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Open-File Report 2009–1192

Prepared in cooperation with Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission

Relations Between Environmental and Water-Quality Variables and Escherichia coli in the Cuyahoga River With Emphasis on Turbidity as a Predictor of Recreational Water Quality, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, 2008

By Amie M.G. Brady and Meg B. Plona

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During the recreational season of 2008 (May through August), a regression model relating turbidity to concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli) was used to predict recreational water quality in the Cuyahoga River at the historical community of Jaite, within the present city of Brecksville, Ohio, a site centrally located within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Samples were collected three days per week at Jaite and at three other sites on the river. Concentrations of E. coli were determined and compared to environmental and water-quality measures and to concentrations predicted with a regression model. Linear relations between E. coli concentrations and turbidity, gage height, and rainfall were statistically significant for Jaite. Relations between E. coli concentrations and turbidity were statistically significant for the three additional sites, and relations between E. coli concentrations and gage height were significant at the two sites where gage-height data were available. The turbidity model correctly predicted concentrations of E. coli above or below Ohio’s single-sample standard for primary-contact recreation for 77 percent of samples collected at Jaite.

Posted October 2009

For additional information contact:
Director, Ohio Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
6480 Doubletree Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43229-111

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Suggested citation:

Brady, A.M.G., and Plona, M.B., 2009, Relations between environmental and water-quality variables and Escherichia coli in the Cuyahoga River with emphasis on turbidity as a predictor of recreational water quality, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1192, 6 p.





Sample Analyses and Environmental Data Collection

Statistical Analyses

Correlations Between E. coli Concentrations and Environmental Variables

Validation of Turbidity-Based Predictive Model

Ongoing Work


References Cited

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