Transport of Testosterone and Estrogen from Dairy-Farm Waste Lagoons to Groundwater Academic Article uri icon


  • Although concentrated animal feeding operations constantly generate physiologically active steroidal hormones, little is known of their environmental fate. Estrogen and testosterone concentrations in groundwater and their distribution in sediments below a dairy-farm wastewater lagoon were therefore determined and compared to a reference site located upgradient of the farm. Forward simulations of flow as well as estrogen and testosterone transport were conducted based on data from the sediment profile obtained during drilling of a monitoring well below the dairy-farm waste lagoon. Testosterone and estrogen were detected in sediments to depths of 45 and 32 m, respectively. Groundwater samples were directly impacted by the dairy farm, as evidenced by elevated concentrations of nitrate, chloride, testosterone, and estrogen as compared to the reference site. Modeling potential transport of hormones in the vadose zone via advection, dispersion, and sorption could not explain the depths at which estrogen and tes...

publication date

  • January 1, 2008