What is Fecal Coliform?
Coliforms are bacteria that live in the intestines of warm-blooded animals (humans, pets, farm animals, and wildlife). Fecal coli-form bacteria are a kind of coliform associated with human or animal wastes. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is part of the group of fecal coliforms.
What You Should Know About Fecal Coliform:
Although not necessarily agents of disease, fecal coliform bacteria may indicate the presence of disease-carrying organisms, which live in the same environment as the fecal coliform bacteria, like E. coli. Certain strains of E. coli can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening, complications if ingested. Unlike the other conventional water quality parameters, fecal coliform bacteria are living organisms. Fecal coliform bacteria add organic matter to our water, which decreases oxygen levels that fish and other aquatic life need to breathe. Urbanized watersheds generate sources of fecal coliform bacteria, such as pet wastes, failing septic systems, and combined stormwater and sanitary sewer overflows.
Stormwater runoff in urbanized areas has been found to be surprisingly high in fecal coliform bacteria concentrations.
Reduce fecal coliform in the watershed:
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of properly
- Implement Stormwater Best Managment Practices like naturalized detention ponds in all new subdivisions which discourage Canada Geese from recreating near the water. In addition, if Canada Geese populate in areas draining to the detention ponds, routing stormwater overland through bioswales, riparian buffers and the like can reduce pollutants in the water.
Create unified system of monitoring septic systems.
A method for periodic inspection of residential septic systems should be established to ensure that individual systems are properly treating effluent before it enters the groundwater system.
Pet Waste Ordinance
Pet owners are required to remove their pet’s waste by placing it in a suitable bag and depositing it in a trash receptacle. For your convenience, pet waste bag dispensers are located in our parks. Pet waste is not only offensive, but it can pollute waters, as it is washed by rain and melting snow and ice into storm drains that carry it into our lakes and streams.