Seasonal and Spatial Distribution of E. coli in the Mad River Watershed


This study was conducted to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of E. coli in selected tributaries of the Mad River, Vermont.  The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between land use and land cover and the distributions of E. coli among spring, summer, and fall seasons at low and high flow conditions in selected subwatersheds of the Mad River.  Baseline E. coli concentrations for forested subwatersheds were also determined.


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As part of this study, water samples were collected weekly between May 2, 1998 and November 3, 1998 at 15 sites in tributaries of the Mad River and analyzed for E. coli.  The sampling schedule was modified at times in order to sample during storm events.  River discharge data for the Mad River was acquired from USGS to determine the type of stream flow conditions on sampling dates.  Sites 1-12 were selected to represent varying amounts of residential and agricultural land use and land cover within independent drainage areas.  Sites 6 and 7, which are in forested drainage areas, were chosen as controls.  Sites 13, 14, and 15, Mad River Watch sites that have often tested high for E. coli, were sampled more intensively in 1998 than in previous years.


Table of Contents

Seasonal Distribution of E. coli

Land Use and Land Cover

Baseline E. coli Concentrations


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created by Deb Sargent under the direction of Dr. Leslie Morrissey
School of Natural Resources, University of Vermont
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