Microbial source tracking of Escherichia coli in a constructed wetland

Patricia A. Orosz-Coghlan, Patricia A. Rusin, Martin M. Karpiscak, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Little information has been gathered on the effect of avian species on the microbial water quality in constructed wetlands. To address this concern, fecal pollution from nonpoint and point sources was evaluated in a constructed wetland in Tolleson, Arizona. Antibiotic resistance profiling and biochemical fingerprinting were performed on 325 Escherichia coli isolates, collected from key points in the wetlands. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to interpret the data for samples collected on October 3 and December 12, 2000, and January 16, 2001. It was found that the passerine population was the major source of the Escherichia coli in the water samples collected in the wetlands on October 3 and December 12, 2000, whereas the regrowth in the treated municipal wastewater was the main source on January 16, 2001. This information is useful in providing data for operators in the monitoring of wetlands created for wastewater treatment and wildlife habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Avian species
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Escherichia coli
  • Microbial source tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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