state participating in this E. coli
monitoring project played a slightly different role in the effort.
What follows is a brief description of the roles of each of the
Iowa and Indiana
Since Iowa and Indiana states had existing bacteria
monitoring efforts in their volunteer stream monitoring programs
(IOWATER and Hoosier Riverwatch respectively) prior to the initiation
of this project, they took on the role of testing six E. coli test kits in the first two years of the project so that they can offer a recommendation to other states about which methods work best for volunteer use. Each state selected volunteers to test five
of the six test kits. The volunteers monitored monthly between
April and October during 2004 and 2005.
Each monitor collected a water sample
3 to 5 inches below the surface in the main area of water flow at their stream site.
Using this single sample, the volunteers followed directions for the individual test methods to prepare it for incubation. The remainder of the sample was then shipped on ice to
a state-certified laboratory in Iowa for analysis of E.
coli using a modified Mtec E.
coli test procedure (10.3.3). Full methods are available in the Project manual.
Indiana and Iowa were jointly responsible
for collecting and collating data results from both the volunteers
and the laboratories. Data were analyzed by Iowa DNR and Purdue University
to identify if there were differences between lab analyses and test
kit analyses for E. coli.
In year 3 of the project, interested Iowa and Indiana
volunteers implemented use of the recommended home test method(s) based on results
of home test methods vs. lab analyses and the results of user preference surveys.
Wisconsin took the lead, through the Environmental Resources Center at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, on the evaluation portion of the project. A series of surveys for trainers and volunteers, including the pre-post knowledge survey were developed and used at training sessions in all participating states during the three year project. End of season surveys questioned users about each methods ease of use, volunteer
confidence in following the method, obstacles faced with each method, lessons learned, and overall user preference of the methods.
Wisconsin staff analyzed 2004 survey results and these were used to help make a recommendation for 2005 testing in Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Staff also analyzed surveys implemented in 2005 and 2006.
Wisconsin staff also took the lead in developing
the website for the project and in linking the project with the
National Facilitation Project on Volunteer
Water Quality Monitoring.
Michigan State University Extension took the lead role in compiling
and preparing a training manual for the volunteers. It is the
main supporting educational element of uniform trainings that were conducted
throughout the six states. The manual incorporates information
about bacteria, specifically, it defines E.
coli, its sources and modes of travel, why the bacteria is useful for monitoring pathogens, as well as
detailing methods volunteers will follow when collecting field samples,
preparing petri plates for incubation, and counting bacteria colonies.
Michigan State University Extension also developed an online database into which all project data were entered and which is now available to all states' programs to enter data if they are using 3M Petrifilm or Coliscan Easygel to monitor E. coli.
Minnesota and Ohio
Volunteers from Minnesota and Ohio (as well as those from Wisconsin and Michigan) were trained to utilize the recommended test methods during 2005 and 2006.
In years 2 and 3 of the project, volunteers from
Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin were trained to use
the recommended test methods in trainings held across the
Page updated December 7, 2012