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Analysis of photocatalysis for precursor removal and formation inhibition of disinfection byproducts

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Disinfection byproducts are the result of reactions between natural organic matter (NOM) and a disinfectant. The formation and speciation of DBP formation is largely dependent on the disinfectant used and the natural organic matter (NOM) concentration and composition. This study

Disinfection byproducts are the result of reactions between natural organic matter (NOM) and a disinfectant. The formation and speciation of DBP formation is largely dependent on the disinfectant used and the natural organic matter (NOM) concentration and composition. This study examined the use of photocatalysis with titanium dioxide for the oxidation and removal of DBP precursors (NOM) and the inhibition of DBP formation. Water sources were collected from various points in the treatment process, treated with photocatalysis, and chlorinated to analyze the implications on total trihalomethane (TTHM) and the five haloacetic acids (HAA5) formations. The three sub-objectives for this study included: the comparison of enhanced and standard coagulation to photocatalysis for the removal of DBP precursors; the analysis of photocatalysis and characterization of organic matter using size exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy and excitation-emission matrices; and the analysis of photocatalysis before GAC filtration. There were consistencies in the trends for each objective including reduced DBP precursors, measured as dissolved organic carbon DOC concentration and UV absorbance at 254 nm. Both of these parameters decreased with increased photocatalytic treatment and could be due in part to the adsorption to as well as the oxidation of NOM on the TiO2 surface. This resulted in lower THM and HAA concentrations at Medium and High photocatalytic treatment levels. However, at No UV exposure and Low photocatalytic treatment levels where oxidation reactions were inherently incomplete, there was an increase in THM and HAA formation potential, in most cases being significantly greater than those found in the raw water or Control samples. The size exclusion chromatography (SEC) results suggest that photocatalysis preferentially degrades the higher molecular mass fraction of NOM releasing lower molecular mass (LMM) compounds that have not been completely oxidized. The molecular weight distributions could explain the THM and HAA formation potentials that decreased at the No UV exposure samples but increased at Low photocatalytic treatment levels. The use of photocatalysis before GAC adsorption appears to increase bed life of the contactors; however, higher photocatalytic treatment levels have been shown to completely mineralize NOM and would therefore not require additional GAC adsorption after photocatalysis.

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2011

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Legionella-- a threat to groundwater, pathogen transport through recharge basin media columns

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This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of L. pneumophila through engineered reclaimed water systems. A pilot-scale, column study was set up to measure Legionella transport in the columns under Arizona recharge basin conditions. Two columns, A and B, were packed to a depth of 122 cm with a loamy sand media collected from a recharge basin in Mesa, Arizona. The grain size distribution of Column A differed from that of Column B by the removal of fines passing the #200 sieve. The different soil profiles represented by column A and B allowed for further investigation of soil attributes which influence the microbial transport mechanism. Both clear PVC columns stand at a height of 1.83 m with an inner diameter of 6.35 cm. Sampling ports were drilled into the column at the soil depths 15, 30, 60, 92, 122 cm. Both columns were acclimated with tertiary treated waste water and set to a flow rate of approximately 1.5 m/d. The columns were used to assess the transport of a bacterial indicator, E. coli, in addition to assessing the study's primary pathogen of concern, Legionella. Approximately, 〖10〗^7 to 〖10〗^9 E. coli cells or 〖10〗^6 to 〖10〗^7Legionella cells were spiked into the columns' head waters for each experiment. Periodically, samples were collected from each column's sampling ports, until a minimum of three pore volume passed through the columns.

The pilot-scale, column study produced novel results which demonstrated the mechanism for Legionella to be transported through recharge basin soil. E. coli was transported, through 122 cm of the media in under 6 hours, whereas, Legionella was transported, through the same distance, in under 30 hours. Legionella has been shown to survive in low nutrient conditions for over a year. Given the novel results of this proof of concept study, a claim can be made for the transport of Legionella into groundwater aquifers through engineering recharge basin conditions, in Central Arizona.

