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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bacterial Analysis of Dairy Wastewater, a Molecular Approach

Authors
item McGarvey, Jeffery
item Ravva, Subbarao
item Stanker, Larry
item Miller, William
item Sanchez, Susan - UNIV. OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 27, 2004
Publication Date: February 13, 2004
Citation: McGarvey, J.A., Ravva, S.V., Stanker, L.H., Miller, W.G., Sanchez, S. Bacterial analysis of dairy wastewater, a molecular approach. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: Modern dairy farms produce large amounts of animal waste that must be managed to ensure good animal as well as human health. On many dairies the milking cows are housed in free stall barns where the animals defecate and urinate on cement floors. Twice daily the waste is removed from the floors by flushing water across the floors. The water and the solids are segregated using either a series of earthen separator pits or by mechanical separators. The solids are commonly used as soil amendment or animal bedding while the liquid is pumped into holding lagoons. The water in the lagoons is used to flush the free stalls and as an inexpensive fertilizer that can be efficiently pumped to surrounding crop fields. Although this type of waste system is common, little is known about the bacteria that inhabit them. Furthermore, some believe that waste water holding lagoons may be environmental reservoirs for disease causing bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and pathogenic Mycobacteria spp. At the USDA in Albany CA we are examining the bacterial populations that inhabit waste water lagoons, screening the lagoons for disease causing bacteria, and performing studies to determine what factors allow disease causing bacteria to survive in these environments.

Technical Abstract: Modern dairy farms produce large amounts of animal waste that must be managed to ensure good animal as well as human health. On many dairies the milking cows are housed in free stall barns where the animals defecate and urinate on cement floors. Twice daily the waste is removed from the floors by flushing water across the floors. The water and the solids are segregated using either a series of earthen separator pits or by mechanical separators. The solids are commonly used as soil amendment or animal bedding while the liquid is pumped into holding lagoons. The water in the lagoons is used to flush the free stalls and as an inexpensive fertilizer that can be efficiently pumped to surrounding crop fields. Although this type of waste system is common, little is known about the bacteria that inhabit them. Furthermore, some believe that waste water holding lagoons may be environmental reservoirs for disease causing bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and pathogenic Mycobacteria spp. At the USDA in Albany CA we are examining the bacterial populations that inhabit waste water lagoons, screening the lagoons for disease causing bacteria, and performing studies to determine what factors allow disease causing bacteria to survive in these environments.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014