[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recolonization of enterococci, at a non-point source beach known to contain high background levels of bacteria, was studied after a full-scale beach renovation project. The renovation involved importation of new exogenous sand, in addition to infrastructure improvements. The study's objectives were to document changes in sand and water quality and to evaluate the relative contribution of different renovation activities towards these changes. These objectives were addressed: by measuring enterococci levels in the sand and fecal indicator bacteria levels (enterococci and fecal coliform) in the water, by documenting sediment characteristics (mineralogy and biofilm levels), and by estimating changes in observable enterococci loads. Analysis of enterococci levels on surface sand and within sediment depth cores were significantly higher prior to beach renovation (6.3-72 CFU/g for each sampling day) when compared to levels during and after beach renovation (0.8-12 CFU/g) (P < 0.01). During the renovation process, sand enterococci levels were frequently below detection limits (<0.1 CFU/g). For water, exceedances in the regulatory thresholds that would trigger a beach advisory decreased by 40% for enterococci and by 90% for fecal coliform. Factors that did not change significantly between pre- and post- renovation included the enterococci loads from animals (approx. 3 × 10(11) CFU per month). Factors that were observed to change between pre- and post- renovation activities included: the composition of the beach sand (64% versus 98% quartz, and a significant decrease in biofilm levels) and loads from direct stormwater inputs (reduction of 3 × 10(11) CFU per month). Overall, this study supports that beach renovation activities contributed to improved sand and water quality resulting in a 50% decrease of observable enterococci loads due to upgrades to the stormwater infrastructure. Of interest was that the change in the sand mineralogy also coincided with changes in biofilm levels. More work is needed to evaluate the relationships between beach sand mineralogy, biofilm characteristics, and the retention of fecal indicator bacteria in sand.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reports of Staphylococcus aureus including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) detected in marine environments have occurred since the early 1990s. This investigation sought to isolate and characterize S. aureus from marine waters and sand at a subtropical recreational beach, with and without bathers present, in order to investigate possible sources and to identify the risks to bathers of exposure to these organisms. During 40 days over 17 months, 1,001 water and 36 intertidal sand samples were collected by either bathers or investigators at a subtropical recreational beach. Methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA were isolated and identified using selective growth media and an organism-specific molecular marker. Antimicrobial susceptibility, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, multi-locus sequence type (MLST), and staphylococcal protein A (spa) type were characterized for all MRSA. S. aureus was isolated from 248 (37 %) bather nearby water samples at a concentration range of <2-780 colony forming units per ml, 102 (31 %) ambient water samples at a concentration range of <2-260 colony forming units per ml, and 9 (25 %) sand samples. Within the sand environment, S. aureus was isolated more often from above the intertidal zone than from intermittently wet or inundated sand. A total of 1334 MSSA were isolated from 37 sampling days and 22 MRSA were isolated from ten sampling days. Seventeen of the 22 MRSA were identified by PFGE as the community-associated MRSA USA300. MRSA isolates were all SCCmec type IVa, encompassed five spa types (t008, t064, t622, t688, and t723), two MLST types (ST8 and ST5), and 21 of 22 isolates carried the genes for Panton-Valentine leukocidin. There was a correlation (r = 0.45; p = 0.05) between the daily average number of bathers and S. aureus in the water; however, no association between exposure to S. aureus in these waters and reported illness was found. This report supports the concept that humans are a potential direct source for S. aureus in marine waters.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As, Cr, and Cu represent one potential combination of multiple metals/metalloids exposures since these three elements are simultaneously leached from chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood, a common product used for building construction, at levels that can be potentially harmful. This study investigated the neurotoxicity of As associated with CCA-treated wood when accompanied by Cr and Cu. The toxicity was evaluated on the basis of a cytotoxicity model using human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-SH. The cells were cultured with CCA-treated wood leachates or with solutions containing arsenate [As(V)], divalent copper [Cu(II)], trivalent chromium [Cr(III)] alone or in different combinations of the three elements. The toxicity was evaluated using variations in cell replication compared to controls after 96h exposure. Among the three elements present in wood leachates, As played the primary role in the observed toxic effects, which were exerted through multiple pathways, including the generation of oxidative stress. DOM affected the absorption of metals/metalloids into the test cells, which however did not obviously appear to impact toxicity. As toxicity was enhanced by Cu(II) and inhibited by Cr(III) at concentrations below U.S. EPA's allowable maximum contaminant levels in drinking waters. Thus assessing As toxicity in real environments is not sufficient if based solely on the result from As.