Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm

Extension Number

RER A9116

Publication Date



Pathogen contamination of water supplies is now considered one of the top water quality issues in the United States and worldwide. Continual application of livestock manure may contribute to nonpoint source pollution by releasing microbial pathogens including bacteria, virus, and protozoa, through runoff and subsurface drainage water to surface and ground water. Many studies have been conducted in the laboratories and fields to understand the preferential flow through macropores. But no experiments in the field have been conducted to examine the breakthrough curve of pathogen and/or Escherichia coliform (E.coli) with directly connected macropores. The objective of this research is to address the transport of pathogens (specifically the indicator organism E. coli) through soils, and more specifically the role of macropores in the transport of E. coli to subsurface drains. A greater understanding and more theoretical modeling approach is needed to understand the role of directly connected macropores on pathogen transport to subsurface drainage.

Copyright Owner

Iowa State University



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