Harmful bacteria thrived in post-Hurricane Harvey floodwaters

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017, bringing more than 50 inches of rain and extreme flooding to the city of Houston.

In addition to wreaking havoc on buildings and infrastructure, urban floodwaters harbor hidden menaces in the form of bacteria that can cause disease.

E. coli levels in two of Houston’s major bayous were significantly elevated in the immediate aftermath of HarveyThe storm flooded numerous wastewater treatment plants, causing widespread discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage.

Raw sewage contains fecal bacteria, like E. coli, and other potential pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica and Clostridium perfringens.

The researchers found that E. coli levels in two of Houston's major bayous were significantly elevated in the immediate aftermath of Harvey compared with numbers obtained before the hurricane, but gradually decreased over two months after the storm to pre-storm levels.

> Read entire article Harmful bacteria thrived in post-Hurricane Harvey floodwaters | American Chemical Society | SciendeDaily

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