Date of Award

Spring 4-17-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Christine Stauber


INTRODUCTION: Tanyard Creek is an urban creek in the City of Atlanta. It receives the treated discharge from Tanyard Creek Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO), before flowing into the Chattahoochee River. One of the significant issues surrounding the creek is the lack of regulation, monitoring, and maintenance -- leading to broken pipes, fecal pollution and input of street debris According to the recreational water quality standards, Tanyard Creek is impaired because of the high concentration of E. coli and other microbials present in the creek. AIM: This study will analyze, compare, and observe E. coli concentration present in Tanyard Creek over time (October 2018-February 2020) and spatially (from site to site). Additionally, this study will determine if there is a relationship between rainfall amounts in Atlanta and elevated E. coli concentration in Tanyard Creek over the periods 24 and 48 hours before sampling, as well as cumulatively. METHODS: Water samples were collected from Tanyard Creek on a weekly basis for 54 weeks. For this research, the sampling time duration is from October 16, 2018, through February 12, 2020. Samples were collected from 10 pre-determined sites every week, and all the sites were located along the stretch of a 1-mile trail. The samples were processed using membrane filtration and BioRad RAPID'E. coli 2™ medium was used for the assay of E. coli count. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Temporally, there is variability in the E. coli concentration on a weekly basis, and there is no particular trend by seasons. The results support the hypothesis, and E. coli concentrations in Tanyard Creek consistently violate EPA recreational water quality standards and the creek is impaired for recreational use. For all three of the rainfall amounts, there was no relationship between rainfall and elevated E. coli concentration. The only consistent factor is that the average E. coli concentrations exceed the acceptable EPA standards for recreational waters

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