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2014

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Investigation into Bacteroides persistence in drinking water distribution systems and alternative methods to detect this fecal indicator

Description

Bacteroides have been suggested as alternative indicators of fecal pollution since they are highly abundant in feces and are thought to have limited potential to grow in environment. However, recent literature suggests that Bacteroides can potentially survive within water distribution

Bacteroides have been suggested as alternative indicators of fecal pollution since they are highly abundant in feces and are thought to have limited potential to grow in environment. However, recent literature suggests that Bacteroides can potentially survive within water distribution systems. The first objective of this study was therefore to investigate the validity of Bacteroides as a fecal indicator for drinking water through laboratory experiments and field studies. Experiments were performed using a laboratory scale PVC model water distribution system that was spiked with 109 Bacteroides. Samples were collected over the following four and analyzed by culture and molecular-based techniques. Second, field studies were performed by collecting water meters from two large chlorinated water distribution systems in central Arizona. Upon removal for repair by city personnel, meters were collected and biofilms samples were gathered within two hours. The biofilms were then analyzed using culture and molecular-based assays. The results from these studies support the hypothesis that Bacteroides DNA may be found in water distribution systems despite the difficulty of cultivating these bacterial cells. These experiments present the importance of considering biofilm interactions with fecal indicator bacteria when performing molecular assays on environmental samples, as biofilms may provide protection from high oxygen concentrations and grazing protozoa in bulk water that limit the persistence Bacteroides in the environment. Although the significance of biofilm interactions with surface or recreational waters may be small, they are likely important when considering drinking water delivered through distribution systems. The second objective of this study was to investigate alternative detection methodologies for the fecal indicator Bacteroides. In particular, this study focused on using a simplified protocol of Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification (NASBA) and Thermophilic Helicase-Dependent Amplification (tHDA) to amplify the highly conserved 16s rRNA gene in the genomic DNA of fecal indicator Bacteroides. The results of this study show that the simplified NASBA procedure was not able to amplify the target, while continuous problems with tHDA exposed the methods lack of reliability. These results suggest higher reliability in the isothermal amplification methods needs to be achieved before application to environmental samples.

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2012

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Airborne dispersion and plume modeling of Legionella bacteria

Description

Since its first report in 1976, many outbreaks of Legionella have been reported in the world. These outbreaks are a public health concern because of legionellosis, which cause Pontiac fever and Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease is a type

Since its first report in 1976, many outbreaks of Legionella have been reported in the world. These outbreaks are a public health concern because of legionellosis, which cause Pontiac fever and Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia responsible for the majority of the illness in the reported outbreaks. This study consists of an extensive literature review and experimental work on the aerosolization of Legionella and a bacterial surrogate under laboratory conditions. The literature review summarizes Legionella characteristics, legionellosis, potential sources of Legionella, disease outbreaks, collection and detection methodologies, environmental conditions for growth and survival of Legionella, Gaussian plume dispersion modeling, and recommendations for reducing potential Legionella outbreaks. The aerosolization and airborne dispersion of Legionella and E. coli was conducted separately inside of a closed environment. First, the bacterial cells were sprayed inside of an airtight box and then samples were collected using a microbial air sampler to measure the number of bacterial cells aerosolized and transported in air. Furthermore, a Gaussian plume dispersion model was used to estimate the dispersion under the experimental conditions and parameters. The concentration of Legionella was estimated for a person inhaling the air at three different distances away from the spray. The concentration of Legionella at distances of 0.1 km, 1 km, and 10 km away from the source was predicted to be 1.7x10-1, 2.2x10-3, and 2.6x10-5 CFU/m3, respectively.

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Date Created
2014

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Colonization of granular activated carbon media filters by Legionella and heterotrophic bacterial cells

Description

Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters are final polishing step in the drinking water treatment systems for removal of dissolved organic carbon fractions. Generally filters are colonized by bacterial communities and their activity reduces biodegradable solutes allowing partial regeneration of GAC's

Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters are final polishing step in the drinking water treatment systems for removal of dissolved organic carbon fractions. Generally filters are colonized by bacterial communities and their activity reduces biodegradable solutes allowing partial regeneration of GAC's adsorptive capacity. When the bacteria pass into the filtrate due to increased growth, microbiological quality of drinking water is compromised and regrowth in the distribution system occurs. Bacteria attached to carbon particles as biofilms or in conjugation with other bacteria were observed to be highly resistant to post filtration microbial mitigation techniques. Some of these bacteria were identified as pathogenic.

