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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 5, p. 1692-1701
    Received: Jan 25, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): sbradford@ussl.ars.usda.gov
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Transport of Coliphage in the Presence and Absence of Manure Suspension

  1. Scott A. Bradford *a,
  2. Yadata F. Tadassaa and
  3. Yan Jinb
  1. a USDA-ARS, George E. Brown, Jr., Salinity Laboratory, 450 W. Big Springs Road, Riverside CA 92507-4617
    b Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716


Mechanisms of coliphage transport and fate in the presence and absence of manure suspension were studied in saturated column experiments. In the presence of manure suspension, little inactivation of indigenous somatic coliphage occurred and the transport was controlled by deposition. The deposition followed a power law distribution with depth, and the magnitude increased with decreasing sand size. Comparison of the cumulative size distribution of manure components in the suspension initially and after passage through sand, suggested that particles retained by mechanical filtration and/or straining decreased the effective pore size and potentially induced straining of the somatic coliphage. A 2-site kinetic deposition model was used to estimate the magnitudes of attachment and straining in the presence of manure suspension, and provided a good description of the data. Modeling results indicated that straining accounted for 16 to 42% of the deposited somatic coliphage, and that both straining and attachment increased with decreasing sand size due to smaller pores and higher surface area, respectively. In the absence of manure suspension, ϕX174 (a representative somatic coliphage) and MS2 (a male-specific RNA coliphage) transport was controlled by inactivation induced by the solid phase. This conclusion was based on comparison of coliphage transport behavior at 5 and 20°C, mass balance information, and numerical modeling. Comparison of somatic coliphage transport data in the presence and absence of manure suspension revealed much higher effluent concentrations in the presence of manure. This difference was attributed to lower inactivation and higher detachment rates. The observed coliphage transport behavior suggests that survival of viruses may be extended in the presence of manure suspensions, and that transport studies conducted in the absence of manure suspension may not accurately characterize the transport potential of viruses in manure-contaminated environments.

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