Assessment of the microbial growth potential of slow sand filtrate with the biomass production potential test in comparison with the assimilable organic carbon method
“Slow sand filtration is the final treatment step at four surface-water supplies in the Netherlands. The microbial growth potential (MGP) of the finished water was measured with the assimilable organic carbon (AOC) method using pure cultures and the biomass production potential (BPP) test. In the BPP test, water samples were incubated untreated at 25 °C and the active-biomass concentration was measured by adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) analysis. Addition of a river-water inoculum improved the test performance and characteristic growth and maintenance profiles of the water were obtained. The maximum ATP concentration attained within seven days and the cumulative biomass production after 14 days of incubation (BPC14, d ng ATP L-1) showed highly significant and strong linear relationships with the AOC in the slow sand filtrates. The lowest AOC and BPC14 levels were observed in the supplies applying dune filtration without ozonation in post treatment, with AOC/TOC = 1.7 ± 0.3 μg acetate-C equivalents mg-1 C and BPC14/TOC = 16.3 ± 2.2 d ng ATP mg-1 C, corresponding with 1.2 ± 0.19 ng ATP mg-1 C. These characteristics may represent the lowest specific MGP of natural organic matter achievable by biofiltration at temperatures ≤20 °C. The AOC and BPC14 concentrations in the slow sand filtrate of the supply treating lake water by ozonation with granular-activated-carbon filtration and slow sand filtration as post treatment increased with decreasing temperature. The BPP test revealed that this slow sand filtrate sampled at 2 °C contained growth-promoting compounds that were not detected with the AOC test. These observations demonstrate the utility of the BPP test for assessing the MGP of drinking water and show the performance limits of biofiltration for MGP reduction.”
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(Citaat: van der Kooij, D., Veenendaal, H.R., van der Mark, E.J., Dignum, M. – Assessment of the microbial growth potential of slow sand filtrate with the biomass production potential test in comparison with the assimilable organic carbon method – Water Research 125(2017)270-279)