A model for predicting resuspension of Escherichia coli from streambed sediments

Pramod Pandey, Michelle L. Soupir, Chris R. Rehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

To improve the modeling of water quality in watersheds, a model is developed to predict resuspension of Escherichia coli from sediment beds in streams. The resuspension rate is expressed as the product of the concentration of E. coli attached to sediment particles and an erosion rate adapted from work on sediment transport. The model uses parameter values mostly taken from previous work, and it accounts for properties of the flow through the bottom shear stress and properties of the sediment through the critical shear stresses for cohesive and non-cohesive sediment. Predictions were compared to resuspension rates inferred from a steady mass balance applied to measurements at sixteen locations in a watershed. The model's predictions matched the inferred rates well, especially when the diameter of particles to which E. coli attach was allowed to depend on the bottom shear stress. The model's sensitivity to the parameters depends on the contributions of particle packing and binding effects of clay to the critical shear stress. For the current data set, the uncertainty in the predictions is controlled by the concentration of E. coli attached to sediment particles and the slope used to estimate the bottom shear stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • E. coli
  • Microbial transport
  • Resuspension
  • Sediment
  • Watershed modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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