Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Shannon Bartelt-Hunt

Date of this Version


Document Type



Naderi Beni, N. 2019. Measuring the Occurrence of Antibiotics in Surface Water within a Cattle Grazing Area at the USDA MEAT Animal Research Center. MS Thesis. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Civil Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Shannon Bartelt-Hunt. Lincoln, Nebraska April 2019

Copyright 2019 Nasrin Naderi Beni


Recently, antibiotics have been playing an important role in water and wastewater treatment research. Many studies have proved that antibiotics that are transported from the manure via runoff, are capable of reaching to surface and ground water systems. Consequently, some concerns has been raised due to persistence of these pharmaceutical compounds in the environment. In the present study, uptake rates were measured in the laboratory for 24 antibiotics using Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS). Among the measured uptake rates, nine of them were not quantified before in the literature. POCIS samplers were also used to investigate the occurrence and seasonal variation of antibiotics in surface water within a cattle-grazing area at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) by sampling from five locations along the streams of the facility, during five sampling periods from April to September 2018. The only antibiotics detected were sulfadimethoxine, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, sulfamerazine, sulfadiazine, lincomycin, tiamulin, erythromicin, erythromicin anhydro- and monensin while except monensin, none of the detected antibiotics were prescribed by the facility during 2018. Adsorption to soil particles and organic matter along with the characteristics of the facility’s soil nearby the sampling points, and relatively low uptake rate values of some prescribed antibiotics such as chlortetracycline, might be the reasons of not detecting the prescribed antibiotics during the experiment period. Antibiotics transfer via wind from other livestock in adjacency of the facility, natural production of antibiotics by bacteria living in soil, and environmental persistence of some antibiotics previously used in the facility such as sulfonamides, might explain why the detected antibiotics were observed rather than the ones prescribed in the facility. Furthermore, sulfur-containing compounds such as copper sulfate that were applied in the facility on April and August, swine production, hide industry and old naval ammunition depots also might have contributed to the sulfonamide compounds detected during the experiments.

Advisor: Shannon Bartelt-Hunt