Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science

Degree Name

Marine Science

First Advisor

Dr. George Duncan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Jose V. Lopez, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald McCorquodale, Ph.D.


IDEXX Enterolert®, Enterococci, Colilert-18®, Total Coliforms, E. coli, Microbial Source Tracking


Fecal contamination has continued to plague local communities around the United States and the world, especially in highly populated areas like Southern Florida. Newer techniques are beginning to be used to track microbes properly as they are found in waterways. Some more recent techniques in Microbial Source Tracking (MST) use IDEXX kits to detect fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). Two IDEXX kits Colilert-18® which detects total coliforms and Escherichia coli in water or fecal coliforms in wastewater, and Enterolert®, which targets enterococci, were used in the waterways of the Himmarshee Canal and South Fork of the New River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These kits yielded high levels of Enterococcus, E. coli, and thermotolerant total coliforms. The highest levels of Enterococcus were measured at over 22,000 MPN/100 mL, while the highest E. coli and thermotolerant total coliforms were measured at 5,800 MPN/100 mL and 7,700 MPN/100 mL. All these high levels were well over the recommended levels of 130 CFU/100 mL for Enterococci and 410 CFU/100 mL for E. coli (including total coliforms). This forensic assessment has shown that fecal contamination is still an ongoing problem and that canals are a potential source of buildup for these bacteria to thrive.