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Water 2018, 10(8), 1065;

Dynamics and Functional Potential of Stormwater Microorganisms Colonizing Sand Filters

Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Microbial Processes in Stormwater Treatment Systems)
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Stormwater management is increasingly relying on engineered infiltration systems (EIS) to reduce the volume and improve the quality of managed stormwater. Yet, EIS in the field will be colonized by a diverse array of environmental microorganisms that change the physiochemical properties of the EIS and provide a habitat for microorganisms with harmful or beneficial qualities. Understanding factors influencing the composition and stability of microbial communities could open up strategies for more efficient management of stormwater. Here, we analyzed the potential pathogenic and metabolic capabilities of stormwater microorganisms colonizing idealized EIS (i.e., sand columns) under laboratory conditions over time. The diversity of microbial communities was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and potential pathogens and denitrifying microbes were identified from taxonomic match to known species. Denitrification potential as determined by nosZ abundance was also assessed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction PCR. Our findings demonstrate that replicate microbial communities colonizing sand columns change in a similar way over time, distinct from control columns and the source community. Potential pathogens were initially more abundant on the columns than in the stormwater but returned to background levels by 24 days after inoculation. The conditions within sand columns select for potential denitrifying microorganisms, some of which were also potential pathogens. These results demonstrate that a diverse suite of stormwater microorganisms colonize sand filters, including a transient population of potential pathogens and denitrifiers. Manipulating the inoculating microbial community of EIS could prove an effective mechanism for changing both potential pathogens and denitrifying bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; microbial community; diversity; potential pathogen; denitrification 16S rRNA gene; microbial community; diversity; potential pathogen; denitrification

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fraser, A.N.; Zhang, Y.; Sakowski, E.G.; Preheim, S.P. Dynamics and Functional Potential of Stormwater Microorganisms Colonizing Sand Filters. Water 2018, 10, 1065.

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