Microbial transport from Dairying under
different irrigation systems in Canterbury,
                New Zealand



       ...
Example of land use change:
  Islington Freezing Works, Christchurch
 • Islington Freezing Works used flood irrigation of
...
© ESR 2005
M35/1883 - 29 m, Islington

                   14




                   12




                   10
Nitrate N (mg/L)



...
Summary
  • Disposal of effluent had a significant impact on
    groundwater quality immediately down-gradient

  • Cessat...
Background : Irrigation & Dairying
    • Large increase in dairying combined with the use of irrigation
      over past 10...
© ESR 2005
Flood irrigation with Dairying
  • E. coli & Campylobacter were sampled in shallow
    wells in Waikakahi catchment over 3...
Flood irrigation with Dairying
   • Carried out assessment of health risk
   • Combined concentrations found in groundwate...
Methodology - Centre Pivot
  • Centre Pivot applies water every 3-4 days with
    about 10-18 mm per application

  • Linc...
Lincoln Dairy Farm




© ESR 2005
Results :Centre Pivot
  • Faecal coliforms
        -    Upgradient wells = 5.4%
        -    Down-gradient wells = 2.8%
  ...
Methodology – Travelling Irrigator
                   Briggs RotaRainer

  • Dairy farm in South Canterbury
  • Briggs Rot...
1.5 m




                  Specialist Science Solutions

                      Manaaki Tangata Taiao Hoki
        protect...
Results - Briggs RotaRainer
  • Rainfall (9 sampling rounds), mean = 28 mm
        -    Very low coliforms; no Campy


  •...
Irrigation of fresh cow pats
  • Placed fresh cow pats on half lysimeter cells &
    spiked with a tracer bacteria
  • Irr...
Overall Conclusions
  • Little leaching of bacteria with rain or spray
    irrigation at depths of 55 mm
  • More leaching...
Overall Conclusions
  • In contrast to the spray irrigation systems, under
    border strip irrigation there are significa...
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Microbial transport from Dairying under different irrigation systems in Canterbury, New Zealand - Murray Close

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Murray Close
Principal Scientist
ESR

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Microbial transport from Dairying under different irrigation systems in Canterbury, New Zealand - Murray Close

