Bacterial contamination of tile drainage water and shallow groundwater under different application methods of liquid swine manure.

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology (Impact Factor: 1.18). 04/2012; 58(5):668-77. DOI: 10.1139/w2012-038
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A 2 year field experiment evaluated liquid manure application methods on the movement of manure-borne pathogens (Salmonella sp.) and indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens) to subsurface water. A combination of application methods including surface application, pre-application tillage, and post-application incorporation were applied in a randomized complete block design on an instrumented field site in spring 2007 and 2008. Tile and shallow groundwater were sampled immediately after manure application and after rainfall events. Bacterial enumeration from water samples showed that the surface-applied manure resulted in the highest concentration of E. coli in tile drainage water. Pre-tillage significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the movement of manure-based E. coli and C. perfringens to tile water and to shallow groundwater within 3 days after manure application (DAM) in 2008 and within 10 DAM in 2007. Pre-tillage also decreased the occurrence of Salmonella sp. in tile water samples. Indicator bacteria and pathogens reached nondetectable levels within 50 DAM. The results suggest that tillage before application of liquid swine manure can minimize the movement of bacteria to tile and groundwater, but is effective only for the drainage events immediately after manure application or initial rainfall-associated drainage flows. Furthermore, the study highlights the strong association between bacterial concentrations in subsurface waters and rainfall timing and volume after manure application.

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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the potential for controlled tile drainage (CD) to reduce bacteria and nutrient loading to surface water and groundwater from fall-season liquid manure application (LMA) on four macroporous clay loam plots, of which two had CD and two had free-draining (FD) tiles. Rhodamine WT (RWT) was mixed into the manure and monitored in the tile water and groundwater following LMA. Tile water and groundwater quality were influenced by drainage management. Following LMA on the FD plots, RWT, nutrients, and bacteria moved rapidly via tiles to surface water; at the CD plots, tiles did not flow until the first post-LMA rainfall, so the immediate risk of LMA-induced contamination of surface water was abated. During the 36-d monitoring period, flow-weighted average specific conductance, redox potential, and turbidity, as well as total Kjeldahl N (TKN), total P (TP), NH-N, reactive P, and RWT concentrations, were higher in the CD tile effluent; however, because of lower tile discharge from the CD plots, there was no significant ( ≤ 0.05) difference in surface water nutrient and RWT loading between the CD and FD plots when all tiles were flowing. The TKN, TP, and RWT concentrations in groundwater also tended to be higher at the CD plots. Bacteria behaved differently than nutrients and RWT, with no significant difference in total coliform, , fecal coliform, fecal streptococcus, and concentrations between the CD and FD tile effluent; however, for all but , hourly loading was higher from the FD plots. Results indicate that CD has potential for mitigating bacteria movement to surface water.
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