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New approaches should be considered as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moves rapidly to develop new beach monitoring guidelines by the end of 2012, as these guidelines serve as the basis by which states and territories with coasts along the oceans and Great Lakes can then develop and implement monitoring programs for recreational waters. We describe and illustrate one possible approach to beach regulation termed as the "Comprehensive Toolbox within an Approval Process (CTBAP)." The CTBAP consists of three components. The first is a "toolbox" consisting of an inventory of guidelines on monitoring targets, a series of measurement techniques, and guidance to improve water quality through source identification and prevention methods. The second two components are principles of implementation. These include first, "flexibility" to encourage and develop an individualized beach management plan tailored to local conditions and second, "consistency" of this management plan to ensure a consistent national level of public health protection. The results of this approach are illustrated through a case study at a well-studied South Florida recreational marine beach. This case study explores different monitoring targets based on two different health endpoints (skin versus gastrointestinal illness) and recommends a beach regulation program for the study beach that focuses predominately on source prevention.
Journal of Environmental and Public Health 01/2013; 2013:138521.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococci, recommended at the U.S. federal level for monitoring water quality at marine recreational beaches, have been found to reside and grow within beach sands. However, the environmental and ecological factors affecting enterococcal persistence remain poorly understood, making it difficult to determine levels of fecal pollution and assess human health risks. Here we document the presence of enterococci associated with beach sediment biofilms at eight south Florida recreational beaches. Enterococcal levels were highest in supratidal sands, where they displayed a nonlinear, unimodal relationship with extracellular polymeric secretions (EPS), the primary component of biofilms. Enterococcal levels peaked at intermediate levels of EPS, suggesting that biofilms may promote the survival of enterococci but also inhibit enterococci as the biofilm develops within beach sands. Analysis of bacterial community profiles determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms showed the bacterial communities of supratidal sediments to be significantly different from intertidal and subtidal communities; however, no differences were observed in bacterial community compositions associated with different EPS concentrations. Our results suggest that supratidal sands are a microbiologically unique environment favorable for the incorporation and persistence of enterococci within beach sediment biofilms.
Applied and environmental microbiology 06/2012; 78(17):5973-82. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The compounded impacts of the catastrophes that resulted from the Great East Japan Earthquake have emphasized the need to develop strategies to respond to multiple types and sources of contamination. In Japan, earthquake and tsunami-generated waste were found to have elevated levels of metals/metalloids (e.g., mercury, arsenic, and lead) with separation and sorting more difficult for tsunami-generated waste as opposed to earthquake-generated waste. Radiation contamination superimposed on these disaster wastes has made it particularly difficult to manage the ultimate disposal resulting in delays in waste management. Work is needed to develop policies a priori for handling wastes from combined catastrophes such as those recently observed in Japan.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently no U.S. federal guideline is available for assessing risk of illness from sand at recreational sites. The objectives of this study were to compute a reference level guideline for pathogens in beach sand and to compare these reference levels with measurements from a beach impacted by nonpoint sources of contamination. Reference levels were computed using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) coupled with Monte Carlo simulations. In order to reach an equivalent level of risk of illness as set by the U.S. EPA for marine water exposure (1.9 × 10(-2)), levels would need to be at least about 10 oocysts/g (about 1 oocyst/g for a pica child) for Cryptosporidium, about 5 MPN/g (about 1 MPN/g for pica) for enterovirus, and less than 10(6) CFU/g for S. aureus. Pathogen levels measured in sand at a nonpoint source recreational beach were lower than the reference levels. More research is needed in evaluating risk from yeast and helminth exposures as well as in identifying acceptable levels of risk for skin infections associated with sand exposures.