Microbial Fouling in a Water Treatment Plant and Its Control Using Biocides
Water treatment plants WTP are vital in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical process industries. This investigation describes the dense microbial fouling by microbes and organic compounds in a WTP of a heavy water producing industrial unit. On-site observations showed severe algal and bacterial growth in the various units of the WTP which are open to the atmosphere and very dense fungal fouling in the closed vacuum degasser unit. Digital and microscopic images showed that the microbial fouling
... e microbial fouling problem was primarily due to a fungus. Microbiological analysis showed a count of ~10 5 cfu mL -1 in various sections of the WTP. On the contrary, slime/ biofilm scrapings had very high bacterial populations >10 9 cfu cm -2 . High organic carbon values in the system 5.0 to 19.5 ppm had supported the growth of the fouling fungus in various sections of the WTP along with bacteria. Chlorination was found to be inadequate in controlling the biofouling problem. Consequently chlorine dioxide was tested and found to be a better biocide in controlling the bacterial population. A 2.0% Sodium-2-pyridinethiol-1-oxide solution had completely inhibited the fouling fungus. The paper discusses the importance of fungal adaptation in an industrial unit and highlights the biodeterioration of various sections of the WTP unit.