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Water quality--Minnesota; Groundwater--Minnesota


ABSTRACT-Karst topography of soils in southeastern Minnesota is responsible for the formation of sinkholes, subsurface cracks, and underground rivers which may enhance the transportation of surface contaminants into groundwater. The present study was conducted to determine the presence of human pathogenic viruses, coliforms, fecal coliforms and coliphages in private rural wells of this area. The occurrence of drug resistance in bacteria isolated from groundwater also was studied. Coliform bacteria were detected at least once from 22 of the 26 sites sampled over 34 months. Water from 10 sites yielded drug-resistant indicator bacteria; 25 of 38 (65.8 percent) total coliforms and 9 of27 (33.3 percent) fecal coliforms tested were found to carry drug resistance. Human enteric viruses were detected by DNA hybridization and/or virus isolation techniques in nine samples from seven different sites, some in the absence of fecal coliforms. Of the 161 samples tested for coliphages, 13 samples from seven sites were found positive. On two occasions, coliphages were isolated from samples in which coliforms were absent. These findings indicate that potential public health problems exist in this region.

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Hydrology Commons



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