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The ecotoxicological impact of surface water contamination from concentrated animal feeding operations in Wood County, OH

2011The ecotoxicological impact of surface water contamination from concentrated animal feeding operations in Wood County, OH.SOLOHIN Elena (Moldova, Republic Of)
Organisation:University of Coimbra, Coimbra (PT) - Bowling Green State University, Ohio (USA)Supervisor :Rui Ribeiro (UC) & Robert Midden (BGSU)
Summary: Application of manure from agricultural livestock operations to the crop fields has become an important approach towards the improvement of soil fertility. However, if overapplied or inefficiently managed, animal waste from confined animal feeding operations can become a potential source of water resources contamination, particularly in terms of nutrient pollution. The goal of this study was to assess the ecotoxicological impact on surface water quality of application of manure, from two active dairy factory farms in Wood County, to cropland. Samples of water and sediments were collected twice from 5 different locations. The sampling sites were selected according to the identified manure application fields. First set of samples have been collected from fields that have had manure applied six months before the beginning of the study, and the second set of samples were taken right after summer application of manure to the cropfields. At the time of sample collection, at each site, measurements for water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, and turbidity were recorded. In addition to that, lab analysis of total coliform and E. coli bacteria, and the concentration of nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus (orthophosphate), and ammonia have been performed. The toxicity of water samples was assessed using a Rotoxkit bioassay, growth inhibition and population growth rate of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus were determined. The ecotoxicity of sediments from 5 sites were assessed with the chronic “direct sediment contact” bioassay of Heterocypris incongruens. Mortality and growth inhibition of neonates of the ostracod crustacean were measured. The results so far indicate that the highest mortality of Ostracods was observed in sediments from sites that showed highest phosphorus concentration. Results from the sampling that took place right after manure application will be processed and will give a comparative overview of the ecotoxicological impact of manure application on water and sediments.