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Texas Bacterial Source Tracking Program

Project Goals/Objectives: Bacteria are the number one cause of water quality impairment in Texas. Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) is a valuable tool for identifying human and animal sources of fecal pollution to support development of watershed plans, TMDLs, and other strategies for addressing these impairments. Comprehensive BST has been completed by UTSPH EP and Texas A&M AgriLife SCSC in numerous watersheds throughout Texas with support provided by the TSSWCB. As a result of these joint efforts over the last decade, the Texas E. coli BST Library (ver. 12-17) currently contains 1,853 E. coli isolates obtained from 1,612 different domestic sewage, wildlife, livestock and pet fecal samples. Despite its expansiveness, continued development and refinement of the library to include additional known source isolates from additional Texas watersheds and different animal hosts is needed to further increase its utility. As funding allows, AgriLife SCSC and UTSPH EP will continue work to evaluate and further develop/refine source-specific bacterial PCR markers. Specifically, efforts will be made to evaluate the addition of library-independent markers to the Texas BST toolbox. Further, TWRI, AgriLife SCSC and UTSPH EP will cooperate with other entities nationwide to ensure that the most up-to-date and accurate BST approaches are implemented in Texas. Library-independent markers continue to be developed and validated.

Project Location: Statewide, but with BST support in Bell, Coryell, Comanche, and Erath counties

Project Cost: State Funds ($433,085)

Project Partners: TSSWCB, TWRI, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health El Paso Regional Campus (UTSPH EP), Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, NRI

Project Workplans: 20-52

Project QAPP: 20-52 QAPP

 

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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