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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 4, p. 1246-1252
    Received: Oct 14, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): Brusseau@email.arizona.edu
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Transport and Retention of Cryptosporidium Parvum Oocysts in Sandy Soils

  1. Johanna Santamaríaa,
  2. Mark L. Brusseau *ab,
  3. Juliana Araujob,
  4. Patricia Orosz-Coghlana,
  5. William J. Blanfordb and
  6. Charles P. Gerbaa
  1. a Dep. of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
    b Dep. of Hydrology and Water Resources, The Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. Assigned to Associate Editor A. Mark Ibekwe


A series of miscible-displacement experiments was conducted to examine the retention and transport behavior of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in natural porous media. Three soils and a model sand were used that differed in physical and geochemical properties. Transport behavior was examined under various treatment conditions to help evaluate retention mechanisms. Significant retention of Cryptosporidium oocysts was observed for all media despite the fact that conditions were unfavorable for physicochemical interactions with respect to DLVO theory. The magnitude of Cryptosporidium retention was not influenced significantly by alterations in solution chemistry (reduction in ionic strength) or soil surface properties (removal of soil organic matter and metal oxides). On the basis of the observed results, it appears that retention by secondary energy minima or geochemical microdomains was minimal for these systems. The porous media used for the experiments exhibited large magnitudes of surface roughness, and it is suggested that this surface roughness contributed significantly to oocyst retention.

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