Ciencia del suelo
versión On-line ISSN 1850-2067
CHAGAS, Celio I. et al. Indicators of biological contamination associated with water erosion in basin belonging the rolling pampa, Argentina. Cienc. suelo [online]. 2006, vol.24, n.1, pp. 21-27. ISSN 1850-2067.
Agriculture activities use 70% of the world water resources, partly for animal production and particularly cattle feeding. There is an outstanding risk of biological contamination associated with this kind of production because animal feces and urine containing pathogens can be transported to surface waterways through runoff. The present investigation was carried out in the Tala basin belonging to the Rolling Pampa region in which intense runoff and erosion processes are widespread. In this basin there are extensive cattle feeding farms which are located close to the natural waterways, in bottomlands with hydrohalomorphic soils. There is also an increasing surface devoted to feedlots and intensive swine and poultry productions. The main use of the surface waters from the river and tributaries is direct cattle drinking. The aim of the present work was to analyze through biological indicators, the potential contamination of runoff water and sediments accumulated in lowlands devoted to cattle production and to determinate their human or animal origin. The waters showed concentration of biological indicators belonging to faecal streptococci and enterococci which can be related to animal but no to human contamination processes. A close relationship was observed between total coliforms and erosion borne sediment concentration in the studied area. Thus, the capacity of these sediments for carrying bacteria potentially harmful for animal health like Salmonella spp. was confirmed. The runoff, erosion and biological contamination processes proved to be related in the studied basin.
Palabras clave : Surface runoff; Sediments; Coliforms; Streptococci; Enterococci; Bovine.