A research institute of the OVPR
Geological Research at the IGS

Lake Michigan tributary monitoring

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Porter
Director: Greg Olyphant
Other Researchers:
Funding: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Issue: Tourism is a major industry along the Lake Michigan shoreline of Indiana, but in recent years it has been necessary to intermittently close public bathing beaches, as a result of high levels of E. coli contamination in nearshore waters. In order to understand, predict, and ultimately prevent such contamination, the role of bacterial flushing from land-based sources must be better understood.
Objective: The purpose of this project is to characterize temporal variations in bacterial outfalls at the mouths of creeks (such as Derby Ditch) that flow into Lake Michigan.
Approach: We conducted continuous monitoring of flow and water quality at the outlet of Derby Ditch, collected water samples for bacterial analysis during three storm periods and one dry period, and developed statistical relationships between water-quality parameters (for example, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity) and bacterial concentrations in stream flow. During 1998-1999, instruments were installed and continuous monitoring was conducted. Samplings for bacterial contamination were conducted over 24-hour periods during two storms.
Products: Results of the study can be accessed through the Web: http://igs.indiana.edu/survey/projects/burns_web/index.cfm
Benefits: This monitoring advances the understanding of the sources of pathogens in Lake Michigan, and possible ways to prevent and remediate bacterial pollution.

Hydrologic monitoring associated with pilot restoration of part of the Great Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Olyphant, G.A., Feuerstein, E.W., Harper, Denver, 1997, Hydrologic monitoring associated with pilot restoration of part of the Great Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 97-18, 14 p.

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