UBC Undergraduate Research

Seasonal, spatial and source variation of E. coli counts in False Creek, British Columbia Antony, Aneeta; Hsu, Daisy; Chen, Eric; Chen, Jiayun; Sondergeld, Owen


The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, has raised concerns regarding the environmental health and safety of water in the False Creek basin. According to both recent and historical water quality reports issued by the B.C. Ministry of Environment (2006), it has been determined that Escherichia coli (E.coli) is a clear and major cause for concern regarding the water quality of False Creek. Historical records from the B.C. Ministry of Environment (1990) show that E. coli has been surpassing safety levels since the late 1970’s. More recently, record high E. coli levels were observed this past summer (Vancouver Coastal Health, 2014) - at over 26 times the recommended safety limit for swimmers (Health Canada, 2012). With these events in mind, this study is focused on tackling the question: What are the spatial and temporal variabilities of Escherichia coli in False Creek? Additionally, this study intends to help fill in notable water quality data gaps related to the various factors that affect the growth and survival of E. coli, these include: salinity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, dissolved organic carbon, and nitrate levels.

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