Enterococci, are used nationwide as a water quality indicator of marine recreational beaches. Prior research has demonstrated that enterococci inputs to the study beach site (located in Miami, FL) are dominated by non-point sources (including humans and animals). We have estimated their respective source functions by developing a counting methodology for individuals to better understand their non-point source load impacts. The method utilizes camera images of the beach taken at regular time intervals to determine the number of people and animal visitors. The developed method translates raw image counts for week days and weekend days into daily and monthly visitation rates. Enterococci source functions were computed from the observed number of unique individuals for average days of each month of the year, and from average load contributions for humans and for animals. Results indicate that dogs represent the larger source of enterococci relative to humans and birds.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.