Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit » Research » Research Project #436838

Research Project: Multi-Soil-Layering Technology for Removal of Antibiotic, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes from Soil Columns

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit

Project Number: 2036-12320-011-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

Objective:
Develop effective low-cost bioreactor, multi-soil layering, and constructed wetland approaches for the removal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes from wastewater. The overall goal is to limit the transfer of these contaminants and mitigate the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

Approach:
Continue with lab scale experiments to determine the optimal parameters (e.g., flow rate/residence time) and media (e.g., sand, gravel, soil, biochar, nanoparticles) that yield the best removal capacity for antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes. Quantify the contributions of (i) adsorption onto the various media and (ii) chemical and biological degradation to contaminant removal from the wastewater. To date, our experiments have largely focused on antibiotic removal. The next steps will include assessment of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes removal, as well as the use of actual wastewater that naturally contains these contaminants. In the future, the system will be scaled up to greenhouse or plot experiments that include vegetation. The effectiveness of these systems in the treatment of wastewater will be quantified and the relevant chemical/biological removal mechanisms elucidated.