This study focuses on one such pathogen Legionella pneumophila which is resistant to environmental stressors and treatment conditions. It is also responsible for Legionnaires' disease outbreak through drinking water thus attracting attention of regulatory agencies. The work assessed the attachment and colonization of Legionella and heterotrophic bacteria in lab scale GAC media column filters. Quantification of Legionella and HPC in the influent, effluent, column's biofilms and on the GAC particles was performed over time using fluorescent microscopy and culture based techniques.

The results indicated gradual increase in the colonization of the GAC particles with HPC bacteria. Initially high number of Legionella cells were detected in the column effluent and were not detected on GAC suggesting low attachment of the cells to the particles potentially due to lack of any previous biofilms. With the initial colonization of the filter media by other bacteria the number of Legionella cells on the GAC particles and biofilms also increased. Presence of Legionella was confirmed in all the samples collected from the columns spiked with Legionella. Significant increase in the Legionella was observed in column's inner surface biofilm (0.25 logs up to 0.52 logs) and on GAC particles (0.42 logs up to 0.63 logs) after 2 months. Legionella and HPC attached to column's biofilm were higher than that on GAC particles indicating the strong association with biofilms. The bacterial concentration slowly increased in the effluent. This may be due to column's wall effect decreasing filter efficiency, possible exhaustion of GAC capacity over time and potential bacterial growth.

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Date Created
2014

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Impact of viral infectivity on phototrophic microbes for biofuel applications

Description

Research in microbial biofuels has dramatically increased over the last decade. The bulk of this research has focused on increasing the production yields of cyanobacteria and algal cells and improving extraction processes. However, there has been little to no research

Research in microbial biofuels has dramatically increased over the last decade. The bulk of this research has focused on increasing the production yields of cyanobacteria and algal cells and improving extraction processes. However, there has been little to no research on the potential impact of viruses on the yields of these phototrophic microbes for biofuel production. Viruses have the potential to significantly reduce microbial populations and limit their growth rates. It is therefore important to understand how viruses affect phototrophic microbes and the prevalence of these viruses in the environment. For this study, phototrophic microbes were grown in glass bioreactors, under continuous light and aeration. Detection and quantification of viruses of both environmental and laboratory microbial strains were measured through the use of a plaque assay. Plates were incubated at 25º C under continuous direct florescent light. Several environmental samples were taken from Tempe Town Lake (Tempe, AZ) and all the samples tested positive for viruses. Virus free phototrophic microbes were obtained from plaque assay plates by using a sterile loop to scoop up a virus free portion of the microbial lawn and transferred into a new bioreactor. Isolated cells were confirmed virus free through subsequent plaque assays. Viruses were detected from the bench scale bioreactors of Cyanobacteria Synechocystis PCC 6803 and the environmental samples. Viruses were consistently present through subsequent passage in fresh cultures; demonstrating viral contamination can be a chronic problem. In addition TEM was performed to examine presence or viral attachment to cyanobacterial cells and to characterize viral particles morphology. Electron micrographs obtained confirmed viral attachment and that the viruses detected were all of a similar size and shape. Particle sizes were measured to be approximately 50-60 nm. Cell reduction was observed as a decrease in optical density, with a transition from a dark green to a yellow green color for the cultures. Phototrophic microbial viruses were demonstrated to persist in the natural environment and to cause a reduction in algal populations in the bioreactors. Therefore it is likely that viruses could have a significant impact on microbial biofuel production by limiting the yields of production ponds.

