The effects of pH and sediment surface characteristics on sorption of indigenous groundwater bacteria were determined using contaminated and uncontaminated aquifer material from Cape Cod, MA. Over the pH range of the aquifer (5-7), the extent of bacterial sorption onto sediment in uncontaminated groundwater was strongly pH-dependent, but relatively pH-insensitive in contaminated groundwater from the site. Bacterial sorption was also affected by the presence of oxyhydroxide coatings (iron, aluminum, and manganese). Surface coating effects were most pronounced in uncontaminated groundwater (pH 6.4 at 10??C). Desorption of attached bacteria (up to 14% of the total number of labeled cells added) occurred in both field and laboratory experiments upon adjustment of groundwater to pH 8. The dependence of bacterial sorption upon environmental conditions suggests that bacterial immobilization could change substantially over relatively short distances in contaminated, sandy aquifers and that effects caused by changes in groundwater geochemistry can be significant.
Additional publication details
Laboratory investigations on the role of sediment surface and ground water chemistry in transport of bacteria through a contaminated Sandy Aquifer