Effects of Diverse Water Pipe Materials on Bacterial Communities and Water Quality in the Annular Reactor

Hyun-Jung Jang
2011 Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology  
To investigate the effects of pipe materials on biofilm accumulation and water quality, an annular reactor with the sample coupons of four pipe materials (steel, copper, stainless steel, and polyvinyl chloride) was operated under hydraulic conditions similar to a real plumbing system for 15 months. The bacterial concentrations were substantially increased in the steel and copper reactors with progression of corrosion, whereas those in stainless steel (STS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reactors
more » ... ere affected mainly by water temperature. The heterotrophic plate count (HPC) of biofilms was about 100 times higher on steel pipe than other pipes throughout the experiment, with the STS pipe showing the lowest bacterial number at the end of the operation. Analysis of the 16S rDNA sequences of 176 cultivated isolates revealed that 66.5% was Proteobacteria and the others included unclassified bacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacilli. Regardless of the pipe materials, Sphingomonas was the predominant species in all biofilms. PCR-DGGE analysis showed that steel pipe exhibited the highest bacterial diversity among the metallic pipes, and the DGGE profile of biofilm on PVC showed three additional bands not detected from the profiles of the metallic materials. Environmental scanning electron microscopy showed that corrosion level and biofilm accumulation were the least in the STS coupon. These results suggest that the STS pipe is the best material for plumbing systems in terms of the microbiological aspects of water quality.
doi:10.4014/jmb.1010.10012 fatcat:s3gxxidbunc4jd5it3aniilkym