In the conducted study, an attempt was made to verify and evaluate the impact of the biofilm formed on the surfaces of the installation material on the quality and sanitary safety of tap water reaching the consumer. For biofilm studies, fractal analysis and quantitative bacteriological analysis were used. The quality of tap water flowing through the experimental installation (semi-technical scale) was determined using physicochemical and microbiological parameters. The quantitative analysis of the biofilm showed that an increase in the number of microorganisms was observed in the initial phase of biofilm formation (reached 1.4 × 104
on day 14). During this period, there was a chaotic build-up of bacterial cells, as evidenced by an increase in the roughness of the profile lines. Unstable elevations of the biofilm formed in this way could be easily detached from the structure of the material, which resulted in deterioration of the bacteriological quality of the water leaving the installation. The obtained results indicate that the biofilm completely and permanently covered the surface of the tested material after 25 days of testing (the surface roughness described by the fractal dimension decreased). Moreover, the favorable temperature (22.6 °C) and the recorded decrease in the content of inorganic nitrogen (by 15%), phosphorus (by 14%), and dissolved oxygen (by 15%) confirm the activity of microorganisms. The favorable environmental conditions in the installation (the presence of nutrients, low chlorine concentration, and high temperature) contributed to the secondary development of microorganisms, including pathogenic organisms in the tested waters.
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