Understanding microbial ecology to improve management of drinking water distribution systems

DOUTERELO, Isabel, SHARPE, Rebecca, HUSBAND, Stewart, FISH, Katherine and BOXALL, Joby (2019). Understanding microbial ecology to improve management of drinking water distribution systems. WIREs Water, 6 (1), e01325.

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Open Access URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/wa...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1325
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    Microorganisms in Drinking Water Distribution Systems (DWDS) and in particular the microbial communities that form biofilms on infrastructure surfaces, drive critical processes impacting water quality. This paper reviews knowledge, research approaches and monitoring methods to consolidate understanding of the microbial ecology of DWDS. The review highlights how microbial characteristics and subsequent behaviour can be broadly classified as common or complex. Common behaviour relates to the ubiquitous and continual development of biofilms, consistent core communities and mediated material accumulation. In contrast, the complex aspect relates to the shape, structure and composition of the microbiome, defined by site specific properties such as supplied source water, pipe material and hydraulic regimes. It is shown how the latest microbial tools and techniques can be applied to increase our understanding of DWDS ecology and how water utilities are starting to use this knowledge. This is not because of regulatory requirements, but in recognition that they provide valuable information facilitating pro-active management and operation benefits to these critical yet ageing systems, protecting water quality and public health in the process.

    Item Type: Article
    Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Natural and Build Environment
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1325
    Page Range: e01325
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 15:05
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:06
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23038

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