Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts through Vegetated Buffer Strips and Estimated Filtration Efficiency
Applied and Environmental Microbiology , 68 , 2002

Atwill, E. R., Hou, L., Karle, B.M., Harter, T., Tate, K. W., Dahlgren, R.A.

Vegetated buffer strips were evaluated for their ability to remove waterborne Cryptosporidium parvum from surface and shallow subsurface flow during simulated rainfall rates of 15 or 40 mm/h for 4 h. Log10 reductions for spiked C. parvum oocysts ranged from 1.0 to 3.1 per m of vegetated buffer, with buffers set at 5 to 20% slope, 85 to 99% fescue cover, soil textures of either silty clay (19:47:34 sand-silt-clay), loam (45:37:18), or sandy loam (70:25:5), and bulk densities of between 0.6 to 1.7 g/cm3. Vegetated buffers constructed with sandy loam or higher soil bulk densities were less effective at removing waterborne C. parvum (1- to 2-log10 reduction/m) compared to buffers constructed with silty clay or loam or at lower bulk densities (2- to 3-log10 reduction/m). The effect of slope on filtration efficiency was conditional on soil texture and soil bulk density. Based on these results, a vegetated buffer strip comprised of similar soils at a slope of <20% and a length of >3 m should function to remove >99.9% of C. parvum oocysts from agricultural runoff generated during events involving mild to moderate precipitation.