Water Quality Dynamics Oso Bay

808 Words 4 Pages
Water quality dynamics in an urbanizing subtropical estuary
(Oso Bay, Texas)
Estuarine environments like that of Oso Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas are subject to fluctuations in geochemistry and relative water quality based on factors related to extreme weather events, changing water flow and human impacts. A 2011-2015 study on the water quality dynamics of Oso Bay found fluctuations in the estuarine geochemistry were related to some of these factors, particularly human influences. A wastewater affluent region in Oso Bay showed very high concentrations of Inorganic and organic nitrogen, phosphate, and carbon; it also showed a low concentration of dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and a more acidic pH (Wtz, et al. 2015). Signatures of eutrophication
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This eutrophication of Oso bay can make it easier for more pathogenic heterotrophic bacteria to outcompete the photoautotrophs such as phytoplankton. Which explains why Oso Bay has been found to contain high concentrations of pathogenic bacteria for which a total maximum daily load (TMDL) has been recommended. It also was found to have episodic low dissolved oxygen levels severe enough to have placed Oso Bay on the EPA’s “impaired” waters list (Wtz, et al. 2015). It comes to no surprise as to the amount of dissolved inorganic nutrients present in Oso Bay, as Oso bay is home to tributaries that deposit wastewater from agricultural land, golf courses, a wastewater treatment plant, and hosts a cooling pond for a power plant located on Oso Creek. Oso Bay has many biological and geochemical abnormalities due to increasing urbanization and human impact, these abnormalities can lead to a decline in the health of the estuarine …show more content…
The esp gene, associated with the surface protein of Enterococcus faecium, was used to detect the presence of this pathogen in the bay. The detection of esp was compared with the level of fecal indicator bacteria which includes Enterococci, fecal coliforms and Escherichia Coli. The times in which contamination coincided with elevated indicator bacteria levels placed a causality on human impact (Lindsey 2016). Fecal bacteria levels were obtained using the standard membrane filtration methods. For the esp analysis, water as filtered onto a specialized membrane and incubated for 48 hours, it was then enriched, DNA extracted and PCR analysis performed. The esp gene was detected only in waters when Enterococcus levels greatly exceeded water quality standards, it was detected at 3 of the 5 sites in Oso Bay (Lindsey

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