Revealing the changes of bacterial community from water source to consumers tap: A full-scale investigation in eastern city of China

Baoyou Shi , Xu Ma , Guiwei Li , Ruya Chen , Ying Yu , Hui Tao , Guangming Zhang


Received April 20, 2019,Revised , Accepted July 24, 2019, Available online July 31, 2019

Volume 32,2020,Pages 331-340

This study profiled the bacterial community variations of water from four water treatment systems, including coagulation, sedimentation, sand filtration, ozonation-biological activated carbon filtration (O3-BAC), disinfection, and the tap water after the distribution process in eastern China. The results showed that different water treatment processes affected the bacterial community structure in different ways. The traditional treatment processes, including coagulation, sedimentation and sand filtration, reduced the total bacterial count, while they had little effect on the bacterial community structure in the treated water (before disinfection). Compared to the traditional treatment process, O3-BAC reduced the relative abundance of Sphingomonas in the finished water. In addition, ozonation may play a role in reducing the relative abundance of Mycobacterium. NaClO and ClO2 had different effects on the bacterial community in the finished water. The relative abundance of some bacteria (e.g. Flavobacterium, Phreatobacter and Porphyrobacter) increased in the finished water after ClO2 disinfection. The relative abundance of Mycobacterium and Legionella, which have been widely reported as waterborne opportunistic pathogens, increased after NaClO disinfection. In addition, some microorganisms proliferated and grew in the distribution system, which could lead to turbidity increases in the tap water. Compared to those in the finished water, the relative abundance of Sphingomonas, Hyphomicrobium, Phreatobacter, Rheinheimera, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter increased in the tap water disinfected with NaClO, while the relative abundance of Mycobacterium increased in the tap water disinfected with ClO2. Overall, this study provided the detailed variation in the bacterial community in the drinking water system.

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