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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Fate and Transport of 17β-Estradiol beneath Animal Waste Holding Ponds


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 3, p. 982-988
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Aug 20, 2014
    Accepted: Jan 20, 2015
    Published: March 20, 2015

    * Corresponding author(s): laduncan@utk.edu
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  1. Lori A. Duncan *,
  2. John S. Tyner,
  3. John R. Buchanan,
  4. Shawn A. Hawkins and
  5. Jaehoon Lee
  1. Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, Univ. of Tennessee, 2506 EJ Chapman Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996


Concentrated animal feeding operations typically store livestock waste in clay-lined ponds. Although these ponds are regulated to include a liner with a small hydraulic conductivity to limit leaching, previous studies have traced surface and groundwater contamination from such regulated animal waste ponds. This research examined the transport of 17β-estradiol (E2) and its primary metabolite, estrone (E1), through soil liners using field- and laboratory-based studies. Additionally, a potential engineering solution to limit hormone transport—applying biochar to new pond liners to act as a retardant—was studied. Soil cores 80 cm in length were collected beneath a mature dairy waste pond and analyzed for moisture content and hormone concentrations. Unsaturated conditions and E2 concentrations of 4 to 250 ng g−1 were detected beneath the waste pond. In the laboratory portion of the study, hand-packed columns of sand or clay were subjected to infiltration by a 2.3-m head of dairy waste. A subset of the hand-packed sand columns was amended with powdered biochar to test its ability to retard E2 and E1. For 3 mo, column leachate was analyzed for hormone concentrations, and at the conclusion of the study E2 and E1 concentrations in the soil were measured. In the 44 d after sealing, the clay, sand, sand with a thin layer of biochar, and sand mixed with a biochar amendment leached a total of 0.54, 1.3, 0.09, and 0.45 μg of E2, respectively. The biochar amendments to the hand-packed columns considerably minimized E2 in the leachate.

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Copyright © 2015. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.