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Biological Integrity

Introduction

Aquatic Alien Invasive Species: Living with the Uncertainty of Biological Pollution in the Great Lakes

Creating a Regional Approach: What We Can Do Better

Implement a Great Lakes Biologically Protective Standard

Require Certification of Technology to Achieve the Standard

Require Enhanced Ballast Management Practices for No Ballast on Board (NOBOBs)

Promote Ongoing Regional Cooperation

Develop Measures to Ensure Compliance

Enlist the Assistance of the International Joint Commission

Recommendations

Microbial Contamination

Where are the Pathogens Coming From?

Detecting Pathogens and Assessing Risks

Gaps in Pathogen Detection

The Emergence of New Pathogens

The Walkerton Tragedy: A Lesson for the Great Lakes?

As Population Grows, Water Infrastructure Must Be Updated

Conclusions

Recommendation

Figures

 

Pathogenic Organisms

Conclusions

Systems for waste collection and water treatment and distribution around the Great Lakes are inadequate, or in decline. Increasing pressures from agriculture, development, industry, population growth, and urban expansion will require coordinated actions by all those responsible for managing watersheds and water resources to fully protect ecosystem and public health. Coordination among jurisdictions, and the importance of jurisdictions to consider watersheds as the basic planning units are urged.

Improved, more efficient and more sensitive tools and methods are needed to monitor and model microbial risks to surface water and ground water. Watershed-wide risk reduction and management approaches that adequately protect the safety of water supplies are absolutely essential. Measures to detect, treat, and respond to multiple contaminants including microbial contaminants and their toxins, traditional pollutants, and emerging compounds of concern (such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotics and personal care products) are also needed.