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fecal indicator microbes, such as enterococci, are often used to assess potential health risks caused by pathogens at recreational beaches. Microbe levels often vary based on collection time and sampling location. The primary goal of this study was to assess how spatial and temporal variations in sample collection, which are driven by environmental parameters, impact enterococci measurements and beach management decisions. A secondary goal was to assess whether enterococci levels can be predictive of the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, a skin pathogen. Over a ten-day period, hydrometeorologic data, hydrodynamic data, bather densities, enterococci levels, and S. aureus levels including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) were measured in both water and sand. Samples were collected hourly for both water and sediment at knee-depth, and every 6 h for water at waist-depth, supratidal sand, intertidal sand, and waterline sand. Results showed that solar radiation, tides, and rainfall events were major environmental factors that impacted enterococci levels. S. aureus levels were associated with bathing load, but did not correlate with enterococci levels or any other measured parameters. The results imply that frequencies of advisories depend heavily upon sample collection policies due to spatial and temporal variation of enterococci levels in response to environmental parameters. Thus, sampling at different times of the day and at different depths can significantly impact beach management decisions. Additionally, the lack of correlation between S. aureus and enterococci suggests that use of fecal indicators may not accurately assess risk for some pathogens.
Water Research 02/2012; 46(7):2237-46. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococci are used to assess the risk of negative human health impacts from recreational waters. Studies have shown sustained populations of enterococci within sediments of beaches but comprehensive surveys of multiple tidal zones on beaches in a regional area and their relationship to beach management decisions are limited. We sampled three tidal zones on eight South Florida beaches in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and found that enterococci were ubiquitous within South Florida beach sands although their levels varied greatly both among the beaches and between the supratidal, intertidal and subtidal zones. The supratidal sands consistently had significantly higher (p < 0.003) levels of enterococci (average 40 CFU/g dry sand) than the other two zones. Levels of enterococci within the subtidal sand correlated with the average level of enterococci in the water (CFU/100mL) for the season during which samples were collected (r(s) = 0.73). The average sand enterococci content over all the zones on each beach correlated with the average water enterococci levels of the year prior to sand samplings (r(s) = 0.64) as well as the average water enterococci levels for the month after sand samplings (r(s) = 0.54). Results indicate a connection between levels of enterococci in beach water and sands throughout South Florida's beaches and suggest that the sands are one of the predominant reservoirs of enterococci impacting beach water quality. As a result, beaches with lower levels of enterococci in the sand had fewer exceedences relative to beaches with higher levels of sand enterococci. More research should focus on evaluating beach sand quality as a means to predict and regulate marine recreational water quality.
Water Research 10/2011; 45(20):6763-9. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococci are used to evaluate the safety of beach waters and studies have identified beach sands as a source of these bacteria. In order to study and quantify the release of microbes from beach sediments, flow column systems were built to evaluate flow of pore water out of beach sediments. Results show a peak in enterococci (average of 10% of the total microbes in core) released from the sand core within one pore water volume followed by a marked decline to below detection. These results indicate that few enterococci are easily removed and that factors other than simple pore water flow control the release of the majority of enterococci within beach sediments. A significantly larger quantity and release of enterococci were observed in cores collected after a significant rain event suggesting the influx of fresh water can alter the release pattern as compared to cores with no antecedent rainfall.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies evaluating the relationship between microbes and human health at non-point source beaches are necessary for establishing criteria which would protect public health while minimizing economic burdens. The objective of this study was to evaluate water quality and daily cumulative health effects (gastrointestinal, skin, and respiratory illnesses) for bathers at a non-point source subtropical marine recreational beach in order to better understand the inter-relationships between these factors and hence improve monitoring and pollution prevention techniques. Daily composite samples were collected, during the Oceans and Human Health Beach Exposure Assessment and Characterization Health Epidemiologic Study conducted in Miami (Florida, USA) at a non-point source beach, and analyzed for several pathogens, microbial source tracking markers, indicator microbes, and environmental parameters. Analysis demonstrated that rainfall and tide were more influential, when compared to other environmental factors and source tracking markers, in determining the presence of both indicator microbes and pathogens. Antecedent rainfall and F+ coliphage detection in water should be further assessed to confirm their possible association with skin and gastrointestinal (GI) illness outcomes, respectively. The results of this research illustrate the potential complexity of beach systems characterized by non-point sources, and how more novel and comprehensive approaches are needed to assess beach water quality for the purpose of protecting bather health.
