Fecal coliform release from cattle fecal deposits
Water Resources Bulletin , 20 , 1984

Kress, M., Gifford, G.F.

Cowpies molded to a standard configuration and size were subjected to simulated rainfall, and the fecal coliform counts were determined using the most probable number (MPN) method of enumeration. The standard cowpie deposits were exposed to simulated rainfall once at ages 2 through 100 days. The effects of rainfall intensity and recurrent rainfall were also tested. Naturally-occurring fecal deposits were also tested to compare their results with those from the standard cowpies. A log-log regression was found to describe the decline in peak fecal coliform release with fecal deposit age. The 100-day-old fecal deposits produced peak counts of 4,200 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters of water. This quantity of release is minimal compared to the release from fresher fecal material. Rainfall intensity had little effect on peak fecal coliform release from fecal deposits that were 2 or 10 days old. At age 20 days the effect of rainfall intensity was significant; the highest intensity gave the lowest peak counts, and the lowest intensity gave the highest peak counts. The effect of rainfall intensity appears to be related to the dryness of the fecal deposits. Peak fecal coliform counts were significantly lowered when the fecal deposits were rained on more than once. This decline was thought to be produced by the loss of bacteria from the fecal deposits during the previous wettings. Standard cowpies produced a peak release regression that was not significantly different from the regression for the natural fecal deposits. Apparently, grossly manipulating the fecal deposits did not significantly change the release patterns.