Evaluation of Clogging during Sand-Filtered Surface Water Injection for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): Pilot Experiment in the Llobregat Delta (Barcelona, Spain)
2. Background Information
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Column Set-Up and Operation
3.2. Sampling and Analytical Methods
3.2.1. Pressure Head Loss Measurements
3.2.2. Determination of Organic Matter in Sediments Deposited on the Metallic Screen Pieces
3.2.3. Biofilm Growth Evolution Determination
3.2.4. Visual Observation of the Metallic Screen Pieces
3.2.5. Examination of Sediment Morphology by Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-rays Analysis
4.1. Well Screen Observations
4.2. Preassure Head Loss
4.3. Determination of Organic Fraction of Biofilm
4.4. Biofilm Growth Evolution Determination
- Attachment: during the first ten days, EPS concentrations to the order of 1 µg glucose-eq/cm2 were observed, corresponding to the time at which planktonic bacteria adhere to the well screen surface. Previous research shows that a single bacterium will reach the surface through the liquid phase usually by swimming. The single bacterium will attach to surfaces using flagella and other surface appendages . This attachment is generally reversible and it is largely mediated by van der Waals forces. However, early stages of biofilm development will depend on the specific strain. In nature biofilms, other eukaryotic organisms interact with the biofilm and thus form part of it, such as fungi, algae, yeasts, protozoa and other microorganisms.
- Adhesion: the following ten days were observed as the concentration of EPS increased progressively, passing from 1 to 30 µg glucose-eq/cm2 in about 10 days. As observed by other researchers , during the second stage bacteria will slowly but tightly adhere to the surface via pili, proteins, polysaccharides and fimbriae. Filamentous fungi will carry out deposition of spores or other propagules, such as hyphal fragments or sporangia. Diatoms will attach to the substratum by the production of mucilage, which will encapsulate the cells.
- Proliferation: from day 20 to day 28 a concentration of EPS was observed around 45 µg glucose-eq/cm2, corresponding to this subsequent step of proliferation, which is characterized mainly by the proliferation and production of EPS. During this stage, cells lose their flagella-driven motility and the whole system becomes immobilized. EPS are not unique to bacteria; some of the most abundant EPS producers are microalgae (in particular, diatoms). Fungi (yeasts and molds) also produce EPS .
- Biofilm maturation: this phase is the most elongated in time, lasting approximately 25 days, and the maximum EPS formation occurs during the maturation phase, reaching a maximum value of 60 µg glucose-eq/cm2. During this step, microorganisms continue to proliferate and excrete large amounts of hydrated EPS consisting of polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids, which provide stability to the biofilm as a whole and additional shelter to individual microorganisms .
- Release or detachment: during this last stage, the EPS concentration decreased progressively, reducing from 60 to 12 µg glucose-eq/cm2 in about 5 days. This phase corresponds to the moment when motile cells may disperse from the film by diverse mechanisms. Cells from the biofilm will attach at other places and will promulgate the spreading of the film . Dispersal of fungi involves spore dispersal or release of biofilm fragments.
4.5. Scanning Electron Microscopy Observations and Energy Dispersive X-ray Microanalysis
- Maximum relative change in head loss was 20% after 75 days of continuous operation in the ARS simulation experiment. Although the clogging formation caused an increase in head loss within the column, this was not enough to limit the flow rate. This suggests that in a real ASR system, a limitation in the aquifer infiltration capacity is not expected (the gravel would still be able to accept this injection flow), but a rise in the piezometric level of the well would be expected.
- Based on the EPS formation, it was determined that the bio-clogging formation evolved with a rapid increase in the first 140 days and a subsequent stabilization and decrease in the following days. It was also assessed that the composition of the muddy sediment settled in the well screen simulation was mainly inorganic, but comprised 11% of organic content.
- Bio-clogging formation characterization by SEM photography and elemental components determination identified the presence of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, corresponding to the organic fraction, and iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica and aluminium, corresponding to the main fraction of inorganic material. The pictures have shown some isolated bacillus and hifas, while most of the ubiquitous material observed with the microscope corresponds to biological mass aggregates, presumably EPS.
Conflicts of Interest
|AOC||Assimilable Organic Carbon|
|ASR||Aquifer Storage and Recovery|
|DWTP||Drinking Water Treatment Plant|
|EPS||Extracellular Polymeric Substances|
|EDX||Energy dispersive X-ray|
|MAR||Managed Aquifer Recharge|
|MFI||Modified Fouling Index|
|SEM||Scanning Electron Microscopy|
|SFSW||Sand-filtered Surface Water|
|SJD||Sant Joan Despí Municipality|
|TOC||Total organic Carbon|
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|Parameter (Units)||SFSW||Native Groundwater||Drinking Water Standards||Recommendations for ASR Injection Water [Reference]|
|Turbidity (NTU)||0.24||0.13||1||1 , 0.2 |
|MFI (s/L2)||23.5||NA||NR||3–5 , 2 |
|Colour (mg Pt/L)||4.58||1.38||15||NRF|
|Conductivity (µS/cm)||1279 (*)||1753||2500||NRF|
|TOC (mg/L)||3.6||1.2||7||5 , 10 [5,10]|
|AOC (µg acetate-C/L)||0.31  (**)||NA||NR||10 |
|Sulphate (mg/L)||160 (*)||244||250||NRF|
|Nitrate (mg/L)||9.1 (*)||10.3||50||NRF|
|Ammonium (mg/L)||1.11 (*)||0.07||0.5||0.5 |
|Total Iron (µg/L)||10.1||96.4||200||NRF|
|Total manganese (µg/L)||9.16||11.75||50||NRF|
|Total phosphorus (µg/L)||32||10||NR||NRF|
|Total Trihalomethanes (µg/L)||<2||<2||100||NRF|
|E. coli (MPN/100 mL)||120||0||0||10,000 |
|Total coliforms (MPN/100 mL)||731||0.5||0||NRF|
|Enterococcus (CFU/100 mL)||2||0||0||NRF|
|C. perfringens (CFU/100 mL)||35.7||0.1||0||NRF|
|Colony count at 22 °C (CFU/100 mL)||4024||31||100||NRF|
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Camprovin, P.; Hernández, M.; Fernández, S.; Martín-Alonso, J.; Galofré, B.; Mesa, J. Evaluation of Clogging during Sand-Filtered Surface Water Injection for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): Pilot Experiment in the Llobregat Delta (Barcelona, Spain). Water 2017, 9, 263. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040263
Camprovin P, Hernández M, Fernández S, Martín-Alonso J, Galofré B, Mesa J. Evaluation of Clogging during Sand-Filtered Surface Water Injection for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): Pilot Experiment in the Llobregat Delta (Barcelona, Spain). Water. 2017; 9(4):263. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040263Chicago/Turabian Style
Camprovin, Pere, Marta Hernández, Sonia Fernández, Jordi Martín-Alonso, Belén Galofré, and José Mesa. 2017. "Evaluation of Clogging during Sand-Filtered Surface Water Injection for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): Pilot Experiment in the Llobregat Delta (Barcelona, Spain)" Water 9, no. 4: 263. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040263