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Effect of Dissolved Organic Carbon on the Transport and Attachment Behaviors of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and Carboxylate-Modified Microspheres Advected through Temperate Humic and Tropical Volcanic Agricultural soil

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journal contribution
posted on 21.02.2012 by Arvind Mohanram, Chittaranjan Ray, David W Metge, Larry B Barber, Joseph N Ryan, Ronald W Harvey
Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and microspheres in two disparate (a clay- and Fe-rich, volcanic and a temperate, humic) agricultural soils were studied in the presence and absence of 100 mg L–1 of sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS), and Suwannee River Humic Acid (SRHA) at pH 5.0–6.0. Transport of carboxylate-modified, 1.8 μm microspheres in soil columns was highly sensitive to the nature of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC), whereas oocysts transport was more affected by soil mineralogy. SDBS increased transport of microspheres from 48% to 87% through the tropical soil and from 43% to 93% in temperate soil. In contrast, SRHA reduced transport of microspheres from 48% to 28% in tropical soil and from 43% to 16% in temperate soil. SDBS also increased oocysts transport through the temperate soil 5-fold, whereas no oocyst transport was detected in tropical soil. SRHA had only a nominal effect in increasing oocysts transport in tropical soil, but caused a 6-fold increase in transport through the temperate soil. Amendments of only 4 mg L–1 SRHA and SDBS decreased oocyst hydrophobicity from 66% to 20% and from 66% to 5%, respectively. However, SDBS increased microsphere hydrophobicity from 16% to 33%. Soil fines, which includes clays, and SRHA, both caused the oocysts zeta potential (ζ) to become more negative, but caused the highly hydrophilic microspheres to become less negatively charged. The disparate behaviors of the two colloids in the presence of an ionic surfactant and natural organic matter suggest that microspheres may not be suitable surrogates for oocysts in certain types of soils. These results indicate that whether or not DOC inhibits or promotes transport of oocysts and microspheres in agricultural soils and by how much, depends not only on the surface characteristics of the colloid, but the nature of the DOC and the soil mineralogy.