Journal of Water and Health 09/2011; 9(3):443-57. · 1.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A relative risk assessment of biosolids disposal alternatives for cruise ships is presented in this paper. The area of study encompasses islands and marine waters of the Caribbean Sea. The objective was to evaluate relative human health and ecological risks of (a) dewatering/incineration, (b) landing the solids for disposal, considering that in some countries land-disposed solids might be discharged in the near-shore environment untreated, and (c) deep ocean disposal. Input to the Bayesian assessment consisted of professional judgment based on available literature and modeling information, data on constituent concentrations in cruise ship biosolids, and simulations of constituent concentrations in Caribbean waters assuming ocean disposal. Results indicate that human health and ecological risks associated with land disposal and shallow ocean disposal are higher than those of the deep ocean disposal and incineration. For incineration, predicted ecological impacts were lower relative to deep ocean disposal before considering potential impacts of carbon emissions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter summarizes the rationale for using microbial source tracking (MST) methods at beach sites and coastal water bodies
(Sect. 20.1), as MST methods are especially useful for evaluating waters impacted by nonpoint sources of pollution. This chapter
also describes the most common traditional and alternative MST markers used at beach sites (Sect. 20.2). Two case studies
are presented (Sect. 20.3) that describe the use of both biological/chemical MST methods and physical MST methods for identifying
sources of microbes at two marine beach sites in USA, one located on the west coast (California) and the other located on
the east coast (Florida). The chapter closes with discussion and recommendations concerning the utility and application of
MST tools at beach sites impacted by nonpoint-source pollution (Sect. 20.4). Although this chapter focuses on marine beaches,
an incredible wealth of MST data has been gathered at freshwater beaches (Byappanahalli et al. 2006; Harwood et al. 2005;
Jenkins et al. 2005; Scott et al. 2002; Stapleton et al. 2009; Whitman and Nevers 2003; Whitman et al. 2004), and a comprehensive
review of beach studies merits the inclusion of MST work within freshwater systems. The use of MST in freshwater systems is
further discussed in Chaps. 18, 19, and 21.
KeywordsIndicator microbe-Marine beaches-Coastal environment-Beach management
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A model study was conducted to understand the influence of non-point sources including bather shedding, animal fecal sources, and near shore sand, as well as the impact of the environmental conditions, on the fate and transport of the indicator microbe, enterococci, at a subtropical recreational marine beach in South Florida. The model was based on an existing finite element hydrodynamic and transport model, with the addition of a first order microbe deactivation function due to solar radiation. Results showed that dog fecal events had a major transient impact (hundreds of Colony Forming Units/100 ml [CFU/100 ml]) on the enterococci concentration in a limited area within several hours, and could partially explain the high concentrations observed at the study beach. Enterococci released from beach sand during high tide caused mildly elevated concentration for a short period of time (ten to twenty of CFU/100 ml initially, reduced to 2 CFU/100 ml within 4 h during sunny weather) similar to the average baseline numbers observed at the beach. Bather shedding resulted in minimal impacts (less than 1 CFU/100 ml), even during crowded holiday weekends. In addition, weak current velocity near the beach shoreline was found to cause longer dwelling times for the elevated concentrations of enterococci, while solar deactivation was found to be a strong factor in reducing these microbial concentrations.
