Fecal Coliform Release Patterns from Fecal Material of Cattle

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Environmental Quality

Publication Date

Winter 1-1-1963


The study examined the magnitude of a release of indicator bacteria (fecal coliform) from bovine fecal deposits that were rained on by a rainfall simulator at a rate of 6.1 ± 0.3 cm/h for 15 min, as affected by duration of rainfall and age of fecal deposits. Standard fecal deposits were placed on a platform and rained on with the runoff water being sampled at 5, 10, and 15 min. Samples were then examined by the most probable number (MPN) method for the presence of fecal coliforms.

Results indicate the potential for bacterial pollution from bovine fecal deposits. An equilibrium in the concentration of fecal coliforms being released from the fecal deposit was reached within 10 min. Fecal deposits < 5 d of age released fecal coliforms on the order of millions/100 mL of water. Concentrations declined to 40,000/100 mL at 30 d of not-rained on age. The decline followed a typical bacterial death curve.