Bacteria Contaminant Interactions
Ronald W. Harvey
U.S. Geological Survey, National Research Program

From this page you can get a description of our current activities, get a listing of recent  publications and 
link other USGS sites. 


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visits since Aug, 1997.

Last Update 08/31/09


       Collaborative Projects

  USGS Post doctoral program works on the interaction with bacterial isolates with aquifer mineralogy.  The project will investigate how mineral composition controls the degree of subsurface migration in sandy aquifer material.  

  Ohio EPA-Funded project with USGS-Ohio works on the processes
that influence the subsurface transport of Cryptosporidium from river systems to public water supply wells.  The initial project has involved the examination of different soil/sediment types and water chemical matrices that promote oocyst movement in sediments.

    USGS NRP-funded project with SUNY, Buffalo is designed to investigate the mechanisms controlling microbial movement in fractured-rock aquifers.  An injection and recovery experiment with several indigenous bacterial isolates has been performed.  Several laboratory experiments with core material and bacterial isolates are planned for the next year.

   EPA-funded project with CU - Boulder to work on mechanisms controlling viral transport in subsurface environments. Work has included injection and recovery experiments at the Cape Cod Toxics Site with single and dual radioisotope-labeled bacteriophage (nonpathogenic). These experiments help us understand the mechanisms of viral sorption, desorption, inactivation, and transport within both contaminated and uncontaminated regions. Findings have included viral sorption-desorption kinetics, influence of surfactants upon viral transport, and rates of viral inactivation in subsurface systems.

  EPRI & Breckinridge, CO-funded project with CSM, Golden, CO to investigate mechanisms affecting pathogen survival and movement in small-scale residential systems in alpine areas of the Rocky Mountains (to begin Dec, 2000).

NSF project with University of New Hampshire and the British Museum of Natural History has focused on laboratory and field experiments.  These were designed to understand the ecological role of protozoa in contaminated aquifers, describe mechanisms controlling protozoan transport in the subsurface, understand how protozoan-bacterial communities interact under contaminant conditions, and describe types of protozoa found in subsurface environments. The future of this work will focus on pathogenic protozoa (Cryptosporidium/Giardia) and how they become transported in aquifer environments. Findings have included the first taxonomy of subsurface protozoa, mechanisms controlling the rate of protozoan transport, grazing rates of protozoa upon the bacterial community, carefully monitored changes in population dynamics, and advancements in proper culture techniques for isolation and characterization of subsurface protozoa.

    USGS Massachusetts District collaboration has focused upon the mechanisms controlling bacterial transport with both cultured isolates and indigenous bacterial populations within contaminated and uncontaminated regions of the Cape Cod Aquifer. Findings have included widely cited parameters for bacterial transport and methods used in injection and recovery experiments. Additionally, coupled field and laboratory experiments have helped better understand the importance of specific mechanisms such as sorption-desorption, microbial buoyant density, and pH have in controlling bacterial transport.  

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