Upscaling transport of Bacillus subtilis endospores and phiX174 coliphages in heterogeneous porous media from the column to the field scale
- 1Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management E222/2, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
- 2Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
- 3Center for Water Resource Systems E222, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
- 4Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Water Hygiene, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
- 5Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences, Research Division Water & Health, Krems, Austria
- 6Interuniversity Cooperation Centre (ICC) Water & Health, Austria
Groundwater contamination and subsequent transport of viruses and bacteria are a major concern in aquifers worldwide. To ascertain the ability of these aquifers to remove pathogens, tracer tests with microbial indicators are carried out. But because these tests are laborious and require special permission, column tests are often done instead. Unfortunately, results from column tests tend to grossly overestimate removal rates λ when compared to the field scale, which can lead to underestimations of groundwater contamination risks. Scale is an important consideration when examining pathogen transport through porous media, as pathogen removal rarely happens by linear processes. Field tests were carried out with Bacillus subtilis endospores and phiX174 coliphages over a distance of 25 m in an alluvial gravel aquifer in Vienna, Austria. The sandy gravel material from the field site was also used in column tests with the same tracers. Both attachment-detachment and Colloid Filtration Theory were used to model these tests. The results show a big difference in removal between the two scales. A comparison with the literature showed a correlation between the heterogeneity (or preferential flow) of the porous media and the difference in removal rates between the column and field scale.
How to cite: Oudega, T., Lindner, G., Derx, J., Farnleitner, A., Sommer, R., Blaschke, A., and Stevenson, M.: Upscaling transport of Bacillus subtilis endospores and phiX174 coliphages in heterogeneous porous media from the column to the field scale, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2515, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2515, 2021.