Bacterial growth in distribution systems: Effect of assimilable organic carbon and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon

Isabel C. Escobar, Andrew A. Randall, James S. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two distribution systems, one treating water by ozonation and another treating water by nanofiltration in parallel with lime softening, were monitored for bacterial growth. Both systems kept disinfectant residuals such as chlorine and chloramine in their respective distribution systems. Bacterial growth was assessed by heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) on R2A agar. In the distribution systems fed by ozonated water, HPCs were correlated (R2 = 0.96) using an exponential model with the assimilable organic carbon (AOC) at each sampling site. Also, it was observed that ozonation caused a significant increase in the AOC concentration of the distribution system (over 100% increase) as well as a significant increase in the bacterial counts of the distribution system (average increase over 100%). The HPCs from the distribution systems fed by nanofiltration in parallel with lime-softening water also displayed an exponential correlation (R2 = 0.73) with an exponential model based on AOC. No significant correlation was found between bacteria growth on R2A agar and BDOC concentrations. Therefore, in agreement with previous work, bacterial growth in the distribution systems was found to correlate with AOC concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3442-3447
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume35
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry

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