Groundwater samples were collected from the tubular wells of a groundwater heat pump (GWHP), and the psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic bacteria inhabiting the collected groundwater were cultured and isolated. Using the isolated bacteria, we analyzed temperature-dependent changes in autochthonous bacteria based on the operation of the GWHP. Microbial culture identified eight species of bacteria: five species of thermophilic bacteria (Anoxybacillus tepidamans, Bacillus oceanisediminis, Deinococcus geothermalis, Effusibacillus pohliae, and Vulcaniibacterium thermophilum), one species of mesophilic bacteria (Lysobacter mobilis), and two species of psychrophilic bacteria (Paenibacillus elgii and Paenibacillus lautus). The results indicated A. tepidamans as the most dominant thermophilic bacterium in the study area. Notably, the Anoxybacillus genus was previous reported as a microorganism capable of creating deposits that clog above-ground wells and filters at geothermal power plants. Additionally, we found that on-site operation of the GWHP had a greater influence on the activity of thermophilic bacteria than on psychrophilic bacteria among autochthonous bacteria. These findings suggested that study of cultures of thermophilic bacteria might contribute to understanding the bio-clogging phenomena mediated by A. tepidamans in regard to GWHP-related thermal efficiency.
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