Enterovirus and Bacteriophage Inactivation in Subsurface Waters and Translocation in Soil
Inactivation of poliovirus 1, coxsackievirus B-1 and bacteriophages was studied in surface and subsurface waters and in septic tank liquor. In situ experiments were conducted in Rio Grande River water and in shallow ground water using dialysis membrane chambers with sidewalls constructed of dialysis tubing. Laboratory inactivation studies were performed using deep groundwater and septic tank liquor. Additionally, soil adsorption-elution characteristics of the viruses and bacteriophages studied using the surface and subsurface waters as eluents.
Results showed that the viruses and bacteriophages were inactivated at different rates in the waters tested. The rate of inactivation varied with virus and bacteriophage type and with water type. Extended survival of poliovirus 1 and coxsackievirus B-1 was demonstrated in shallow groundwater and septic tank liquor when compared to survival in deep groundwater. Inactivation of bacteriophages was generally faster than the viruses, and statistical comparison of inactivation rates showed that none of the bacteriophages studied would serve as suitablegeneral indicators of enteric virus inactivation in the waters tested.
Soil adsorption-elution studies showed that virus adsorption characteristics varied with virus, water, and soil type. The elution of the enteric viruses from soils was more efficient with septic tank liquor and deep groundwater. The results suggest that a health hazard could exist if pathogenic, enteric viruses were introduced into surface and groundwaters which are destined for domestic or other uses. The results also show that it is impossible to make valid generalizations regarding virus survival or virus soil adsorption characteristics based on studies using only one virus, soil, or water type.
Project No. A-052-NMEX