Since 1994, we have been investigating the
transport of viruses in groundwater. This research was motivated by the
need to determine the extent of "natural disinfection" occurring in
aquifers used as water supplies for the EPA's draft Ground Water Disinfection
Rule. Our work has focused on two key aspects of virus transport:
attachment and inactivation.
To study attachment, we have used
laboratory-scale "static" and flow-through columns (Loveland,
1995; Loveland et al., 1996; Bogatsu, in progress), an
intermediate-scale aquifer tank (Aronheim, 1995), and field experiments
(Pieper, 1994; Pieper et al., 1997; Ryan et al., 1999). The field
experiments were conducted at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cape Cod
research site. The aquifer sediment at this site is a ferric
oxyhydroxide-coated sand and gravel glacial outwash. The nearby
infiltration of secondary sewage effluent created a useful geochemical
contrast in the aquifer for testing virus transport -- a sewage effluent
contaminated zone and an overlying uncontaminated zone. Our
attachment studies have examined the role of solution chemistry and
physical and geochemical heterogeneities representative of the Cape Cod
Virus inactivation, or "die-off,"
has been tested in laboratory static columns (Navigato, in progress) and
in the field (Pieper, 1994). Current models of virus transport
consider only inactivation of viruses suspended in the
groundwater. Based on some work done in the late 1970s by Jim
Murray and George Parks at Stanford, we hypothesized that the attachment
of viruses to the ferric oxyhydroxide coatings could accelerate
inactivation significantly. Using the protein capsid/nucleic acid
radiolabeling technique devised by Murray and Parks in the lab and in
the field, we observed much faster virus inactivation in the presence of
Cape Cod sediments.
- Groundwater Transport of Viruses
PIs: Joe Ryan, Gary Amy, Ron Harvey, Tissa Illangasekare
National Water Research Institute and
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993 to 1994
- Virus Attachment, Release, and
Inactivation During Groundwater Transport
PIs: Joe Ryan, Menachem Elimelech, and Ron Harvey
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (R826179-01-0), 1998 to 2000
- Prof. Gary Amy, University of Colorado,
- Dr. Subir
University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Prof. Menachem
University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Dr. Ronald W.
Harvey, U.S. Geological
Survey, Boulder, Colorado
- Prof. Tissa
School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
Metge, U.S. Geological Survey,
Students and Theses
- Jeffrey S. Aronheim, MS, 1995. Virus
Transport in Groundwater: Modeling of Bacteriophage PRD1 Transport
through One-Dimensional Columns and a Two Dimensional Aquifer Tank.
Jeff's thesis involved numerous column and tank experiments testing
the roles of physical and chemical heterogeneity in virus
transport. Two publications are still in progress.
Jeff's work was funded by the NWRI/EPA grant.
- Yvonne Bogatsu, PhD, in progress.
Effect of Organic Matter, Ferric Oxyhydroxide Coatings, and Blocking
on Virus Transport in Groundwater. Yvonne is using laboratory
columns to investigate the effect of organic matter and geochemical
heterogeneities on the transport of PRD1 in porous media
representative of Cape Cod sediments. Her work is supported by
the EPA grant and the University of Botswana.
- Jonathan P. Loveland, MS, 1995, Virus
Transport in Groundwater: Bacteriophage PRD1 Attachment to Mineral
Surfaces.. Jon's thesis investigated the attachment of
PRD1 to quartz and ferric oxyhydroxide-coated quartz grains as
function of pH. Jon showed that normalizing the extent of
virus attachment to the point of zero charge of the grains resulted
in very similar attachment behavior. This work was published
in Loveland et al. (1996). Jon's work was funded by the NWRI/EPA
- Theresa Navigato, MS, in progress. Effect
of Virus Attachment to Ferric Oxyhydroxide-Coated Sand on
Inactivation. Theresa's thesis will report the results of
experiments examining the inactivation rates of viruses (PRD1 and
MS2) in the absence and presence of Cape Cod sediment using a dual-radiolabeling
technique to monitor the fate of both the virus capsid and nucleic
acid. Her research was funding by the EPA grant.
- Ann P. Pieper, MS, 1995. Virus
Transport in Groundwater: A Natural-Gradient Field Experiment in a
Contaminated Sandy Aquifer. Annie's thesis reported the
results of a summer's worth of field experiments at the U.S.G.S.
Cape Cod research site. With the help of undergraduate RAs
Patty Li and Brigid Welch, Annie injected and monitored the
transport of PRD1 in three experiments. Most of the results
are published in Pieper et al.
(1997). Annie's work was funded
by the NWRI/EPA grant.
- Douglas Vanderbark, BS Independent Study
Report, 1995. Virus Transport in Groundwater: Transport of
Virus-sized Microspheres in a Contaminated Sandy Aquifer.
Along with the viruses injected in Annie Pieper's experiment, some
fluorescent polystyrene latex microspheres of different sizes were
injected and monitored through the aquifer. Doug calculated
relative breakthroughs and collision efficiencies for these
links to PDF files; some PDF files are large -- 2-4 MBytes)
- Ryan J.N., Elimelech M., Ard R.A., Harvey R.W., and Johnson P.R.,
1999. Bacteriophage PRD1 and silica colloid transport and recovery
in an iron oxide-coated sand aquifer. Environmental Science
& Technology 33, 63-73.
- Ryan J.N., Elimelech M., Ard R.A., and
Magelky M.D., 1999. Mobilization and transport of natural and
synthetic colloids and a virus in an iron oxide-coated
sewage-contaminated aquifer. In U.S. Geological Survey Toxic
Substances Hydrology Program – Proceedings of the Technical
Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, 1999 – Volume 3
of 3 – Subsurface Contamination from Point Sources (eds. D.W.
