Modeling microbial water quality at a beach impacted by multiple nonpoint sources

Zhixuan Feng, Ad Reniers, Brian Haus, Helena Solo-Gabriele, Laura Fiorentino, Maria Olascoaga, Jamie MacMahan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Monitoring microbial water quality is essential for recreational beaches in order to protect human health. To evaluate the relative importance and impacts of various types of non-point microbial sources at a subtropical beach (Hobie Beach, Miami, USA), we utilized a coastal ocean circulation model (Delft 3D) with a microbe transport-fate model. Those non-point sources include beach sediment, dog feces, bather shedding, and rainfall runoff. The hydrodynamic model results agreed well with tidal elevations recorded by a nearby NOAA tidal station and also field data collected by pressure sensors, acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). We modeled enterococci levels from four different types of non-point sources on the beach and Staphylococcus aureus levels from only the bather shedding. Model results suggest that dog feces are spotty sources of enterococci and can result in transient spikes of enterococci levels for hours. Beach sands are pervasive sources of enterococci and may explain observed persistent elevations of enterococci levels at this site. Runoff may also significantly increase enterococci levels during rainfall events while bather shedding contribution of enterococci is almost negligible. Bather is the only Staphylococcus aureus source considered in the study and simulated levels are in the same order as prior field measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012, ICCE 2012
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
ISBN (Print)9780989661119
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012, ICCE 2012 - Santander, Spain
Duration: Jul 1 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Coastal Engineering Conference
ISSN (Print)0161-3782

Other

Other33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012, ICCE 2012
CountrySpain
CitySantander
Period7/1/127/6/12

Keywords

  • Delft 3D
  • Enterococci
  • Non-point source
  • Recreational beach
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Oceanography

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