Bacterial diversity and active biomass in full-scale granular activated carbon filters operated at low water temperatures

Outi E. Kaarela, Heli A. Härkki, Marja R.T. Palmroth, Tuula A. Tuhkanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration enhances the removal of natural organic matter and micropollutants in drinking water treatment. Microbial communities in GAC filters contribute to the removal of the biodegradable part of organic matter, and thus help to control microbial regrowth in the distribution system. Our objectives were to investigate bacterial community dynamics, identify the major bacterial groups, and determine the concentration of active bacterial biomass in full-scale GAC filters treating cold (3.7-9.5°C), physicochemically pretreated, and ozonated lake water. Three sampling rounds were conducted to study six GAC filters of different operation times and flow modes in winter, spring, and summer. Total organic carbon results indicated that both the first-step and second-step filters contributed to the removal of organic matter. Length heterogeneity analysis of amplified 16S rRNA genes illustrated that bacterial communities were diverse and considerably stable over time. α-Proteobacteria, β-Proteobacteria, and Nitrospira dominated in all of the GAC filters, although the relative proportion of dominant phylogenetic groups in individual filters differed. The active bacterial biomass accumulation, measured as adenosine triphosphate, was limited due to low temperature, low flux of nutrients, and frequent backwashing. The concentration of active bacterial biomass was not affected by the moderate seasonal temperature variation. In summary, the results provided an insight into the biological component of GAC filtration in cold water temperatures and the operational parameters affecting it.
    Translated title of the contributionBacterial diversity and active biomass in full-scale granular activated carbon filters operated at low water temperatures
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)681-692
    Number of pages12
    JournalEnvironmental Technology
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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