Factors that influence the transport of Bacillus cereus spores through sand

Minyoung Kim, Stephanie A. Boone, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The goal of this study is to clarify the surface-chemical and microphysical variables that influence bacterial spore transport through soil, thereby defining the factors that may affect spore transport velocity. Bacillus cereus spores were continuously monitored in a soil column under saturated conditions with experimental variations in soil grain size (0.359 and 0.718 mm), pH (7.2 and 8.5), and water flow rate (1.3 and 3.0 mL/min). Increasing soil grain size, flow rate, and pH resulted in enhanced spore movement. Spore transport increased 82% when soil grain size was doubled. An increase in effluent flow rate from 1.3 to 3.0 mL/min increased spore movement by 71%. An increase in pH increased spore transport by 53%. The increase in hydrodynamic forces resulting from the larger grain size soil and higher flow rate functioned to overcome the hydrophobic nature of the spore's coat, and the interparticle bonding forces between the spore and soil particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Bacillus cereus
  • Flow rate
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Soil grain size
  • Spore transport
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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