CAEM professor Jennifer Duan recently partnered with University of Arizona microbiology professor Chuck Gerba to gain a better understanding of the relationship between canal sediments, pathogens and water flows. The research project, titled “Development of a model to predict the impact of sediments on microbial irrigation water quality" looks to help farmers determine the possible risks tied to canal irrigation water.
According to AndNowUKnow, which covers produce industry news, Gerba is combining his 25 years of studying E. coli and salmonella found in Southwestern river systems with Duan's expertise in hydraulics and sediment transport.
The results of the Center for Produce Safety-funded research project will be incorporated into a model, which may be able to predict the risk of potential pathogen reservoirs developing under specific conditions. Gerba hopes the research results could potentially be incorporated into guidelines that producers could use to minimize the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in irrigation water.