The Use of Pinus radiata Sawdust or Bark, or Zeolite to Reduce E. coli in Stand-Off Pads or Associated Drainage

A.M. Donnison*, C.M. Ross
AgResearch, Ruakura Campus, Private Bag 3213 Hamilton, New Zealand

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Creative Commons License
© 2008 Donnison and Ross

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the AgResearch, Ruakura Campus, Private Bag 3213 Hamilton, New Zealand; E-mail:


Cow dung slurry containing a total of 7.4 × 105 E. coli was applied to laboratory-scale microcosms of Pinus radiata sawdust or bark. Rainfall was simulated by application of water at rates of 25 mm h-1 or 50 mm h-1 over 30 minutes. For sawdust 5% and 11% (respectively) of the E. coli were transferred to drainage compared to 12% and 28% for bark. After collection of drainage less than 10% of the retained E. coli were recovered from sawdust compared to about 90% for bark. Stand-off pad drainage (102E. coli 100 mL-1) was passed through laboratory-scale microcosms at 0.42 mL min-1 for 4 weeks. The E. coli concentration was reduced by 1.5 log10 for sawdust microcosms but there was no significant reduction for bark and zeolite. P. radiata sawdust seems an unfavourable environment for E. coli and its use in stand-off pads could reduce transmission of faecal microbes from dairy farms to waterways.

Keywords: Pinus radiata, sawdust, bark, Escherichia coli, manure, stand-off pads, stand-off pad drainage, dairy farms.