2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM

Pathogen Source Characterization and Groundwater Occurrence in CAFOs

LI, Xunde, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, WATANABE, Naoko, Land, Air, and Water Resources, University of California, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, ATWILL, E. Rob, University of California - Davis, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, BERGAMASCHI, Brian, California Water Science Center, United States Geological Survey, 6000 J. Street, Placer Hall, Sacramento, CA 95819 and HARTER, Thomas, Dept. Land, Air, and Water Resources, University of California - Davis, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, xdli@ucdavis.edu

Intense animal husbandry is of growing concern as a potential contamination source of enteric pathogens as well as antibiotics. To assess the public health risk from pathogens and their hydrologic pathways, we hypothesize that the animal farm is not a homogeneous diffuse source, but that pathogen loading to the soil and, therefore, to groundwater varies significantly between the various management units of a farm. A dairy farm, for example, may include an area with calf hutches, corrals for heifers of various ages, freestalls and exercise yards for milking cows, separate freestalls for dry cows, a hospital barn, a yard for collection of solid manure, a liquid manure storage lagoon, and fields receiving various amounts of liquid and solid manure. Pathogen shedding and, hence, therapeutic and preventive pharmaceutical treatments vary between these management units. We implemented a field reconnaissance program to determine the occurrence of three different pathogens ({\it E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter}) and one indicator organism ({\it Enterococcus}) at the ground-surface and in shallow groundwater of seven different management units on each of two farms, and in each of four seasons (spring/dry season, summer/irrigation season, fall/dry season, winter/rainy season). Results show that significant differences exist in the source occurrence of these pathogens between management units and between organisms. These differences are weakly reflected in their occurrence in groundwater, despite the similarity of the shallow geologic environment across these sites. Our results demonstrate the importance of differentiating sources within a dairy farm.