Drinking water and fire safety are strongly bonded to each other. Actual drinking water demand and fire flows are both delivered through the same network, and are both devoted to public health and safety. In The Netherlands, the discussion about fire flows supplied by the drinking water networks has drawn fire fighters and drinking water companies together, searching for novel approaches to improve public safety. One of these approaches is the application of residential fire sprinkler systems fed by drinking water. This approach has an impact on the layout of domestic drinking water systems (DDWSs), as extra plumbing is required. This study examined the influence of the added plumbing on quality of both fresh and 10 h stagnant water in two full scale DDWSs: a conventional and an extended system. Overnight stagnation was found to promote copper and zinc leaching from pipes in both DDWSs. Microbial numbers and viability in the stagnant water, measured by heterotrophic plate count (HPC), flow cytometry (FCM) and adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), depended on the temperature of fresh water, as increased microbial numbers and viability was measured in both DDWSs when the temperature of fresh water was below the observed tipping point (15 °C for the HPC and 17 °C for the FCM and ATP measurements respectively) and vice versa. A high level of similarity between water and biofilm communities, >98% and >70–94% respectively, indicates that the extension of the DDWS did not affect either the microbial quality of fresh drinking water or the biofilm composition.
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