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dc.contributor.authorJocz, Robert Michaelen_US

High levels of fecal indicator bacteria (e.g. E. coli) are the leading cause of identified surface water impairments in the United States. The US Clean Water Act of 1972 requires that jurisdictions establish priority rankings for impaired waterways and develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan for each. Although past research indicates that the risk of illness to humans varies by source of fecal contamination, current watershed assessments are developed according to total concentration of indicator bacteria, with all sources weighed equally.

A stochastic model using Quantitative Microbial Risk assessment (QMRA) principles to translate source-specific (e.g. human, livestock) daily average concentrations of E.coli into a daily average risk of gastroenteritis infection was developed and applied to Pigg River, an impaired watershed in southern Virginia. Exposure was calculated by multiplying a ratio of source related reference pathogens to predicted concentrations of E.coli and a series of qualifying scalars. Risk of infection was then determined using appropriate dose response relationships.

Overall, human and goose sources resulted in the greatest human health risk, despite larger overall E.coli loading associated with cattle. Bacterial load reductions specified in the Pigg River TMDL were applied using Hydrological Simulation Program- FORTRAN (HSPF) to assess the effect these reductions would have on the risk of infection attributed to each modeled bacterial source. Although individual risk sources (neglecting geese) were reduced below the EPA limit of 8 illnesses per 1000 exposures, the combined risk of illness varied between 0.006 and 64 illnesses per 1000 exposures.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectRisk Assessmenten_US
dc.subjectMonte Carloen_US
dc.subjectWatershed Managementen_US
dc.titleDevelopment of a Risk Assessment Model to Assess TMDL Implementation Strategiesen_US
dc.contributor.departmentBiological Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US of Scienceen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairKrometis, Leigh Anne Henryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZiegler, Peteren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBenham, Brian L.en_US

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