The survival of Salmonella adelaide and fecal coliforms in two coarse sands influenced by two sources of septic tank effluent was studied. The experiments were conducted in conditions that reflected the soil environment beneath functioning septic tank systems. Significant differences in survival were found with different effluent sources. In one experiment the survival of S. adelaide was similar to that of fecal coliforms; in the other it was not. The nonuniform, multiphasic nature of survival curves was variability observed in these experiments suggests that the application of such survival data for establishing management criteria for septic tank systems--by, for example, the use of soil moisture characteristic curves to give estimates of movement in the soil--is inappropriate
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