Antibiotic Resistance Analysis

Discussion of Antibiotic Resistance Analysis as a method for differentiating between different sources of fecal pollution in rivers and streams.

This paper describes the technique of Antibiotic Resistance Analysis (ARA), developed by Dr. Bruce Wiggins of James Madison University, as a means of differentiating between different sources of fecal pollution in the rivers and streams in the Rockingham County area. The paper reviews the latest Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) techniques and argues why ARA is needed. The paper also proposes a plan that would test the temporal stability of the existing watershed library.
“Unsafe drinking water is a problem that not just third-world and developing countries face. Maintaining strict water quality standards is something any government should be responsible for, but it wasn’t until June 11th, 1999 that a lawsuit finally forced the Environmental Protection Agency to be more aware of the problem. The federal Clean Water Act of 1972 states that it is the federal government’s job to identify impaired waters if the state government does not (3). This was the main argument of several grassroots organizations when they sued the EPA. They argued that the EPA must set total maximum daily load (TMDL) restrictions. TMDL means the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive in one day, and still meet the water-quality standards. Furthermore, TMDLs must include a plan to lower the amount of pollutants for bodies of water that do not currently meet water-quality standards (3). The grassroots organizations won the lawsuit, and the court order mandated several changes take place. First, the EPA now ensures TMDL amounts, and also reviews Virginia’s plans for each year. Moreover, all readily available data and information must be used to identify the state’s most heavily polluted waters (3).”