Modelling bacteria transport through vegetative filter strips

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Moharir, Ashwini

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Cropland runoff from manure applied fields and runoff from manure storage facilities may contribute significantly to bacterial contamination of streams and other surface water bodies in Ontario. Vegetative Filter Strips (VFS) are used to intercept the bacteria reaching surface water bodies. In this study a component for the transport of bacteria ('E.coli') through the VFS has been incorporated into the Guelph Design tool for VFS (GDVFS) model. Experiments were conducted to develop the partition coefficient for 'E.coli.' Processes simulated in the transport of free floating and particulate bacteria include infiltration, deposition, adsorption to vegetation and resuspension. Sensitivity analysis, calibration and validation of the model were performed using the data collected from the experiments. The model was found sensitive to the initial soil moisture content and performed better for free floating rather than for particulate bacteria. The incorporation of the bacteria component has increased the capability of the GDVFS in designing the VFS.

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Keywords

vegetative filter strips, bacteria transport, modelling, Guelph, design tool, Escherichia coli

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