Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 607–622

Sources of Nutrients and Fecal Indicator Bacteria to Nearshore Waters on the North Shore of Kaua`i (Hawai`i, USA)

  • Karen L. Knee
  • Blythe A. Layton
  • Joseph H. Street
  • Alexandria B. Boehm
  • Adina Paytan
Article

Abstract

Water quality monitoring in Hanalei Bay, Kaua`i (Hawai`i, USA) has documented intermittent high concentrations of nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, silica, and ammonium) and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB, i.e., enterococci and Escherichia coli) in nearshore waters and spurred concern that contaminated groundwater might be discharging into the bay. The present study sought to identify and track sources of nutrients and FIB to four beaches in Hanalei Bay and one beach outside the bay, together representing a wide range of land uses. 223Ra and 224Ra activity, salinity, nutrient and FIB concentrations were measured in samples from the coastal aquifer, the nearshore ocean, springs, the Hanalei River, and smaller streams. In addition, FIB concentrations in beach sands were measured at each site, and the enterococcal surface protein (esp) gene assay was used to investigate whether the observed FIB originated from a human source. Nutrient concentrations in groundwater were significantly higher than in nearshore water, inversely correlated to salinity, and highly site specific, indicating local controls on groundwater quality. Fluxes of groundwater into Hanalei Bay were calculated using a mass-balance approach and represented at least 2–10% of river discharges. However, submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) may provide 2.7 times as much nitrate + nitrite to Hanalei Bay as does the Hanalei River. It may also provide significant fluxes of phosphate and ammonium, comprising 15% and 20% of Hanalei River inputs, respectively. SGD-derived silica inputs to the bay comprised less than 3% of Hanalei River inputs. FIB concentrations in groundwater were typically lower than those in nearshore water, suggesting that significant FIB inputs from SGD are unlikely. Positive esp gene assays suggested that some enterococci in environmental samples were of human fecal origin. Identifying how nutrients and FIB enter nearshore waters will help environmental managers address pressing water quality issues, including exceedances of the state Enterococcus water quality standard and nutrient loading to coral reefs.

Keywords

Hanalei (Kaua`i, Hawai`i, USA) Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) Coastal water quality Nutrients Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Radium isotopes Land use 

