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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 3, p. 826-834
     
    Received: Apr 5, 1999
    Published: May, 2000


    * Corresponding author(s): ewp4bb@mizzou.edu
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doi:10.2134/jeq2000.00472425002900030019x

17 β-Estradiol as an Indicator of Animal Waste Contamination in Mantled Karst Aquifers

  1. E. W. Peterson *,
  2. R. K. Davis and
  3. H. A. Orndorff
  1. Dep. of Geology, 101 Geological Sciences Building, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

Abstract

The poultry and cattle industries comprise a large segment of the agricultural economy in the mantled karst area of northwest Arkansas. The associated risks of nutrient and bacterial contamination to karst aquifers by poultry litter have been well documented. However, only recently have the risks associated with hormones, specifically 17 β-estradiol (E2), been addressed. During a winter recharge event, five springs in northwest Arkansas were sampled and the waters were analyzed for E2, fecal coliform, and Escherichia coli. Analyses of the waters from five springs representing three different water-bearing formations revealed that E2 is present in the waters. Concentrations of E2 ranged from 6 to 66 ng/L. The observed E2 concentration trends imitated the changes in stage over the recharge event. The E2 concentration trends were similar to the concentration trends of both fecal coliform and E. coli at all five springs, indicating that the three components move in the mantled karst system similarly.

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