Developing a procedure and tools that utilize genetic markers to identify fecal contamination sources in waterways

Caroline Côté

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

450 653-7368
ext 310

Contact Caroline Côté

Description

Fecal contamination of the environment poses a potential public health risk and contributes to increased water treatment costs. Although some indices may be able to target potential contamination sources, the origin of the contamination is often hard to pin down and makes it difficult to apply strategies to improve water quality. This project will develop a procedure that relies on genetic markers to identify the animal species responsible for fecal contamination. The procedure will also take into account both wildlife and livestock animal as well as human sources of contamination.

Objective(s)

  • Conduct a literature review of genetic markers that can be used to target fecal contamination originating from a variety of animal species.
  • Determine the detection and quantification limits for the markers selected.
  • Document the impact of manure/slurry storage conditions on the markers.
  • Measure the relative contributions of the markers in water under controlled conditions.
  • Characterize the persistence of these markers in the environment.
  • Validate this method under real-life conditions found at watersheds.

From 2019 to 2023

Project duration

Livestock production

Activity areas

Water protection, Environmental regulations

Services

The procedure will be used to identify the animal species that contribute to waterway contamination.

Partner

Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

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