Virginia Tech water research team studies contamination in Texas and Florida well waters

The Edwards and Pruden research team, which tested levels of lead in Flint’s water, is testing well waters from Texas and Florida to know whether or not they are contaminated by bacteria.
The sampling tests began on Sept. 12.
According to the project’s official website, the Virginia Tech team has distributed 1,200 sampling kits, hosted 11 free well-water testings in Texas and analyzed 630 samples from 21 counties.
The hurricane recovery project began after the National Science Foundation awarded a Rapid Response Research grant to the team.
There are several missions the team hopes to accomplish: It wants to test the water for signs of contamination and get its results back to well-owners as soon as possible.
If people get infected with these antibiotic resistant organisms, then the antibiotics the people take won’t help them.
We want to understand what type of antibiotic resistance bodies are present in private well systems, and if there is a component of contamination, does that contamination make the antibiotic resistance worse,” Rhoads said.
“They’ve been helpful in connecting with residents to obtain samples of their water and ship them overnight to us, where we can run a test for total coliform and E. coli.
Bacteria like total coliform, specifically E. coli, can be dangerous to consume.
If some of the wells turn yellow, this indicates that there is total coliform in the water, and if some of the wells glow under a UV light, this indicates that there is E. coli.

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