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  Ground Water Issue, Movement and Longevity of Viruses in the Subsurface (PDF) (25 pp, 1.13 MB) (EPA/540/S-03/500) April 2003

Because about half of the drinking water supplies in this country come from underground sources and about half of the waterborne diseases are attributed to contaminated ground water, with viruses being the principal pathogens, the transport and survival of particles in the subsurface is an important public health issue.

This issue paper:

  • Discusses conditions affecting the transport and survival of viruses in the subsurface
  • Identifies virus sources as well as indicators of viral contamination
  • Outlines the effects of hydrogeologic settings on virus movement
  • Presents the current state of transport modeling along with an example of a screening model

The transport, as well as survival, of pathogens in the subsurface are strongly virus dependent and subject to their retention to soil and aquifer materials. The more important factors affecting virus transport are soil water content, temperature, sorption and desorption, pH, salt content, type of virus, and hydraulic stresses.


Dr. Ann Azadpour-Keeley (580) 436-8890

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