State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project Id: 2010KY147B
Title: Mobililty of Nitrogen-15 enriched E. coli within the Royal Spring basin, Kentucky
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: KY Sixth
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Water Quality, Methods
Keywords: karst aquifer, indicator microorganisms, groundwater tracer
Principal Investigator: Fryar, Alan (University of Kentucky)
Federal Funds: $ 3,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 7,919
Abstract: The Cane Run watershed is located in Scott and Fayette counties in central Kentucky. This watershed drains an area of 28,562 acres including both urban and rural landscapes. The groundwater basin that underlies much of the watershed drains to Royal Spring, which provides water for the city of Georgetown. We intend to conduct tracer tests using fluorescent dye (tentatively, rhodamine WT) and Nitrogen-15 labeled E. coli bacteria along the Royal Spring trunk conduit beneath Cane Run. We anticipate that these traces will provide an improved understanding of the movement of fecal bacteria in karst aquifers. There have been few studies of bacterial survival in karst environments and to our knowledge the proposed research would be the first study of labeled bacterial transport in groundwater over distances on the order of 10 km in a karst system.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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