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Identification of Factors Affecting Bacterial Abundance and Community Structures in a Full-Scale Chlorinated Drinking Water Distribution System

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
2
INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, QC H7V 1B7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030627
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Disentangling factors influencing suspended bacterial community structure across distribution system and building plumbing provides insight into microbial control strategies from source to tap. Water quality parameters (residence time, chlorine, and total cells) and bacterial community structure were investigated across a full-scale chlorinated drinking water distribution system. Sampling was conducted in treated water, in different areas of the distribution system and in hospital building plumbing. Bacterial community was evaluated using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial community structure clearly differed between treated, distributed, and premise plumbing water samples. While Proteobacteria (60%), Planctomycetes (20%), and Bacteroidetes (10%) were the most abundant phyla in treated water, Proteobacteria largely dominated distribution system sites (98%) and taps (91%). Distributed and tap water differed in their Proteobacteria profile: Alphaproteobacteria was dominant in distributed water (92% vs. 65% in tap waters), whereas Betaproteobacteria was most abundant in tap water (18% vs. 2% in the distribution system). Finally, clustering of bacterial community profiles was largely explained by differences in chlorine residual concentration, total bacterial count, and water residence time. Residual disinfectant and hydraulic residence time were determinant factors of the community structure in main pipes and building plumbing, rather than treated water bacterial communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water distribution system; chlorine residual; residence time; high-throughput sequencing; building plumbing; bacterial community structure drinking water distribution system; chlorine residual; residence time; high-throughput sequencing; building plumbing; bacterial community structure
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Dias, V.C.F.; Durand, A.-A.; Constant, P.; Prévost, M.; Bédard, E. Identification of Factors Affecting Bacterial Abundance and Community Structures in a Full-Scale Chlorinated Drinking Water Distribution System. Water 2019, 11, 627.

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