Northeast Creek is a watershed that has an abundance of fecal coliform bacteria pollution. The Water Quality group at the City of Durham Stormwater Services performed a microbial source tracking study to improve our water quality management of this watershed. This study monitored and tested bacteria in the creek to determine if the source was human or canine. By finding out the source of the bacteria, we can better determine how to prevent the pollution.
The study reviewed historical information about fecal coliform bacteria in the NE Creek watershed to identify potential hotspots, monitored the stream, and trained field staff on sampling protocols. The results found both human and dog biomarkers which means that there are multiple pollution sources: sanitary sewer overflows, illicit connections, and dog waste that isn't picked up are all potential pollution sources impacting this watershed.