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WWRC 85-17(s)
Changes in Bacterial Water Quality in the Nash Fork Hydrologic Watershed of Southeastern Wyoming After Ten Years


Six sites on three streams within the Nash Fork Hydrologic Watershed were sampled on a weekly basis during the summer of 1982, to determine if changes have occurred in waterborne bacteria populations since 1971-72. Water samples were collected, processed, and analysized using, the same techniques as those employed during the 1971-72 study. Bacterial tests included: total coliforms, fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci, standard plate count at 35 C°, total heterotrophic areobic bacteria, denitrifying bacteria, and sulfate-reducing bacteria. The data collected were analysized using organisms per 100 ml and organisms passing one point per second, to determine whether or not changes in counts were due soley to concentration/dilution phenomenon, or to user activities, as differences do occur. After ten years there were no significantly detectable changes in bacterial populations enumerated. Grazing management, recreational activities, and wildlife use of the watershed studied has not changed much over the ten year span. These users appear to be contributing a constant bacterial load to the streams sampled by year and month during summer. Long term bacterial trend data could be used to help managers determine management needs on high mountain watersheds.

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