Enteric viruses such as Norwalk virus (NV) are important agents of waterborne disease from faecally contaminated groundwater. Viruses are more resistant to inactivation than most enteric bacteria and they may not be removed efficiently during land application. Adsorption is one of the major factors in viral removal and persistence in soils. The adsorption of NV by soils suspended in wastewater has not been determined. Therefore, we determined the adsorption of NV to six soils (Cecil clay-loam, Corolla sand, Georgia Kaolinite (clay), Wyoming Bentonite (clay), Ponzer organic muck and Flushing Meadows sand-loam) suspended in treated wastewater and compared it to that of poliovirus 1 (PV1) (strongly adsorbed) and MS2 (weakly adsorbed). NV is shown to be less sorptive than PV1 and more sorptive than MS2. Furthermore, relative virus adsorption among soils was similar for all three enteric viruses with viruses most adsorbed by clays and least adsorbed by sand and organic soils.

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