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2014

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Transformed Legionella for application in engineering process validation in the built environment

Description

Legionella pneumophila is a waterborne pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease, an infection which can lead to potentially fatal pneumonia. In a culture-based technique, Legionella is detected using buffered charcoal-yeast extract (BCYE) agar supplemented with L-cysteine, Iron salt and antibiotics. These

Legionella pneumophila is a waterborne pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease, an infection which can lead to potentially fatal pneumonia. In a culture-based technique, Legionella is detected using buffered charcoal-yeast extract (BCYE) agar supplemented with L-cysteine, Iron salt and antibiotics. These supplements provide essential and complex nutrient requirements and help in the suppression of non-target bacteria in Legionella analysis. Legionella occurs naturally in freshwater environments and for their detection; a sample is plated on solid agar media and then incubated for several days. There are many challenges in the detection of Legionella in environmental waters and the built environments. A common challenge is that a variety of environmental bacteria can be presumptively identified as Legionella using the culture-based method. In addition, proper identification of Legionella requires long incubation period (3-9 days) while antibiotics used in BCYE agar have relatively short half-life time. In order to overcome some of the challenges, Legionella has been genetically modified to express reporter genes such Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) that can facilitate its detection in process validation studies under controlled laboratory conditions. However, such studies had limited success due to the instability of genetically modified Legionella strains. The development of a genetically modified Legionella with a much rapid growth rate (1-2 days) in simulated environmental systems (tightly-controlled water distribution system) is achieved. The mutant Legionella is engineered by transforming with a specific plasmid encoding CymR, LacZ and TetR genes. The newly engineered Legionella can grow on conventional BCYE agar media without L-Cysteine, Iron salt and only require one antibiotic (Tetracycline) to suppress the growth of other microorganisms in media. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of L. pneumophila strain capable of growing without L-Cysteine. We believe that this discovery would not only facilitate the study of the fate and transport of this pathogen in environmental systems, but also further our understanding of the genetics and metabolic pathways of Legionella.

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2018

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Implementation of emerging technologies: treatment capability of peracetic acid and ultraviolet irradiation

Description

Advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s) are water/wastewater treatment processes simultaneously providing disinfection and potential oxidation of contaminants that may cause long-term adverse health effects in humans. One AOP involves injecting peracetic acid (PAA) upstream of an ultraviolet (UV) irradiation reactor.

Advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s) are water/wastewater treatment processes simultaneously providing disinfection and potential oxidation of contaminants that may cause long-term adverse health effects in humans. One AOP involves injecting peracetic acid (PAA) upstream of an ultraviolet (UV) irradiation reactor. Two studies were conducted, one in pilot-scale field conditions and another under laboratory conditions. A pilot-scale NeoTech UV reactor (rated for 375 GPM) was used in the pilot study, where a smaller version of this unit was used in the laboratory study (20 to 35 GPM). The pilot study analyzed coliform disinfection and also monitored water quality parameters including UV transmittance (UVT), pH and chlorine residual. Pilot study UV experiments indicate the unit is effectively treating flow streams (>6 logs total coliforms) twice the 95% UVT unit capacity (750 GPM or 17 mJ/cm2 UV Dose). The results were inconclusive on PAA/UV inactivation due to high data variability and field operation conditions creating low inlet concentrations.Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and the enterobacteria phage P22—a surrogate for enteric viruses—were analyzed. UV inactivated >7.9 and 4 logs of E. coli and P22 respectively at a 16.8 mJ/cm2 UV dose in test water containing a significant organics concentration. When PAA doses of 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L were injected upstream of UV at approximately the same UV Dose, the average E.coli log inactivation increased to >8.9 and >9 logs respectively, but P22 inactivation decreased to 2.9 and 3.0 logs, respectively. A bench-scale study with PAA was also conducted for 5, 10 and 30 minutes of contact time, where 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L had <1 log inactivation of E. coli and P22 after 30 minutes of contact time. In addition, degradation of the chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in tap water was analyzed, where UV degraded NDMA by 48 to 97% for 4 and 0.5 GPM flowrates, respectively. Adding 0.5 mg/L PAA upstream of UV did not significantly improve NDMA degradation.

The results under laboratory conditions indicate that PAA/UV have synergy in the inactivation of bacteria, but decrease virus inactivation. In addition, the pilot study demonstrates the applicability of the technology for full scale operation.

