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Influence of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) on concentration and distribution of Escherichia coli in water surrounding an informal floating community in Iquitos, Peru
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|Created:||Dec 13, 2022 at 8:08 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Mar 20, 2023 at 5:20 p.m.
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Floating communities exist throughout the world. Many live on water with a high pathogen load due to difficulties associated with sewage management. In Claverito, an informal floating community in Iquitos, Peru, we conducted a controlled experiment to test the ability of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) to remove Escherichia coli from water. When river E. coli concentrations were at or below ~1500 CFU 100 mL-1, water hyacinth reduced shallow concentrations (8-cm depth) down to levels deemed safe by U.S. EPA for recreational use. Above this threshold, plants were able to reduce E. coli levels within shallow water, but not down to “safe” levels. At deeper depths (>25 cm), there was evidence that plants increased E. coli concentrations. Water hyacinth removed E. coli from shallow water by providing a surface (i.e., submerged roots) onto which E. coli sorbed and by protecting organisms that can potentially consume E. coli. Unfortunately, because of root association, the total E. coli load within the water column was greater with water hyacinth present. The use of water hyacinth to keep surface water around floating communities low in E. coli could be beneficial as this is the water layer with which people most likely interact.
This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
|Agency Name||Award Title||Award Number|
|University of Washington||Population Health Initiative|
|University of Washington||Global Innovation Fund|
|National Institutes of Health||Research Training Grant||D43 TW009345|
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This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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