Sewage input and the relationship between chemical markers (linear alkylbenzenes and coprostanol) and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB, Escherichia coli and enterococci), were evaluated in order to establish thresholds values for chemical markers in suspended particulate matter (SPM) as indicators of sewage contamination in two subtropical estuaries in South Atlantic Brazil. Both chemical markers presented no linear relationship with FIB due to high spatial microbiological variability, however, microbiological water quality was related to coprostanol values when analyzed by logistic regression, indicating that linear models may not be the best representation of the relationship between both classes of indicators. Logistic regression was performed with all data and separately for two sampling seasons, using 800 and 100 MPN 100 mL−1 of E. coli and enterococci, respectively, as the microbiological limits of sewage contamination. Threshold values of coprostanol varied depending on the FIB and season, ranging between 1.00 and 2.23 μg g−1 SPM. The range of threshold values of coprostanol for SPM are relatively higher and more variable than those suggested in literature for sediments (0.10–0.50 μg g−1), probably due to higher concentration of coprostanol in SPM than in sediment. Temperature may affect the relationship between microbiological indicators and coprostanol, since the threshold value of coprostanol found here was similar to tropical areas, but lower than those found during winter in temperate areas, reinforcing the idea that threshold values should be calibrated for different climatic conditions.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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