Stream Water E. Coli

Stream Water E. Coli

Stream Water E.Coli. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

We continue to hear story after story of an E.coli outbreak involving various fruits, vegetable and more. While the bacteria is fairly common it can sure make you sick especially if you are either the young or the elderly whose systems have a tough time fighting it. Most notably E.coli comes from some type of fecal matter but now a recent USDA study shows stream sediment could host significant amounts of the E coli pathogen for several months according to researcher Yakov Pachepsky.

PACHEPSKY: E. coli dies in water fairly fast, whereas in sediments it persists for a long time. So we concluded that just the suspension in sediments creates huge increases in E. coli concentrations in water.

That E. coli can survive for quite some time in this environment. And what does that mean for ag producers.

PACHEPSKY: The practical issue we’re dealing with is of course irrigation water quality for produce. As we are using more and more sulfates for water for irrigating produce and their are indications that we have a low microbial water quality, they are able to colonize, reproduce to live within the leaves or other organs of the plants and eventually may become dangerous for humans.

Pachepsky says there are a lot of unknowns but he says it is very important to study the sedimentary mud layers where the bacteria can survive because a wrong decision could cost a lot of money and bottom line be detrimental to human health. The research is continuing.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportQuarterly Ag Report
Next ReportCopper Theft