This paper presents the methodology for determining the die-off coefficient of faecal indicator bacteria (enterococci) when transported in a karst environment. The main problem in exploring karst environments, which this methodology strives to cope with, is lack of field measurements, poor data on karst rock formation, fractures and channels within it, and groundwater level dynamics. The analysed karst catchment (Bokanjac–Poličnik) is situated in the hinterland of the city of Zadar (Republic of Croatia) and covers an area of 235.07 km2
. In the water supply wells within the analysed catchment, a frequent occurrence of enterococci was observed. The proposed methodology consists of two basic steps. Preliminary analyses as the initial step were used in the accumulation of certain assumptions related to the detection of increased concentrations of enterococci as well as in determination of the potential source of pollution. In the second step, the analytical model was constructed with the aim of resolving processes of sorption and die-off and determining the dominant factor in the process of natural removal of enterococci when transported in karst environment. Within the model, two parts of the pollutant transport are integrated: vertical percolation and horizontal seepage flow and transport. The mean value of the total die-off coefficient by transport through the unsaturated zone in the analysed case is
= 8.25. Within the saturated zone the total die-off coefficient
is within the limits of 0.1 and 0.5.
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