Cladophora in the Great Lakes: Impacts on beach water quality and human health

M. P. Verhougstraete, M. N. Byappanahalli, J. B. Rose, R. L. Whitman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cladophora in the Great Lakes grows rapidly during the warm summer months, detaches, and becomes free-floating mats as a result of environmental conditions, eventually becoming stranded on recreational beaches. Cladophora provides protection and nutrients, which allow enteric bacteria such as Escherichia coli, enterococci, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Salmonella to persist and potentially regrow in the presence of the algae. As a result of wind and wave action, these microorganisms can detach and be released to surrounding waters and can influence water quality. Enteric bacterial pathogens have been detected in Cladophora mats; E. coli and enterococci may populate to become part of the naturalized microbiota in Cladophora; the high densities of these bacteria may affect water quality, resulting in unnecessary beach closures. The continued use of traditional fecal indicators at beaches with Cladophora presence is inadequate at accurately predicting the presence of fecal contamination. This paper offers a substantial review of available literature to improve the knowledge of Cladophora impacts on water quality, recreational water monitoring, fecal indicator bacteria and microorganisms, and public health and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Beaches
Water quality
Lakes
Bacteria
beach
Health
water quality
Microorganisms
Escherichia coli
bacterium
lake
microorganism
Salmonella
wave action
Public health
Pathogens
Algae
Nutrients
public health
Water

Keywords

  • Cladophora
  • Great lakes
  • Indicator bacteria
  • Public health
  • Recreational water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Cladophora in the Great Lakes : Impacts on beach water quality and human health. / Verhougstraete, M. P.; Byappanahalli, M. N.; Rose, J. B.; Whitman, R. L.

In: Water Science and Technology, Vol. 62, No. 1, 07.12.2010, p. 68-76.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Verhougstraete, M. P. ; Byappanahalli, M. N. ; Rose, J. B. ; Whitman, R. L. / Cladophora in the Great Lakes : Impacts on beach water quality and human health. In: Water Science and Technology. 2010 ; Vol. 62, No. 1. pp. 68-76.
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