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U.S. Geological Survey - Microbiology

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Water Quality

Chemicals, algal blooms, and pathogens are measured and monitored to assist beach health and other water quality programs.

Water Quality Research Activities

Clean drinking water is necessary for human health. Contaminated water can cause illness in human, domestic and wild animal populations. Assessing the quality of water is important to predict natural and anthropogenic affects, alert the public to contamination and initiate processes to improve water quality. Research include the detection of the number and types of microorganisms in waters and develop ways to assist communities in keeping the microbial content of water supplies at a low level.

Map of the NAWC In Situ Test Facility. Image credit: courtesy of Allen Shapiro, USGSChlorinated Organic Solvents in Aquifers
Beach Health
Masses of accumulated Cladophora washed onshore at a Wisconsin beach. Photo credit: USGS Algae, Escherichia coli, Microbial Source Tracking, Predictive Models, Sand as a Potential Source of Bacteria and Pathogens
Lyngbya with epifluorescence illumination and Sytox Green. Photo credit: Barry H. Rosen, USGS. Developing Standards for Detecting Cyanotoxins; Real-Time Estimation of Taste-and-Odor Occurrences; Taste and Odor in Cyanobacteria
Drinking Water
Anabaena planktonica. Photo credit: Barry H. Rosen, USGSReal-Time Estimation of Taste-and-Odor Occurrences; Taste and Odor in Cyanobacteria

More water quality topics...

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