Water Research 04/2011; 45(9):2985-95. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sorting of waste wood is an important process practiced at recycling facilities in order to detect and divert contaminants from recycled wood products. Contaminants of concern include arsenic, chromium and copper found in chemically preserved wood. The objective of this research was to evaluate the sorting efficiencies of both treated and untreated parts of the wood waste stream, and metal (As, Cr and Cu) mass recoveries by the use of automated X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems. A full-scale system was used for experimentation. This unit consisted of an XRF-detection chamber mounted on the top of a conveyor and a pneumatic slide-way diverter which sorted wood into presumed treated and presumed untreated piles. A randomized block design was used to evaluate the operational conveyance parameters of the system, including wood feed rate and conveyor belt speed. Results indicated that online sorting efficiencies of waste wood by XRF technology were high based on number and weight of pieces (70-87% and 75-92% for treated wood and 66-97% and 68-96% for untreated wood, respectively). These sorting efficiencies achieved mass recovery for metals of 81-99% for As, 75-95% for Cu and 82-99% of Cr. The incorrect sorting of wood was attributed almost equally to deficiencies in the detection and conveyance/diversion systems. Even with its deficiencies, the system was capable of producing a recyclable portion that met residential soil quality levels established for Florida, for an infeed that contained 5% of treated wood.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Waste wood is frequently contaminated with wood treatment preservatives including chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and alkaline copper quat (ACQ), both of which contain metals which contaminate recycled wood products. The objective of this research was to propose a design for online automated identification of As-based and Cu-based treated wood within the recovered wood waste stream utilizing an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) system, and to evaluate the detection parameters of such system. A full-scale detection unit was used for experimentation. Two main parameters (operational threshold (OT) and measurement time) were evaluated to optimize detection efficiencies. OTs of targeted metals, As and Cu, in wood were reduced to 0.02 and 0.05, respectively. The optimum minimum measurement time of 500 ms resulted in 98%, 91%, and 97% diversion of the As, Cu and Cr mass originally contained in wood, respectively. Comparisons with other detection methods show that XRF technology can potentially fulfill the need for cost-effective processing at large facilities (>30 tons per day) which require the removal of As-based preservatives from their wood waste stream.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research into the relationship between pathogens, faecal indicator microbes and environmental factors in beach sand has been limited, yet vital to the understanding of the microbial relationship between sand and the water column and to the improvement of criteria for better human health protection at beaches. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence and distribution of pathogens in various zones of beach sand (subtidal, intertidal and supratidal) and to assess their relationship with environmental parameters and indicator microbes at a non-point source subtropical marine beach.
In this exploratory study in subtropical Miami (Florida, USA), beach sand samples were collected and analysed over the course of 6 days for several pathogens, microbial source tracking markers and indicator microbes. An inverse correlation between moisture content and most indicator microbes was found. Significant associations were identified between some indicator microbes and pathogens (such as nematode larvae and yeasts in the genus Candida), which are from classes of microbes that are rarely evaluated in the context of recreational beach use.
Results indicate that indicator microbes may predict the presence of some of the pathogens, in particular helminthes, yeasts and the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus including methicillin-resistant forms. Indicator microbes may thus be useful for monitoring beach sand and water quality at non-point source beaches.
The presence of both indicator microbes and pathogens in beach sand provides one possible explanation for human health effects reported at non-point sources beaches.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 03/2011; 110(6):1571-83. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper overviews several examples of important public health impacts by marine microbes and directs readers to the extensive literature germane to these maladies. These examples include three types of dinoflagellates (Gambierdiscus spp., Karenia brevis, and Alexandrium fundyense), BMAA-producing cyanobacteria, and infectious microbes. The dinoflagellates are responsible for ciguatera fish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, and paralytic shellfish poisoning, respectively, that have plagued coastal populations over time. Research interest on the potential for marine cyanobacteria to contribute BMAA into human food supplies has been derived by BMAA's discovery in cycad seeds and subsequent implication as the putative cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia complex among the Chamorro people of Guam. Recent UPLC/MS analyses indicate that recent reports that BMAA is prolifically distributed among marine cyanobacteria at high concentrations may be due to analyte misidentification in the analytical protocols being applied for BMAA. Common infectious microbes (including enterovirus, norovirus, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia) cause gastrointestinal and skin-related illness. These microbes can be introduced from external human and animal sources, or they can be indigenous to the marine environment.
International Journal of Microbiology 01/2011; 2011:152815.