Generic modelleing of faecal indicator organism concentrations in the UK

John Crowther, Danyel Hampson, Ian Bateman, David Kay, Paulette Posen, Carl Michael Stapleton, Mark David Wyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

To meet European Water Framework Directive requirements, data are needed on faecal indicator organism (FIO) concentrations in rivers to enable the more heavily polluted to be targeted for remedial action. Due to the paucity of FIO data for the UK, especially under high-flow hydrograph event conditions, there is an urgent need by the policy community for generic models that can accurately predict FIO concentrations, thus informing integrated catchment management programmes. This paper reports the development of regression models to predict base- and high-flow faecal coliform (FC) and enterococci (EN) concentrations for 153 monitoring points across 14 UK catchments, using land cover, population (human and livestock density) and other variables that may affect FIO source strength, transport and die-off. Statistically significant models were developed for both FC and EN, with greater explained variance achieved in the high-flow models. Both land cover and, in particular, population variables are significant predictors of FIO concentrations, with r2 maxima for EN of 0.571 and 0.624, respectively. It is argued that the resulting models can be applied, with confidence, to other UK catchments, both to predict FIO concentrations in unmonitored watercourses and evaluate the likely impact of different land use/stocking level and human population change scenarios.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-701
Number of pages19
JournalWater
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2011

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