Entrainment of E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes from sediment in irrigation canal

Kun Qi, Erfan Ghasemi Tousi, Jennifer Guohong Duan, Patricia Marie Gundy, Kelly Rae Bright, Charles Peter Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes (or L. monocytogenes) are bacteria affecting fresh produce that is harmful for health of humans and animals. If these bacteria are present in surface waterbody (e.g., irrigation canals), they will impair irrigation water quality and threaten produce safety. This paper studied the resuspension of E. coli and Listeria from bed sediment into irrigation water through several sets of laboratory experiments in an open channel flume. We studied three types of sediments using several flow rates in different velocities and shear stress. Bacteria's concentration in water increases with the bed shear stress. Two empirical relations were derived to correlate the concentration of E. coli and L. monocytogenes with the dimensionless bed shear stress. The experimental data favorably verified the relationships for sandy loam, loamy sand, and loam. The results showed that both bacteria could entrain from sand more efficiently compared to other sediments (i.e., sandy loam or loam). These relationships can be applied to water quality models for simulating E. coli and L. monocytogenes transport in irrigation canals for better managing irrigation water quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-714
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sediment Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Bacteria
  • E. coli
  • Irrigation water
  • L. monocytogenes
  • Sediment model
  • Sediment transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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