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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443978

Research Project: Modeling Fate and Transport of Indicator and Pathogenic Organisms to Assess Microbial Water Quality of Irrigation Water Sources

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-42610-001-011-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2023
End Date: May 31, 2027

Microbial fate and transport are leading factors of irrigation water impairment and consequent food safety, public health, and agricultural enterprise sustainability issues. The site-specific mechanistic modeling of the fate and transport processes has been the efficient means to estimate the pollution risks and efficacy of agricultural management practices. The objective of this work is to develop the modeling capabilities for the mechanistic water quality model APEX (Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender) with the purpose of site-specific evaluation of risks exceeding microbial water quality standards in surface water sources for irrigation.

The add-on module will be developed for the APEX model that will account for deposition, runoff transport, survival in soil and animal waste, infiltration, survival in bottom sediment and periphyton, hyporheic exchange, survival in the water column, direct deposits of animal waste to the water column, release to water column due to the sediment resuspension. The integrity of the APEX code will be preserved. Field data will be collected to validate the APEX microbial add-on.