Population diversity in model potable water biofilms receiving chlorine or chloramine residual.
ABSTRACT Most water utilities use chlorine or chloramine to produce potable water. These disinfecting agents react with water to produce residual oxidants within a water distribution system (WDS) to control bacterial growth. While monochloramine is considered more stable than chlorine, little is known about the effect it has on WDS biofilms. Community structure of 10-week old WDS biofilms exposed to disinfectants was assessed after developing model biofilms from unamended distribution water. Four biofilm types were developed on polycarbonate slides within annular reactors while receiving chlorine, chloramine, or inactivated disinfectant residual. Eubacteria were identified through 16S rDNA sequence analysis. The model WDS biofilm exposed to chloramine mainly contained Mycobacterium and Dechloromonas sequences, while a variety of alpha- and additional beta-proteobacteria dominated the 16S rDNA clone libraries in the other three biofilms. Additionally, bacterial clones distantly related to Legionella were found in one of the biofilms receiving water with inactivated chlorine residual. The biofilm reactor receiving chloraminated water required increasing amounts of disinfectant after 2 weeks to maintain chlorine residual. In contrast, free chlorine residual remained steady in the reactor that received chlorinated water. The differences in bacterial populations of potable water biofilms suggest that disinfecting agents can influence biofilm development. These results also suggest that biofilm communities in distribution systems are capable of changing in response to disinfection practices.
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ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is a select agent and the causative agent of melioidosis. Variations in previously reported chlorine and monochloramine concentration time (Ct) values for disinfection of this organism make decisions regarding the appropriate levels of chlorine in water treatment systems difficult. This study identified the variation in Ct values for 2-, 3-, and 4-log(10) reductions of eight environmental and clinical isolates of B. pseudomallei in phosphate-buffered water. The greatest calculated Ct values for a 4-log(10) inactivation were 7.8 mg.min/liter for free available chlorine (FAC) at pH 8 and 5 degrees C and 550 mg.min/liter for monochloramine at pH 8 and 5 degrees C. Ionic strength of test solutions, culture hold times in water, and cell washing were ruled out as sources of the differences in prior observations. Tolerance to FAC was correlated with the relative amount of extracellular material produced by each isolate. Solid-phase cytometry analysis using an esterase-cleaved fluorochrome assay detected a 2-log(10)-higher level of organisms based upon metabolic activity than did culture, which in some cases increased Ct values by fivefold. Despite strain-to-strain variations in Ct values of 17-fold for FAC and 2.5-fold for monochloramine, standard FAC disinfection practices utilized in the United States should disinfect planktonic populations of these B. pseudomallei strains by 4 orders of magnitude in less than 10 min at the tested temperatures and pH levels.Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2009; 75(16):5405-9. · 3.69 Impact Factor