A model to predict the bacterial quality of a rangeland stream Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nv9357311

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  • Grazing cattle usually have access to streams as a source of drinking water. A model was developed for the personal computer to predict the bacterial quality of these streams. The model estimates the number of organisms that enter the stream by the direct deposit of feces and by runoff from rainfall or melting snow. The model also predicts the fate of these organisms upon entering the stream. The stream discharge rates can be calculated by the model or input by the user. The bacterial water quality is determined by the number of organisms suspended in the stream per volume of discharge. The model results were compared with bacterial levels measured in four different research projects and found to be within an order of magnitude in most cases. These results demonstrate that the model can predict bacterial concentrations with sufficient accuracy to make management decisions to insure a predetermined level of water quality. These results also demonstrate that the model is a better predictive tool for stream bacterial counts than traditional water sampling programs due to the model's ability to predict bacterial levels given a wide variety of grazing and hydrologic conditions. The model was developed and tested using the most current research in rangeland water quality. As with any model, the accuracy of the results depend upon the accuracy of the input data. Future research can improve the usefulness of the model to better predict the bacterial counts in extended stream reaches.
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