State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2009KY128B
Title: Tracing the fate of Nitrogen-15 in isotopcially-labeled E. coli and determining fecal indicator die-off rates in an Inner Bluegrass karst basin, central Kentucky
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: Kentucky 6th
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Water Quality, Methods
Keywords: karst aquifer, groundwater quality, indicator microorganisms, groundwater tracers, bacterial survival
Principal Investigator: Fryar, Alan (University of Kentucky)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 18,464
Abstract: A novel tracer method using N-15 as a label has been developed to closely track the transport of bacteria, a common contaminant, through karst aquifers. Information on the fate of the N-15 label, such as after the microorganism dies, can extend the applicability of the tracing method. The proposed research will attempt to supplement understanding of the newly developed E. coli labeling method by investigating what happens to the nitrogen as isotopically enriched E. coli die in a laboratory experiment. The lab results will be compared with a field experiment examining E. coli die-off rates in a karst aquifer near Lexington, Kentucky. This study should extend the applicability of the method, allowing future research to be performed in new settings and over longer time intervals.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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