Rising temperatures enable E. coli to survive longer, he said. Frequent storms cause more runoff or agitate pathogens already in the soil.
“When they look at E. coli and find it in water, that’s not pathogenic per se,” he explained. “But it certainly could indicate that you’ve got fecal contamination with all these pathogens that can make us ill.”
Warriner is a professor in the Department of Food Science, where he researches food safety, food microbiology and pathogens.