Increasing amounts of livestock manure are being applied to agricultural soil, but it is unknown to what extent this may be associated with contamination of aquatic recipients and groundwater if microorganisms are transported through the soil under natural weather conditions. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate how injection and surface application of pig slurry on intact sandy clay loam soil cores influenced the leaching of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium bacteriophage 28B, Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. All three microbial tracers were detected in the leachate on day 1, and the highest relative concentration was detected on the fourth day (0.1 pore volume). Although the concentration of the phage 28B declined over time, the phage was still found in leachate at day 148. C. parvum oocysts and chloride had an additional rise in the relative concentration at a 0.5 pore volume, corresponding to the exchange of the total pore volume. The leaching of E. coli was delayed compared with that of the added microbial tracers, indicating a stronger attachment to slurry particles, but E. coli could be detected up to 3 months. Significantly enhanced leaching of phage 28B and oocysts by the injection method was seen, whereas leaching of the indigenous E. coli was not affected by the application method. Preferential flow was the primary transport vehicle, and the diameter of the fractures in the intact soil cores facilitated transport of all sizes of microbial tracers under natural weather conditions.
- Programområde 2: Vandressourcer