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Rapid: Stagnant Flood Water Quality Improvement: Role Of Sediment And Interactions Between Effective Microorganisms And Indigenous Microorganisms

Investigators
Khan, Eakalak
Institutions
North Dakota State University
Start date
2012
End date
2013
Abstract

1219755/KhanThailand is experiencing the worst flood in the history of the country. The flood water has affected more than two million people in Bangkok. Due to poor drainage, the flood water is stagnant in most areas leading to water quality issues. Odor emission and waterborne pathogen proliferation are potential problems. The Thai Government is suggesting the use of effective microorganisms (EMs) to alleviate the problems. EMs are available in both liquid and solid forms consisting of three microbial groups including lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and photosynthetic bacteria. A hypothesis is that EMs would overtake indigenous microorganisms that are pathogens. The overarching goals of this project are to investigate type and quantity of sediment and to study microbial community within the sediment. The microbial community investigation will focus on: 1) Indigenous microorganisms including sulfate reducing bacteria that are responsible for odor production and known waterborne pathogens such as Vibrio chlorella, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium and 2) Microbial groups associated with EMs. The central hypotheses are that the presence of sediment with high organic contents is associated with odor, and sediment harbors sulfate reducing bacteria and pathogens but not microbial groups associated with EMs. The PIs will test these hypotheses: 1) Determine the type and quantity of sediment in different areas (with and without odor and with and without EM application) and 2) Determine the microbial community and its diversity in the sediment.
Intellectual Merit: The proposed research will benefit practical applications on flood water quality management via sediment control. The use of EMs for controlling sulfur reducing bacteria and waterborne pathogens is potentially transformative. Results from this research could be applicable across different fields as EMs have been used in agronomy, food science, and health sciences. The project is interdisciplinary in nature requiring integrated knowledge in environmental engineering, molecular microbiology, and hydrology.
Broader Impacts: This project meets the RAPID funding criteria because of the need to collect sediment samples after the flood water is drained; the drainage is projected to happen early in 2012. The proposed research will have an impact on the well-being of flood victims. Flooding is one of the major natural disasters and occurs throughout the world. The information gained through the project could be useful to post flood cleanup workers in term of reducing risk in contacting with pathogenic microorganisms. Research findings can be applied to the southern states of the U.S. because of similarities in climate and long periods of flood water inundation.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
1219755
Categories
Escherichia coli
Cryptosporidium
Salmonella