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Addressing fecal bacteria TMDLs in Western Kansas

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18051)
Authors:   Thomas C Willson and George L. Marchin

I will review the Kansas TMDL process as it has applied to fecal bacteria abatement in Western Kansas, including efforts by the State Legislature to reduce the number of TMDLs set by changing water quality standards and exempting ephemeral streams from regulation. I will also present my own research regarding potential sources of fecal bacteria in the Upper Arkansas River Watershed of Western Kansas. My work has utilized sampling networks to isolate sources of bacteria geographically and bacterial source tracing (BST) with antibiotic resistance analysis (ARA) of Enterococcus bacteria to identify sources of contamination within functional groups: e.g. humans, pets, wildlife, and livestock. I will review the challenges in implementing BST in a watershed with a diversity of potential sources, as well as recent successes suggesting that BST is more effective, and more cost effective, when applied to specific sources in a small part of a watershed.

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