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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 3, p. 749-757
    Received: June 7, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): sbradford@ussl.ars.usda.gov
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Transport of Giardia and Manure Suspensions in Saturated Porous Media

  1. Scott A. Bradford *a,
  2. Yadata F. Tadassaa and
  3. Yakov Pachepskyb
  1. a USDA–ARS, George E. Brown Jr. Salinity Lab., 450 W. Big Springs Rd., Riverside, CA 92507-4617
    b USDA–ARS, Environmental Microbial Safety Lab., Bldg. 173, Rm. 203, BARC–East Power Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD 20705


Experiments were conducted to elucidate the transport behavior of cysts of Giardia and manure suspensions through several aquifer sands. Decreasing the median grain size of the sand resulted in lower peak effluent concentrations and increased deposition of the Giardia and manure particles in the sand near the column inlet. The effluent concentration curves for the manure suspensions also exhibited asymmetric shapes that tended to include larger particle sizes as the manure suspension was continuously added. Simulations of the transport of Giardia and manure particles using a simple and flexible power law model for the solid-water mass exchange term provided a satisfactory description of the effluent and spatial distribution data. The cumulative size distribution (CSD) of manure particles in the suspension initially and after passage through the packed columns was used to identify the mechanisms that were controlling the deposition of manure particles and Giardia The CSD data indicated that manure particles were completely removed at early times by mechanical filtration and/or straining when the ratio of the particle to the median grain diameter was greater than 0.003 to 0.017. However, the CSD changed with increasing time due to deposition-induced filling of straining sites. The Giardia transport was controlled by straining. For a given sand, higher effluent concentrations of Giardia were observed in the presence than in the absence of manure suspension. The relative increase of Giardia in the effluent concentrations varied from 75 to 172%. Hence, pathogen transport studies conducted in the absence of manure suspension may underestimate transport potential in manure-contaminated environments.

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Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA