Matching Items (4)

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Comparative transport of E. coli and Legionella in 2-dimensional porous media tank

Description

The study was to analyze the extent of bacterial transport in a two-dimensional tank under saturated conditions. The experiments were done in a 2-D tank packed with 3,700 in3 of

The study was to analyze the extent of bacterial transport in a two-dimensional tank under saturated conditions. The experiments were done in a 2-D tank packed with 3,700 in3 of fine grained, homogenous, chemically inert sand under saturated conditions. The tank used for transport was decontaminated by backwashing with 0.6% chlorine solution with subsequent backwashing with chlorine-neutral water (tap water and Na2S2O3) thus ensuring no residual chlorine in the tank. The transport of bacteria was measured using samples collected from ports at vertical distances of 5, 15 and 25 inches (12.7, 38.1 and 63.5 cm) from the surface of the sand on both sides for the 2-D tank. An influent concentration of 105 CFU/mL was set as a baseline for both microbes and the percolation rate was set at 11.37 inches/day using a peristaltic pump at the bottom outlet. At depths of 5, 15 and 25 inches, E. coli breakthroughs were recorded at 5, 17 and 28 hours for the ports on the right side and 7, 17 and 29 hours for the ports on the left sides, respectively. At respective distances Legionella breakthroughs were recorded at 8, 22 and 35 hours for the ports on the right side and 9, 24, 36 hours for the ports on the left side, respectively which is homologous to its pleomorphic nature. A tracer test was done and the visual breakthroughs were recorded at the same depths as the microbes. The breakthroughs for the dye at depths of 5, 15 and 25 inches, were recorded at 13.5, 41 and 67 hours for the ports on the right side and 15, 42.5 and 69 hours for the ports on the left side, respectively. However, these are based on visual estimates and the physical breakthrough could have happened at the respective heights before the reported times. This study provided a good basis for the premise that transport of bacterial cells and chemicals exists under recharge practices.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Desert playa wetlands: ecological controls of their functioning and responses to climate change

Description

The Basin and Range province of southwestern USA are composed of different grassland and shrubland ecosystems. Particularly understudied ecosystems in this region are playas, which are ephemerally-flooded wetlands located in

The Basin and Range province of southwestern USA are composed of different grassland and shrubland ecosystems. Particularly understudied ecosystems in this region are playas, which are ephemerally-flooded wetlands located in topographic low areas of hydrologically-closed dryland catchments. There is not much known about the ecological functioning of playas and the role of playas within desert basins. Even less is known about how global change drivers may affect playas in the future. The main objective of this thesis was to better understand the ecological functioning and the impact of climate change on desert playa wetlands. I collected new data, used existing long-term data, and used simulation modelling techniques to address this objective. I compared playa soils to upland soils and found that playas were hotspots of soil organic carbon and nutrient storage within a desert basin. I also used existing data to analyze the response of above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) to annual precipitation in playas and upland ecosystems. I found that playa ANPP responded in a non-linear concave-down relationship with annual precipitation amount. Playa ANPP peaked in moderately wet years and declined in very wet years, which was most likely due to flooding; whereas, upland ANPP increased linearly with precipitation. I measured soil organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations in a representative subset of playas and measured the biophysical characteristics of the upland catchments associated with each playa. I found that both catchment geomorphology and vegetation cover were correlated to differences in soil organic carbon and nitrogen among playas. These results showed the importance external soil-inputs delivered via surface runon to playas. Finally, I empirically measured groundwater recharge beneath playas and combined these empirical data with modelling data to forecast how playa groundwater recharge may change in the future. I concluded that playas contribute to groundwater recharge in desert aquifers, playa runon is a strong predictor of playa groundwater recharge, and climate change will have a net-positive impact on groundwater recharge beneath playas. Overall, my thesis research increased the understanding of the role of desert playas on the functioning of dryland ecosystems.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Legionella-- a threat to groundwater, pathogen transport through recharge basin media columns

Description

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of L. pneumophila through engineered reclaimed water systems. A pilot-scale, column study was set up to measure Legionella transport in the columns under Arizona recharge basin conditions. Two columns, A and B, were packed to a depth of 122 cm with a loamy sand media collected from a recharge basin in Mesa, Arizona. The grain size distribution of Column A differed from that of Column B by the removal of fines passing the #200 sieve. The different soil profiles represented by column A and B allowed for further investigation of soil attributes which influence the microbial transport mechanism. Both clear PVC columns stand at a height of 1.83 m with an inner diameter of 6.35 cm. Sampling ports were drilled into the column at the soil depths 15, 30, 60, 92, 122 cm. Both columns were acclimated with tertiary treated waste water and set to a flow rate of approximately 1.5 m/d. The columns were used to assess the transport of a bacterial indicator, E. coli, in addition to assessing the study's primary pathogen of concern, Legionella. Approximately, 〖10〗^7 to 〖10〗^9 E. coli cells or 〖10〗^6 to 〖10〗^7Legionella cells were spiked into the columns' head waters for each experiment. Periodically, samples were collected from each column's sampling ports, until a minimum of three pore volume passed through the columns.

The pilot-scale, column study produced novel results which demonstrated the mechanism for Legionella to be transported through recharge basin soil. E. coli was transported, through 122 cm of the media in under 6 hours, whereas, Legionella was transported, through the same distance, in under 30 hours. Legionella has been shown to survive in low nutrient conditions for over a year. Given the novel results of this proof of concept study, a claim can be made for the transport of Legionella into groundwater aquifers through engineering recharge basin conditions, in Central Arizona.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Deep percolation in arid piedmont watersheds and its sensitivity to ecosystem change

Description

Population growth within drylands is occurring faster than growth in any other ecologic zone, putting pressure on already stressed water resources. Because the availability of surface water supplies in drylands

Population growth within drylands is occurring faster than growth in any other ecologic zone, putting pressure on already stressed water resources. Because the availability of surface water supplies in drylands tends to be highly variable, many of these populations rely on groundwater. A critical process contributing to groundwater recharge is the interaction between ephemeral channels and groundwater aquifers. Generally, it has been found that ephemeral channels contribute to groundwater recharge when streamflow infiltrates into the sandy bottoms of channels. This process has traditionally been studied in channels that drain large areas (10s to 100s km2). In this dissertation, I study the interactions between surface water and groundwater via ephemeral channels in a first-order watershed located on an arid piedmont slope within the Jornada Experimental Range (JER) in the Chihuahuan Desert. To achieve this, I utilize a combination of high-resolution observations and computer simulations using a modified hydrologic model to quantify groundwater recharge and shed light on the geomorphic and ecologic processes that affect the rate of recharge. Observational results indicate that runoff generated within the piedmont slope contributes significantly to deep percolation. During the short-term (6 yr) study period, we estimated 385 mm of total percolation, 62 mm/year, or a ratio of percolation to rainfall of 0.25. Based on the instrument network, we identified that percolation occurs inside channel areas when these receive overland sheetflow from hillslopes. By utilizing a modified version of the hydrologic model, TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS), that was calibrated and validated using the observational dataset, I quantified the effects of changing watershed properties on groundwater recharge. Distributed model simulations quantify how deep percolation is produced during the streamflow generation process, and indicate that it plays a significant role in moderating the production of streamflow. Sensitivity analyses reveal that hillslope properties control the amount of rainfall necessary to initiate percolation while channel properties control the partitioning of hillslope runoff into streamflow and deep percolation. Synthetic vegetation experiments show that woody plant encroachment leads to increases in both deep percolation and streamflow. Further woody plant encroachment may result in the unexpected enhancement of dryland aquifer sustainability.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017