Microbiology

Using molecular microbial techniques, Pipe Dreams aimed to characterise and track microbial community dynamics within water distribution systems.

Molecular characterisation of microbial community the associated with pipe walls and drinking water.
Figure 5 (above) From pipe to microbes - molecular characterisation of microbial community the associated with pipe walls and drinking water.

This system of buried infrastructure acts as a dynamic physical, microbiological and chemical reactor, with high surface area and with highly variable residence times. Using molecular microbial techniques, Pipe Dreams aimed to characterise and track microbial community dynamics within water distribution systems pelagic and biofilm communities under field and experimental conditions.

Pennine Water Group (PWG) coupon.
Figure 4 (above) Pennine Water Group (PWG) coupon.

The laboratory and field studies made use of the PWG coupon inserted along the diameter and length of pipes (Fig. 4). This allowed detailed microscopic and molecular analysis of the biofilm community within the water distribution system that has developed under different management regimes, such as hydraulics, flow velocity, free chlorine, temperature etc. Simultaneous and continuous measurements were taken of key physical, chemical and aesthetic water quality parameters using in-line instrumentation.

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