References

  1. Beck, A.J., J.P. Rapaglia, J. Kirk, and H.J. Bokuniewicz. 2007. Radium mass-balance in Jamaica Bay, NY: Evidence for a substantial flux of submarine groundwater. Marine Chemistry 106: 419–441. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2007.03.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Betancourt, W.Q., and R.S. Fujioka. 2007. Evaluation of enterococcal surface protein genes as markers for sewage contamination in tropical recreational waters. In Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Health-related Microbiology, 121, Sept. 9–15, Tokyo, Japan.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm, A.B. 2007. Enterococci concentrations in diverse coastal environments exhibit extreme variability. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 8227–8232. doi:10.1021/es071807v.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boehm, A.B., and S.B. Weisberg. 2005. Tidal forcing of enterococci at marine recreational beaches at fortnightly and semi-diurnal frequencies. Environmental Science and Technology 39: 5575–5583. doi:10.1021/es048175m.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boehm, A.B., G.G. Shellenbarger, and A. Paytan. 2004. Groundwater discharge: Potential association with fecal indicator bacteria in the surf zone. Environmental Science and Technology 38: 3558–3566. doi:10.1021/es035385a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burnett, W.C., P.K. Aggarwal, A. Aureli, H. Bokuniewicz, J.E. Cable, M.A. Charette, E. Kontar, S. Krupa, K.M. Kulkarni, A. Loveless, W.S. Moore, J.A. Oberdorfer, J. Oliveira, N. Ozyurt, P. Povinec, A.M.G. Privitera, R. Rajar, R.T. Ramessur, J. Scholten, T. Stieglitz, M. Taniguchi, and J.V. Turner. 2006. Quantifying submarine groundwater discharge in the coastal zone via multiple methods. Science of the Total Environment 367: 498–543. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.05.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Charette, M.A., K.O. Buesseler, and J.E. Andrews. 2001. Utility of radium isotopes for evaluating the input and transport of groundwater-derived nitrogen to a Cape Cod estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 462: 465–470.Google Scholar
  8. Charette, M.A., R. Splivallo, C. Herbold, M.S. Bollinger, and W.S. Moore. 2003. Salt marsh submarine groundwater discharge as traced by radium isotopes. Marine Chemistry 84: 113–121. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2003.07.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Church, T.M. 1996. An underground route for the water cycle. Nature 380: 579–580. doi:10.1038/380579a0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Derse, E., K.L. Knee, S.D. Wankel, C. Kendall, C.J. Berg Jr., and A. Paytan. 2007. Identifying sources of nitrogen to Hanalei Bay, Kaua`i, utilizing the nitrogen isotope signature of macroalgae. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 5217–5223. doi:10.1021/es0700449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dollar, S.J., and M.J. Atkinson. 1992. Effects of nutrient subsidies from groundwater to nearshore marine ecosystems off the island of Hawai`i. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 35: 409–424. doi:10.1016/S0272–7714(05)80036–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dulaiova, H., W.C. Burnett, G. Wattayakorn, and P. Sojisuporn. 2006. Are groundwater inputs into river-dominated areas important? The Chao Phraya River—Gulf of Thailand. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 2232–2247.Google Scholar
  13. Field, K.G., and M. Samadpour. 2007. Fecal source tracking, the indicator paradigm, and managing water quality. Water Resources 41: 3517–3538. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2007.06.056.Google Scholar
  14. Fofonoff, N.P. 1985. Physical properties of seawater: A new salinity scale and equation of state for seawater. Journal of Geophysical Research 90: 3332–3342. doi:10.1029/JC090iC02p03332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. García-Solsona, E., J. García-Orellana, P. Masqué, and H. Dulaiova. 2008. Uncertainties associated with 223Ra and 224Ra measurements in water via a Delayed Coincidence Counter (RaDeCC). Marine Chemistry 109: 198–219. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2007.11.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garrison, G.H., C.R. Glenn, and G.M. McMurtry. 2003. Measurement of submarine groundwater discharge in Kahana Bay, O`ahu, Hawai`i. Limnology and Oceanography 48: 920–928.Google Scholar
  17. Gordon, D.M., and A. Cowling. 2003. The distribution and genetic structure of Escherichia coli in Australian vertebrates: host and geographic effects. Microbiology 149: 3575–3586. doi:10.1099/mic.0.26486–0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harwood, V.J., J. Butler, D. Parrish, and V. Wagner. 1999. Isolation of fecal coliform bacteria from the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin centrata). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65: 865–867.Google Scholar
