Water Research, 15 November 2015, Vol.85, pp.148-157
Since rivers are typically subject to rapid changes in microbiological water quality, tools are needed to allow timely water quality assessment. A promising approach is the application of predictive models. In our study, we developed multiple linear regression (MLR) models in order to predict the abundance of the fecal indicator organisms (EC), intestinal enterococci (IE) and somatic coliphages (SC) in the Lahn River, Germany. The models were developed on the basis of an extensive set of environmental parameters collected during a 12-months monitoring period. Two models were developed for each type of indicator: 1) an extended model including the maximum number of variables significantly explaining variations in indicator abundance and 2) a simplified model reduced to the three most influential explanatory variables, thus obtaining a model which is less resource-intensive with regard to required data. Both approaches have the ability to model multiple sites within one river stretch. The three most important predictive variables in the optimized models for the bacterial indicators were NH –N, turbidity and global solar irradiance, whereas chlorophyll content, discharge and NH –N were reliable model variables for somatic coliphages. Depending on indicator type, the extended mode models also included the additional variables rainfall, O content, pH and chlorophyll . The extended mode models could explain 69% (EC), 74% (IE) and 72% (SC) of the observed variance in fecal indicator concentrations. The optimized models explained the observed variance in fecal indicator concentrations to 65% (EC), 70% (IE) and 68% (SC). Site-specific efficiencies ranged up to 82% (EC) and 81% (IE, SC). Our results suggest that MLR models are a promising tool for a timely water quality assessment in the Lahn area.
Escherichia Coli ; Intestinal Enterococci ; Somatic Coliphages ; Bathing Water Quality ; Monitoring ; Management Tool ; Engineering
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