Identifying the underlying causes of biological instability in a full-scale drinking water supply system

Identifying the underlying causes of biological instability in a full-scale drinking water supply... Changes in bacterial concentration and composition in drinking water during distribution are often attributed to biological (in)stability. Here we assessed temporal biological stability in a full-scale distribution network (DN) supplied with different types of source water: treated and chlorinated surface water and chlorinated groundwater produced at three water treatment plants (WTP). Monitoring was performed weekly during 12 months in two locations in the DN. Flow cytometric total and intact cell concentration (ICC) measurements showed considerable seasonal fluctuations, which were different for two locations. ICC varied between 0.1–3.75 × 105 cells mL−1 and 0.69–4.37 × 105 cells mL−1 at two locations respectively, with ICC increases attributed to temperature-dependent bacterial growth during distribution. Chlorinated water from the different WTP was further analysed with a modified growth potential method, identifying primary and secondary growth limiting compounds. It was observed that bacterial growth in the surface water sample after chlorination was primarily inhibited by phosphorus limitation and secondly by organic carbon limitation, while carbon was limiting in the chlorinated groundwater samples. However, the ratio of available nutrients changed during distribution, and together with disinfection residual decay, this resulted in higher bacterial growth potential detected in the DN than at the WTP. In this study, bacterial growth was found to be higher (i) at higher water temperatures, (ii) in samples with lower chlorine residuals and (iii) in samples with less nutrient (carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, iron) limitation, while this was significantly different between the samples of different origin. Thus drinking water microbiological quality and biological stability could change during different seasons, and the extent of these changes depends on water temperature, the water source and treatment. Furthermore, differences in primary growth limiting nutrients in different water sources could contribute to biological instability in the network, where mixing occurs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Water Research Elsevier

Identifying the underlying causes of biological instability in a full-scale drinking water supply system

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0043-1354
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.watres.2018.02.006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Changes in bacterial concentration and composition in drinking water during distribution are often attributed to biological (in)stability. Here we assessed temporal biological stability in a full-scale distribution network (DN) supplied with different types of source water: treated and chlorinated surface water and chlorinated groundwater produced at three water treatment plants (WTP). Monitoring was performed weekly during 12 months in two locations in the DN. Flow cytometric total and intact cell concentration (ICC) measurements showed considerable seasonal fluctuations, which were different for two locations. ICC varied between 0.1–3.75 × 105 cells mL−1 and 0.69–4.37 × 105 cells mL−1 at two locations respectively, with ICC increases attributed to temperature-dependent bacterial growth during distribution. Chlorinated water from the different WTP was further analysed with a modified growth potential method, identifying primary and secondary growth limiting compounds. It was observed that bacterial growth in the surface water sample after chlorination was primarily inhibited by phosphorus limitation and secondly by organic carbon limitation, while carbon was limiting in the chlorinated groundwater samples. However, the ratio of available nutrients changed during distribution, and together with disinfection residual decay, this resulted in higher bacterial growth potential detected in the DN than at the WTP. In this study, bacterial growth was found to be higher (i) at higher water temperatures, (ii) in samples with lower chlorine residuals and (iii) in samples with less nutrient (carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, iron) limitation, while this was significantly different between the samples of different origin. Thus drinking water microbiological quality and biological stability could change during different seasons, and the extent of these changes depends on water temperature, the water source and treatment. Furthermore, differences in primary growth limiting nutrients in different water sources could contribute to biological instability in the network, where mixing occurs.

Journal

Water ResearchElsevier

Published: May 15, 2018

References

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