Submitted to: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Much interest exists, worldwide, in removing viruses by soil passage, either for protection of groundwater, or as treatment of surface water that is subsequently used for drinking water. Both groundwater as well as surface water may be contaminated with pathogenic viruses from various fecal sources. A considerable amount of research has been carried out on the processes that determine virus removal by soil passage, both at the laboratory and field scale. Virus removal during subsurface transport is due to a complex interplay of processes, of which inactivation and adsorption are of major importance. In addition, processes of advection, dispersion and dilution cause spreading of viruses and thus affect virus concentrations. Bacteriophage removal by soil passage in two field studies was re-analyzed with the goal to investigate differences between one- and two-dimensional modeling approaches, differences between one- and two-site kinetic sorption models, and the role of heterogeneities in the soil properties.
Technical Abstract: Bacteriophage removal by soil passage in two field studies was re-analyzed with the goal to investigate differences between one- and two-dimensional modeling approaches, differences between one- and two-site kinetic sorption models, and the role of heterogeneities in the soil properties. The first study involved removal of bacteriophages MS2 and PRD1 by dune recharge, while the second study represented removal of MS2 by deep well injection. In both studies, removal was higher during the first meters of soil passage than thereafter. The software packages HYDRUS-1D and HYDRUS-2D, which simulate water flow and solute transport in one- and two-dimensional variably saturated porous media, respectively, were used. The two codes were modified by incorporating reversible adsorption to two types of kinetic sites. Tracer concentrations were used first to calibrate flow and transport parameters of both models before analyzing transport of bacteriophages. The one-dimensional one-site model did not fully describe the tails of the measured breakthrough curves of MS2 and PRD1 from the dune recharge study. While the one-dimensional one-site model predicted a sudden decrease in virus concentrations immediately after the peaks, measured data displayed much smoother decline and tailing. The one-dimensional two-site model simulated the overall behavior of the breakthrough curves very well. The two-dimensional one-site model predicted a more gradual decrease in virus concentrations after the peaks than the one-dimensional one-site model, but not as good as the one-dimensional two-site model. The dimensionality of the problem hence can partly explain the smooth decrease in concentration after peak breakthrough. The two-dimensional two-site model provided the best results. Similarly, a two-site model performed better than the one-site model in describing MS2 concentrations for the deep well injection study. However, the concentration data were too sparse in this study to have much confidence in the fitted parameters.