Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 2, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidium parvum is now recognized as an emerging pathogen that has been found in many drinking water sources. Sometimes associated with infected cattle, it causes gastroenteritis in humans. The movement of C. parvum oocysts through soil into surface waters is not well understood. In this first of a three part presentation, we discuss the rationale and site description of a project designed to improve our knowledge of the mechanisms and processes that contribute to contamination of small streams and shallow groundwater by these microorganisms from catchments used for cattle grazing. The field site was located near Watkinsville, GA. A 40x30 m site at the outlet of an 8-ha grazing catchment just above a spring was intensively instrumented to quantify the hydrologic balance. Tracer experiments were conducted using bromide and non-reactive latex polystyrene microspheres as surrogates to C. parvum oocysts. Breakthrough was monitored along the flow path toward the spring, and at the spring itself. Characterization of the field site has improved the understanding of dynamic hydrologic processes. Microspheres were detected in the spring water within 20 days after injection. The results will help in developing amelioration strategies to reduce transport of pathogen-sized particles into surface waters.