Transport and retention of Cryptosporidium Parvum oocysts in sandy soils

Johanna Santamaría, Mark L. Brusseau, Juliana Araujo, Patricia Orosz-Coghlan, William J. Blanford, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A series of miscible-displacement experiments was conducted to examine the retention and transport behavior of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in natural porous media. Th ree soils and a model sand were used that differed in physical and geochemical properties. Transport behavior was examined under various treatment conditions to help evaluate retention mechanisms. Significant retention of Cryptosporidium oocysts was observed for all media despite the fact that conditions were unfavorable for physicochemical interactions with respect to DLVO theory. Th e magnitude of Cryptosporidium retention was not influenced significantly by alterations in solution chemistry (reduction in ionic strength) or soil surface properties (removal of soil organic matter and metal oxides). On the basis of the observed results, it appears that retention by secondary energy minima or geochemical microdomains was minimal for these systems. Th e porous media used for the experiments exhibited large magnitudes of surface roughness, and it is suggested that this surface roughness contributed significantly to oocyst retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1246-1252
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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