||Environmental Research Lab., Athens, GA. ;Technology Applications, Inc., Athens, GA. ;Georgia Univ., Athens. Inst. of Ecology. ;Florida State Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee. ;Florida State Dept. of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee.
Soil microorganisms colonizing soil water sampling devices (lysimeters) reduced concentrations of biodegradable organic chemicals, including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid methyl ester, alachlor, methyl m-chlorobenzoate, and metolachlor as water entered through porous ceramic cups. In some cases, losses exceeded 99%. Additions of either a biocide (sodium hypochlorite) or a bacteriostat (copper salt) prevented microbial activity so that concentrations of test chemicals inside lysimeters equaled those outside. Field studies further indicated that treating lysimeters with a copper salt effectively prevented microbial activity. Thus, chemically treating soil water samplers could improve the accuracy of soil water data for a wide variety of analytes, including environmentally important organics, such as pesticides and industrial wastes, and inorganics, such as ammonia and nitrate. (Copyright (c) 1992, American Society for Microbiology.)