Groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDISW) is of concern in communities where growing public demand on groundwater resources has resulted in increased withdrawals and hydraulic stress near surface water bodies. Under these conditions, contaminants such as methyl-tert butyl ether (MTBE) and biological materials have been detected in domestic wells. Other contaminants and pathogens associated with surface water are not routinely tested for in groundwater-supplied systems. To address the need for methods to easily identify potentially vulnerable supplies, a direct immunoassay for the quantitative detection of diatoms in raw water samples was developed as a measure of surface water influence on groundwater. Cell wall preparations from Nitzschia palea Ku??tzing, a freshwater diatom found throughout North America, were used to produce a polyclonal antibody that was applied in a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed to detect the presence of N. palea cell wall components. The direct immunoassay allows detection at 500 cells L-1, a level similar to diatom concentrations observed in samples of groundwater collected near the test site. This investigation was the first attempt to utilize an ELISA as an indicator of surface water influence on groundwater. Further research is needed to develop more specific diatom-based monoclonal antibodies, determine cross-reactivity, and optimize sample processing and ELISA procedures for development of a standardized method. ?? Springer 2005.
Additional publication details
A direct immunoassay for detecting diatoms in groundwater as an indicator of the direct influence of surface water