. Darner.

WRIR 98-4089 Effects of Hydrologic, Biological, and Environmental Processes on Sources and Concentrations of Fecal Bacteria in the Cuyahoga River, with Implications for Management of Recreational Waters in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, Ohio, by Donna N. Myers, G. F. Koltun, and Donna S. Francy.

WRIR 96-4199 Effects of Receiving-Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment on Injury, Survival, and Regrowth of Fecal-Indicator Bacteria and Implications for Assessment of Recreational Water Quality, by Donna S. Francy, Teresa L. Hart, and Cathy M. Virosteck.

WRIR 93-4083 Escherichia Coli and Fecal-coliform Bacteria as Indicators of Recreational Water Quality, by Donna S. Francy, Donna N. Myers, and Kevin D. Metzker.

WRIR 92-4130 Distribution and Variability of Fecal-indicator Bacteria in the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers in the Columbus, Ohio Area, by Donna N. Myers.

Comparison of Seven Protocols To Identify Fecal Contamination Sources Using Escherichia coli Environmental Science and Technology volume 38, issue 22, pages 6109-6117 (November 15, 2004 issue) (Published at the American Chemical Society site.)

Comparison of Methods for Determining Escherichia coli Concentrations in Recreational Waters, Water Research, 2000, v. 34, no. 10, p. 2270-2278, (Published at the Elsevier Science Ltd site.)

Occurrence and distribution of microbiological indicators in groundwater and stream water: Water Environment Research, 2000, v. 72, no. 2, p. 152-161.

Evaluation of US EPA Method 1622 for detection of Cryptosporidium ocysts in stream waters: American Water Works Association Journal, v. 93, no. 1, p. 78-87.  Not on-line.

  • Posters:
  • Use of a Phased and Multiple-Method Approach to Identify Sources of Fecal Contamination at Two Lake Erie Beaches in Ohio,
    Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Association meeting, November 2, 2005, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    Source-Tracking Tools for Understanding Fecal Contamination and Predicting Water Quality at Lake Erie Beaches 
    Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Association meeting, November 30, 2004, Parma, Ohio.

    Concentrations of Escherichia coli in Water and Bed Sediments in Maumee Bay Bay, Toledo and Oregon, Ohio (2003-2005)
    Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Association meeting, November 30, 2004, Parma, Ohio. 

    Viral Pathogens and Microbiological Indicators in Ground Water from Small Public Water Supplies
    Presented at the American Society for Microbiology, 105th General Meeting, June 26, 2005, Atlanta, Ga.

    Laboratory Support for Microbiological Monitoring Projects in the U.S. Geological Survey
    Presented at the National Monitoring Conference, May 17-20, 2004, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    Rapid Method For Determination Of Fecal-Indicator Bacteria Concentrations in Recreational Water
    Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Association meeting, November 30, 2004, Parma, Ohio.

    Effectiveness of Traditional Septic Systems for Fecal-Indicator Microorganism Removal in Ohio Soils with Seasonally High Water Tables
    Presented at the American Society for Microbiology 104th General Meeting, May 26, 2004, New Orleans LA


    Major Accomplishments and Future Directions in Public Health Microbiology Feb. 15-18, 2005

    Workshop on Water Quality Issues in Public Health Microbiology was held March 14-16, 2000, in Columbus, Ohio.  See Summary and Selected Presentations.

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