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Transport of Escherichia Coli in Soil Columns under Different Temperature and Flow Conditions

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Author(s): A. Safadoust | A. Mahboubi | M. R. Mosaddeghi | GH. Khodakaramian | A. Heydari

Journal: Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources
ISSN 1028-7655

Volume: 16;
Issue: 57;
Start page: 183;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Nalidixic acid-resistant Escherichia coli | Weathered soil | Steady-state flow | Filtration coefficient | Relative adsorption index

ABSTRACT
In this study, the transport of nalidixic acid-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli NAR) through two soils of sandy loam and clay loam was investigated. Saturated and unsaturated flow conditions were applied at two temperatures of 5 and 20ºC. Leaching was done using large repaired soil columns which had been subjected to physical weathering. A 20-cm diameter disk infiltrometer was set up to establish the steady-state flow conditions. Effluent was sampled at three depths of 15, 30 and 45 cm of soil columns. Saturated flow condition, temperature of 20 ºC and clay loam soil resulted in increasing the bacteria concentration in the leachate. Filtration coefficient and relative adsorption indices in sandy loam soil (average flow conditions, temperature and depth) were greater than those of clay loam soil with the respective values of 33% and 23%. These results may be related to the instability of soil structure and abundance of micropores in the sandy loam columns. In other words, the bacteria were physically blocked and entrapped in the fine pores of sandy loam soil. Effluent bacteria concentration decreased by depth of soil column, indicating the effect of soil on bacterial filtration as a natural filter. Leaching with cold water led to decrement of flow rate and consequently increment of bacterial filtration in the two soils of clay loam and sandy loam (average flow conditions, temperature and depth) with the respective values of 100% and 68%.
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