Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture; Engineering

Department

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Carmen Agouridis

Abstract

Antibiotics are commonly used in animal agriculture to treat and prevent diseases and promote growth. Unfortunately, large amounts of antibiotics are not metabolized, but instead are excreted in urine and feces. Rainfall simulation studies were used to investigate the transport of the antibiotic oxytetracycline and various constituents in runoff and the ability of alum to reduce pollutant transport. Runoff samples were collected at several points during the simulated storm event from each of four treatments: control (C), manure only (M), manure and antibiotics (MA), and manure, antibiotics and alum (MAA). Flow-weighted composite samples were created and compared to the flow weighted mean concentration (FWMC). Constituents with concentrations well-above the detection limits (E. coli, NH4-N, turbidity, TSS, TOC, and EC) showed a strong correlation between flow-weighted composite samples and FWMC. When constituent concentrations were at or near the detection limits, errors associated with the composite samples were magnified. Oxytetracycline concentrations had the strong correlation to E. coli, Cl, TOC, TSS, and turbidity suggesting that a BMP effective at trapping sediment or particulates may work best for reducing oxytetracycline concentrations in runoff. Alum (1%) did not reduce levels of oxytetracycline in runoff. It is recommended that higher doses of alum be tested.

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