  19. Hinkle, S.R., J.H. Duff, F.J. Triska, A. Laenen, E.B. Gates, K.E. Bencala, D.A. Wentz, and S.R. Silva. 2001. Linking hyporheic flow and nitrogen cycling near the Willamette River—A large river in Oregon, USA. Journal of Hydrology 244: 157–180. doi:10.1016/S0022–1694(01)00335–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hwang, D.W., G.B. Kim, Y.W. Lee, and H.S. Yang. 2005. Estimating submarine inputs of groundwater and nutrients to a coastal bay using radium isotopes. Marine Chemistry 96: 61–71. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2004.11.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim, G.B., K.K. Lee, K.S. Park, D.W. Hwang, and H.S. Yang. 2003. Large submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) from a volcanic island. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 2098–2101. doi:10.1029/2003GL018378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Krest, J.M., W.S. Moore, L.R. Gardner, and J.T. Morris. 2000. Marsh nutrient export supplied by groundwater discharge: Evidence from radium measurements. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 14: 167–176. doi:10.1029/1999GB001197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marsh, Jr., J.A. 1977. Terrestrial inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus on fringing reefs of Guam. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Coral Reef Symposium, 332–336, Brisbane, Australia.Google Scholar
  24. Moore, W.S. 1976. Sampling 228Ra in the deep ocean. Deep-Sea Research 23: 647–651.Google Scholar
  25. Moore, W.S. 1996. Large groundwater inputs to coastal waters revealed by 226Ra enrichments. Nature 380: 612–614. doi:10.1038/380612a0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moore, W.S. 1999. The subterranean estuary: A reaction zone of ground water and sea water. Marine Chemistry 65: 111–125. doi:10.1016/S0304–4203(99)00014–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moore, W.S. 2000. Ages of continental shelf waters determined from 223Ra and 224Ra. Journal of Geophysical Research 105: 22117–22122. doi:10.1029/1999JC000289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moore, W.S., and R. Arnold. 1996. Measurement of 223Ra and 224Ra in coastal waters using a delayed coincidence counter Journal of Geophysical Research. 101(C1):1321–1329.Google Scholar
  29. Oshiro, R., and R. Fujioka. 1995. Sand, soil and pigeon droppings: sources of indicator bacteria in the waters of Hanauma Bay, O`ahu, Hawai`i. Water Science and Technology 31: 251–254. doi:10.1016/0273–1223(95)00275-R.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Paytan, A., G.G. Shellenbarger, J.H. Street, M.E. Gonneea, K. Davis, M.B. Young, and W.S. Moore. 2006. Submarine groundwater discharge: An important source of new inorganic nitrogen to coral reef ecosystems. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 343–348.Google Scholar
  31. Santos, I.R., W.C. Burnett, J. Chanton, B. Mwashote, I.G.N.A. Suryaputra, and T. Dittmar. 2008. Nutrient biogeochemistry in a Gulf of Mexico subterranean estuary and groundwater-derived fluxes to the coastal ocean. Limnology and Oceanography 532: 705–718.Google Scholar
  32. Scott, T.M., T.M. Jenkins, J. Lukasik, and J.B. Rose. 2005. Potential use of a host associated molecular marker in Enterococcus faecium as an index of human fecal pollution. Environmental Science and Technology 39: 283–287. doi:10.1021/es035267n.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shade, P.J. 1995. Water budget for the Island of Kaua`i, Hawai`i. Water resources investigation report 95-4128. Reston, VA: United States Geological Survey.Google Scholar
  34. Shankar, V., A.S. Baghdayan, M.M. Huycke, G. Lindahl, and M.S. Gilmore. 1999. Infection-derived Enterococcus faecalis strains are enriched in esp, a gene encoding a novel surface protein. Infection and Immunity 67: 193–200.Google Scholar
  35. Shellenbarger, G.G., S.G. Monismith, A. Genin, and A. Paytan. 2006. The importance of submarine groundwater discharge to the nearshore nutrient supply in the Gulf of Aqaba (Israel). Limnology and Oceanography 51: 1876–1886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Souza, V., M. Rocha, A. Valera, and L.E. Eguiarte. 1999. Genetic structure of natural populations of Escherichia coli in wild hosts on different continents. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65: 3373–3385.Google Scholar
  37. Storlazzi, C.D., M.K. Presto, J.B. Logan, and M.E. Field. 2006. Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua`i. Part I: Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity: June–August, 2005. Open File Report 2006-1085. Reston, VA: US Geological Survey.Google Scholar
  38. Street, J.H., K.L. Knee, E.E. Grossman, C.E. Storlazzi, and A. Paytan. 2008. Submarine groundwater discharge and nutrient addition to the coastal zone of leeward Hawai`i. Marine Chemistry 109: 355–376. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2007.08.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Taniguchi, M., W.C. Burnett, J.E. Cable, and J.V. Turner. 2002. Investigation of submarine groundwater discharge. Hydrological Processes 16: 2115–2129. doi:10.1002/hyp.1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whitman, R.L., K. Przybyla-Kelly, D.A. Shively, and M.N. Byappanahalli. 2007. Incidence of the Enterococcal Surface Protein (esp) gene in human and animal fecal sources. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 6090–6095. doi:10.1021/es070817t.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Winter, T.C., J.W. Harvey, O.L. Franke, and W.M. Alley. 1998. Ground water and surface water: A single resource. US Geological Survey Circular 1139.Google Scholar
  42. Yamahara, K.M., B.A. Layton, A.E. Santoro, and A.B. Boehm. 2007. Beach sands along the California coast are diffuse sources of fecal bacteria to coastal waters. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 4515–4521. doi:10.1021/es062822n.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen L. Knee
    • 1
    • 3
  • Blythe A. Layton
    • 2
  • Joseph H. Street
    • 1
    • 3
  • Alexandria B. Boehm
    • 2
  • Adina Paytan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geological and Environmental SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Environmental and Water Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Marine SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations