Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Political Science, Statistics

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Published Version

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Journal or Book Title

Science of The Total Environment



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Research Focus Area(s)

Land and Water Resources Engineering




This study evaluated the influence of temporal variation on the occurrence, fate, and transport of tylosin (TYL) and sulfamethazine (SMZ); antibiotics commonly used in swine production. Atrazine (ATZ) was used as a reference analyte to indicate the agricultural origin of the antibiotics. We also assessed the impact of season and hydrology on antibiotic concentrations. A reconnaissance study of the South Fork watershed of the Iowa River (SFIR), was conducted from 2013 to 2015. Tile drain effluent and surface water were monitored using polar organic integrative sampler (POCIS) technology. Approximately 169 animal feeding operations (AFOs) exist in SFIR, with 153 of them being swine facilities. All analytes were detected, and detection frequencies ranged from 69 to 100% showing the persistence in the watershed. Antibiotics were detected at a higher frequency using POCIS compared to grab samples. We observed statistically significant seasonal trends for SMZ and ATZ concentrations during growing and harvest seasons. Time weighted average (TWA) concentrations quantified from the POCIS were 1.87 ng L− 1 (SMZ), 0.30 ng L− 1 (TYL), and 754.2 ng L− 1 (ATZ) in the watershed. SMZ and TYL concentrations were lower than the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for E. coli. All analytes were detected in tile drain effluent, confirming tile drainage as a pathway for antibiotic transport. Our results identify the episodic occurrence of antibiotics, and highlights the importance identifying seasonal fate and occurrence of these analytes.


This article is published as Washington, M.T., T.B. Moorman, M.L. Soupir, M. Shelley and A.J. Morrow. 2018. Monitoring tylosin and sulfamethazine in a tile-drained agricultural watershed using polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS). Science of the Total Environment 612: 358–367, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.090. Posted with permission.


Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official work duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.



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