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2017

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Controlling Silver Release from Antibacterial Surface Coatings on Stainless Steel for Biofouling Control

Description

Iodine and silver ions (Ag+), added as silver fluoride (AgF) or silver nitrate (AgNO3), are currently being used as a biocide to control the spread of bacteria in the water storage tanks of the International Space Station (ISS). Due to

Iodine and silver ions (Ag+), added as silver fluoride (AgF) or silver nitrate (AgNO3), are currently being used as a biocide to control the spread of bacteria in the water storage tanks of the International Space Station (ISS). Due to the complications of the iodine system, NASA is interested to completely replace iodine with silver and apply it as an antibacterial surface coating on stainless steel (SS) surfaces for biofouling control in extended space missions. However, Ag+ is highly soluble and rapidly dissolves in water, as a result, the coated surface loses its antibacterial properties. The dissolution of NPs into Ag+ and subsequent solubilization reduces its effectivity or extended period application. This study focuses on the in-situ nucleation of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) on stainless steel followed by their partial passivation by the formation of a low solubility silver sulfide (Ag2S), silver bromide (AgBr), and silver iodide (AgI) shell with various concentrations for an increased long-term biofouling performance and a slower silver release over time. Antibacterial activity was evaluated using Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The highest bacterial inactivation (up to 75%) occurred with sulfidized AgNPs as opposed to bromidized (up to 50%) and iodized NPs (up to 60%). Surface analysis by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed considerably fewer particles on AgBr and AgI compared to Ag2S-coated samples. Silver iodide was not tested in additional experiments due to its drawbacks and its poor antibacterial performance compared to sulfidized samples. Compared to pristine AgNPs, Ag release from both sulfidized and bromidized NPs was significantly low (16% vs 6% or less) depending on the extent of sulfidation or bromidation. Experiments were also carried out to investigate the effect of passivation on biofilm formation. Biofilm growth was smaller on surfaces treated with 10-3 M Na2S and 10-3 M NaBr compared to the surface of pristine AgNPs. Overall, sulfidation appears to be the most effective option to control biofilm formation on stainless steel. However, future research is needed to verify the effectiveness of sulfidized AgNPs on other metals including Inconel 718 and Titanium 6Al-4V used in the spacecraft potable water systems.

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Date Created
2021

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Monitoring Algal Abundance, Water Quality, And Deploying Microbial Sensors Along the Central Arizona Project

Description

Microalgae offer a unique set of promises and perils for environmental management and sustainable production. Algal blooms are becoming a more frequent phenomenon within water infrastructure. As algae blooms are common, water infrastructure across the world has seen mounting problems

Microalgae offer a unique set of promises and perils for environmental management and sustainable production. Algal blooms are becoming a more frequent phenomenon within water infrastructure. As algae blooms are common, water infrastructure across the world has seen mounting problems associated with algal blooms. Some of these problems include biofouling and release of toxins. Since 1997, Arizona’s Central Arizona Project (CAP) has faced escalating problems associated with the algae diatom Cymbella sp. and the green-algae Cladophora glomerata. In this research study, algae are diagramed within the CAP system, the nutrient and abiotic requirements of the diatom Cymbella sp. are determined, and real-time microbial sensors are deployed along the CAP canals for understanding algae blooms and changes in CAP flow conditions. The following research objectives are met: How can water delivery infrastructure improve algae contamination risks in critical water resources?
To do this research demonstrates that (i) nuisance algae species within the CAP canals are Cymbella sp. and Cladophora glomerata (ii) that the nuisance “rock-snot” diatom Cymbella sp. is not Cymbella mexicana nor is it Cymbella janischii, but rather a novel Cymbella sp.(iii) that in laboratory settings, Cymbella sp. prefers high Phosphorus and low Nitrogen conditions (iv) that the Cymbella sp. bloom happens in the early summer along the CAP canals (v) that the diatom Cymbella sp. can be removed through chemical treatments (vi) that microbial sensors can measure changes in algae composition along the CAP canals (vii) that microbial sensors, water quality parameters, and weather data can be integrated to measure algae blooms within water systems.

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Date Created
2021