  1. 1. Microbial transport from Dairying under different irrigation systems in Canterbury, New Zealand Murray Close Principal Scientist, ESR Specialist Science Solutions Manaaki Tangata Taiao Hoki protecting people and their environment through science
  2. 2. Example of land use change: Islington Freezing Works, Christchurch • Islington Freezing Works used flood irrigation of effluent for > 100 years; stopped in 1988 • High volume of effluent with high levels of COD and N • Wells immediately down-gradient had elevated levels of NO3-N (up to 33 mg/L; medians = 12 – 13.6 mg/L) • Up-gradient wells had NO3-N of 2.8 – 5.5 mg/L; median = 3.7 mg/L • Large impact (10 mg/L) due to effluent © ESR 2005
  3. 3. © ESR 2005
  4. 4. M35/1883 - 29 m, Islington 14 12 10 Nitrate N (mg/L) 8 6 4 2 0 Aug-87 Aug-89 Aug-91 Aug-93 Aug-95 Aug-97 Aug-99 Aug-01 Aug-03 Aug-05 Aug-07 Aug-09 © ESR 2005
  5. 5. Summary • Disposal of effluent had a significant impact on groundwater quality immediately down-gradient • Cessation of disposal also had an impact but monitoring well was 3 km down-gradient and impact was smaller. There was a lag of about 7 years before the impact could be seen. © ESR 2005
  6. 6. Background : Irrigation & Dairying • Large increase in dairying combined with the use of irrigation over past 10-15 years in NZ • Needed to know if dairying with irrigation was having an impact on microbial groundwater quality • A study looking at border strip (flood) irrigation and dairying - Close et al. (2008). Microbial groundwater quality and its health implications for a border-strip irrigated dairy farm catchment, South Island, New Zealand. J. of Water & Health 6(1): 83–98. • A study looking at microbial transport from dairying with two spray irrigation systems – centre pivot & travelling irrigator - Close et al. (2010). Microbial transport from Dairying under two Spray Irrigation systems in Canterbury, New Zealand. J. of Environmental Quality 39(3): 824-833. © ESR 2005
  7. 7. © ESR 2005
  8. 8. Flood irrigation with Dairying • E. coli & Campylobacter were sampled in shallow wells in Waikakahi catchment over 3 years • Well selection excluded other sources • E. coli found in 75% of samples - Levels ranging from <1 to 2400 MPN/100ml • Campylobacter found in 12% of samples - levels range from <0.6 to >3.1 MPN/L • More contamination during irrigation season © ESR 2005
  9. 9. Flood irrigation with Dairying • Carried out assessment of health risk • Combined concentrations found in groundwater with dose response curve • Probability of infection during irrigation season = 60 - 75% • Sickness is probably 30 - 50% of infection rate so about 20 - 35% • Looked at EpiSurv notifications of enteric disease in similar areas (9 years data: 1997-2005) • Results indicate significantly higher levels of Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis & Salmonellosis in areas of flood irrigation with dairying © ESR 2005
  10. 10. Methodology - Centre Pivot • Centre Pivot applies water every 3-4 days with about 10-18 mm per application • Lincoln University Dairy farm - converted in 2001. • Groundwater table at 8-10 m bgl • Installed 6 up-gradient and 8 down-gradient monitoring wells in shallow groundwater • Monitored monthly for 6 years • Water samples analysed for faecal coliforms and Campylobacter (p/a) © ESR 2005
  11. 11. Lincoln Dairy Farm © ESR 2005
  12. 12. Results :Centre Pivot • Faecal coliforms - Upgradient wells = 5.4% - Down-gradient wells = 2.8% • Campylobacter - Upgradient wells = 0.7% - Down-gradient wells = 0.7% • No difference between up-gradient & down- gradient detections of microbes • Little, if any, impact on microbial quality of groundwater from Centre Pivot irrigation system with groundwater @ 9 m and good management © ESR 2005
  13. 13. Methodology – Travelling Irrigator Briggs RotaRainer • Dairy farm in South Canterbury • Briggs RotaRainer applies water every 14 days with about 50-60 mm per application • Collected leachate samples from 1.5 m depth over 4 year period from a large lysimeter • Samples analysed for faecal coliforms and Campylobacter © ESR 2005
  14. 14. 1.5 m Specialist Science Solutions Manaaki Tangata Taiao Hoki protecting people and their environment through science
  15. 15. Results - Briggs RotaRainer • Rainfall (9 sampling rounds), mean = 28 mm - Very low coliforms; no Campy • Irrigation (7 sampling rounds), mean = 55 mm - Some coliforms, no Campy • High rate irrigation: irrigation plus heavy rain, (4 sampling rounds), mean = 80 mm - Lots of coliforms, no Campy - No fresh cow pats © ESR 2005
  16. 16. Irrigation of fresh cow pats • Placed fresh cow pats on half lysimeter cells & spiked with a tracer bacteria • Irrigated with 80 mm 2 days later • Most cells with cow pats showed low levels of Campy as well as coliforms & tracer at 1.5 m depth • Detection of bacterial tracer indicates that the bacteria had leached from the cow pats • Some transport of microbes if irrigation is combined with heavy rainfall & cow pats are fresh © ESR 2005
  17. 17. Overall Conclusions • Little leaching of bacteria with rain or spray irrigation at depths of 55 mm • More leaching of faecal coliforms at 80 mm application depths • Some detection of Campylobacter and tracer bacteria for 80 mm application depths with fresh cow pats • Little, if any, impact of Centre Pivot system on microbial groundwater quality with groundwater @ 9 m and good management practices © ESR 2005
  18. 18. Overall Conclusions • In contrast to the spray irrigation systems, under border strip irrigation there are significant levels of E. coli and Campylobacter in shallow groundwater • There is a significant risk for drinking this water and there is a significant increase in disease notifications for this land use practice • We have recommended that border strip areas convert to spray irrigation © ESR 2005
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