Patterns of fecal coliform contamination in the Tangipahoa River

Michael G. Waldon, E. deEtte Smythe


Abstract: This paper summarizes a portion of the available data relevant to fecal coliform levels in the Tangipahoa River. Fecal coliform levels in the Tangipahoa River at Robert, Louisiana, were highly correlated with water budget calculated runoff. Fecal coliform bacteria were significantly negatively correlated with water temperature. Runoff calculated from a daily water budget and water temperature were used to classify sampling dates into dry or wet, and cool or warm categories. Fecal coliform densities and variability were found to be highly dependent on the classifications. The geometric mean of all coliform data was 694 MPN/100 ml. The wet and dry classification geometric means were 2054 and 186 MPN/100 ml, respectively. Variability of the counts within each class is less than the variability of the unclassified data. Climatic classification may improve the detection of changes or differences in fecal coliform levels.


Proc. of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences, Vol 57 (1994):21-26.