Morgenwalp and H.T. Buxton), U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources
Investigation Report 99-4018C, 411-422.
- Metge D.W., Navigato T., Larson J.E.,
Ryan J.N., and Harvey R.W., 1999. Dual-isotope labeling to monitor
virus transport and identifying factors affecting viral inactivation
in contaminated aquifer sediments from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In U.S.
Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program – Proceedings
of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12,
1999 – Volume 3 of 3 – Subsurface Contamination from Point
Sources (eds. D.W. Morgenwalp and H.T. Buxton), U.S. Geological
Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 99-4018C, 423-430.
- Pieper A.P., Ryan J.N., Amy G.L.,
Illangasekare T.H., Harvey R.W., and Metge D.W., 1997. Transport
of bacteriophage PRD1 through an unconfined sand aquifer: Effect of
sewage-derived organic matter. Environmental Science &
Technology 31, 1163-1170.
- Loveland J.P., Ryan J.N., Amy G.L., and
Harvey R.W., 1996. The reversibility of virus attachment to mineral
surfaces. Colloids and Surfaces A. Physicochemical and
Engineering Aspects 107, 205-222.
- Ryan J.N., 2000. Transport
of Viruses, Bacteria, and Protozoa in Groundwater. Environmental
Engineering Seminar, University of Colorado, Boulder, October, 2000.
- Bhattacharjee S., Elimelech M.,
and Ryan J.N., Virus transport in heterogeneous subsurface porous
media. Presented at the 74th Colloid and Surface
Symposium of the American Chemical Society, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
- Ryan J.N., Metge D.W., Harvey
R.W., Pieper A.P., Navigato T., and Loveland J.P., Is virus
inactivation accelerated by attachment to mineral surfaces? Eos
Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 80, F104.
Presented at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San
Francisco, California, December 1999.
- Metge D.W., Navigato T., Ryan
J.N., and Harvey R.W., 1999. Role of anionic surfactants in the
transport and inactivation of the bacteriophage PRD1 In aquifer
sediments: Results of field and laboratory experiments. Presented at
the International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology, Vail,
Colorado, August, 1999.
- Bhattacharjee S., Elimelech M.,
and Ryan J.N., 1999. Modeling virus transport in geochemically and
physically heterogeneous subsurface porous media. Presented at the
31st Mid-Atlantic Industrial and Hazardous Waste Conference,
University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, June 1999.
- Ryan J.N., Elimelech M., Ard
R.A., and Magelky M.D., 1999. Mobilization and transport of natural
and synthetic colloids and a virus in an iron oxide-coated
sewage-contaminated aquifer. Presented at the U.S. Geological Survey
Toxic Substances Hydrology Technical Meeting, Charleston, South
Carolina, March, 1999.
- Ryan J.N., Harvey R.W., Metge
D.W., and Larson J.E., 1997. Transport of bacteriophage PRD1 and
silica colloids in a sewage-contaminated aquifer. Eos,
Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 86, F231.
Presented at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union,
- Metge D.W., Harvey R.W., Ryan
J.N., and Pieper A.P., 1996. The role of chemical and geochemical
heterogeneities upon the transport behavior of viruses, bacteria,
and carboxylated microspheres in a sandy aquifer. Presented at the
Geological Society of America Meeting, November 1996.
- Ryan J.N., 1996. Effect of
Organic Matter on Virus Transport in a Sewage-Contaminated
Aquifer. Presented at the 13th Rocky Mountain Regional
Meeting, American Chemical Society, Lakewood, Colorado, June 1996.
- Pieper A.P., Ryan J.N., Amy G.L.,
Illangasekare T.H., Harvey R.W., and Metge D.W., 1995. Effect of
linear alkylbenzene sulfonates on the natural-gradient transport of
bacteriophage PRD1 through contaminated and uncontaminated zones of
an unconfined sand aquifer. Eos, Transactions of the American
Geophysical Union 76, F200. Presented at the Fall Meeting
of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December,
- Loveland J.P., Ryan J.N., Amy
G.L., and Harvey R.W., 1995. Attachment and release of viruses from
mineral surfaces: The role of secondary minimum attachment. Abstracts
of Papers of the American Chemical Society 209, 142-ENVR,
Part 1. Presented at the 209th National Meeting of the American
Chemical Society, April 1995.
- Aronheim J.S., Illangasekare
T.H., Ryan J.N., Amy G.L., Harvey R.W., Loveland J.P., and Pieper
A., 1994. Biocolloid transport through saturated porous media: A
two-dimensional pilot-scale study. Presented at the Conference on
Hazardous Waste Remediation, June 1994.
- Loveland J.P., Amy G.L., Harvey
R.W., and Ryan J.N., 1994. Effect of chemical perturbations on virus
attachment and detachment: Relating kinetics to intersurface
potential energy. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical
Society 207, 172-ENVR, Part 1. Presented at 207th
National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 1994.
- Ryan J.N., Loveland J.P., Amy
G.L., and Harvey R.W., 1993. Effect of (bio)colloid size on the
kinetics of detachment from packed bed surfaces. Eos,
Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 74, 132.
Presented at the Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union,
|Go to: Projects
/ Collaborators / Students
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Transmission electron microscope
image of bacteriophage PRD1, the virus used in most of our
research. The scale bar length is 100 nm.
An electron microprobe image of a
thin section of Cape Cod sediment showing the ferric oxyhydroxide
(FeOOH) coatings on some of the quartz grains. The scale bar
length is 100 micrometers and magnification is 55 times.
A conceptualization of the
structure of bacteriophage MS2, another virus used in our research,
constructed from x-ray diffraction information.
Field work at the U.S. Geological
Survey's Cape Cod research site. Joe Ryan (foreground) and Dave
Metge take samples during Annie Pieper's virus transport experiments,