Monitoring biofilm function in new and matured full-scale slow sand filters using flow cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC)

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Monitoring biofilm function in new and matured full-scale slow sand filters using flow cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC). / Chan, Sandy; Pullerits, Kristjan; Riechelmann, Janine; Persson, Kenneth M.; Rådström, Peter; Paul, Catherine J.

In: Water Research, Vol. 138, 01.07.2018, p. 27-36.

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T1 - Monitoring biofilm function in new and matured full-scale slow sand filters using flow cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC)

AU - Chan, Sandy

AU - Pullerits, Kristjan

AU - Riechelmann, Janine

AU - Persson, Kenneth M.

AU - Rådström, Peter

AU - Paul, Catherine J.

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - While slow sand filters (SSFs) have produced drinking water for more than a hundred years, understanding of their associated microbial communities is limited. In this study, bacteria in influent and effluent water from full-scale SSFs were explored using flow cytometry (FCM) with cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC) analysis; and routine microbial counts for heterotrophs, total coliforms and Escherichia coli. To assess if FCM can monitor biofilm function, SSFs differing in age and sand composition were compared. FCM profiles from two established filters were indistinguishable. To examine biofilm in the deep sand bed, SSFs were monitored during a scraping event, when the top layer of sand and the schmutzdecke are removed to restore flow through the filter. The performance of an established SSF was stable: total organic carbon (TOC), pH, numbers of heterotrophs, coliforms, E. coli, and FCM bacterial profile were unaffected by scraping. However, the performance of two newly-built SSFs containing new and mixed sand was compromised: breakthrough of both microbial indicators and TOC occurred following scraping. The compromised performance of the new SSFs was reflected in distinct effluent bacterial communities; and, the presence of microbial indicators correlated to influent bacterial communities. This demonstrated that FCM can monitor SSF performance. Removal of the top layer of sand did not alter the effluent water from the established SSF, but did affect that of the SSFs containing new sand. This suggests that the impact of the surface biofilm on effluent water is greater when the deep sand bed biofilm is not established.

AB - While slow sand filters (SSFs) have produced drinking water for more than a hundred years, understanding of their associated microbial communities is limited. In this study, bacteria in influent and effluent water from full-scale SSFs were explored using flow cytometry (FCM) with cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC) analysis; and routine microbial counts for heterotrophs, total coliforms and Escherichia coli. To assess if FCM can monitor biofilm function, SSFs differing in age and sand composition were compared. FCM profiles from two established filters were indistinguishable. To examine biofilm in the deep sand bed, SSFs were monitored during a scraping event, when the top layer of sand and the schmutzdecke are removed to restore flow through the filter. The performance of an established SSF was stable: total organic carbon (TOC), pH, numbers of heterotrophs, coliforms, E. coli, and FCM bacterial profile were unaffected by scraping. However, the performance of two newly-built SSFs containing new and mixed sand was compromised: breakthrough of both microbial indicators and TOC occurred following scraping. The compromised performance of the new SSFs was reflected in distinct effluent bacterial communities; and, the presence of microbial indicators correlated to influent bacterial communities. This demonstrated that FCM can monitor SSF performance. Removal of the top layer of sand did not alter the effluent water from the established SSF, but did affect that of the SSFs containing new sand. This suggests that the impact of the surface biofilm on effluent water is greater when the deep sand bed biofilm is not established.

KW - Biofilm

KW - Cytometric histogram image comparison (CHIC)

KW - Drinking water

KW - Flow cytometry

KW - Schmutzdecke

KW - Slow sand filters

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85046015987&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.032

DO - 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.032

M3 - Article

C2 - 29571086

AN - SCOPUS:85046015987

VL - 138

SP - 27

EP - 36

JO - Water Research

JF - Water Research

SN - 1879-2448

ER -