Special Issue "Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 November 2021) | Viewed by 12786

Special Issue Editor

Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
Interests: microbial ecology; biogeochemistry; soil science; greenhouse gases; wastewater treatment; nutrient cycling; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Microbial processes are at the center of wastewater treatment at scales from the home septic system to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Recent advances in molecular genetics, gene sequencing, microscopy, and isotope analyses have allowed us to pry open the “black box” that carries wastewater renovation. These advances can help us to ask and answer questions about community structure and function, as well as about the spatial and temporal dynamics of these communities and how they are affected by environmental conditions and ecological interactions.

Perhaps more importantly, they also allow us to examine the relationship between microbial communities and the performance of wastewater treatment systems, including those that rely on soil for treatment. Answers to these questions will help us to address current (e.g., improving biological N removal, biodegradation of emerging pollutants) and future (e.g., reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, impacts of climate change, resource recovery) challenges. The world population is projected to grow by two billion in the next 20 years, an increase that will be accompanied by a more pressing need to treat wastewater effectively to protect both human and ecosystem health. This will require that we develop a sound understanding of microorganisms—the main actors in treatment—and how they may be managed to improve treatment.

To this end, for this Special Issue of Water—Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment—we welcome manuscripts focusing on centralized and decentralized (e.g., septic systems) wastewater treatment.

Prof. Dr. José A. Amador
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Microbial ecology
  • Genomics
  • Stable isotopes
  • Microscopy
  • Centralized wastewater treatment
  • Septic systems
  • Climate change
  • Resource recovery
  • Environmental impact
  • Soil-based wastewater treatment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Decentralized Domestic Sewage Treatment Using an Integrated Multi-Soil-Layering and Subsurface Wastewater Infiltration System
Water 2021, 13(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040431 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1975
Abstract
In this study, an integrated multi-soil-layering and subsurface wastewater infiltration (MSL-SWI) system was developed for decentralized domestic sewage treatment under high hydraulic loading rates (HLRs). To improve sustainable nitrogen removal, the influence of intermittent operation and shunt distributing wastewater on the performance of [...] Read more.
In this study, an integrated multi-soil-layering and subsurface wastewater infiltration (MSL-SWI) system was developed for decentralized domestic sewage treatment under high hydraulic loading rates (HLRs). To improve sustainable nitrogen removal, the influence of intermittent operation and shunt distributing wastewater on the performance of MSL-SWI systems was investigated. The optimal performance—with removal efficiencies of 93.41% for chemical oxygen demand, 97.91% for total phosphorus, 74.02% for ammonia nitrogen, and 73.56% for total nitrogen—was achieved using both intermittent operation and shunt distributing wastewater under an HLR of 0.3 m3 m−2 d−1. The activity of microbial nitrogen functional genes (i.e., amoA, nirK, nirS, nosZ, and anammox 16S rRNA) and their relationships with nitrogen transformation rates were further analyzed in different layers of the system. The results imply that nitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation in the MSL section coupled with nitrification and denitrification in the SWI section contribute to main the mechanisms of sustainable nitrogen removal. In summary, MSL-SWI systems not only operate with high efficiency under high HLRs, but the contaminant removal is also stable and sustainable, which are promising properties for domestic sewage treatment in areas where land resources are limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Influence of Season, Occupancy Pattern, and Technology on Structure and Composition of Nitrifying and Denitrifying Bacterial Communities in Advanced Nitrogen-Removal Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
Water 2020, 12(9), 2413; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092413 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) use biological nitrogen removal (BNR) to mitigate the threat that N-rich wastewater poses to coastal waterbodies and groundwater. These systems lower the N concentration of effluent via sequential microbial nitrification and denitrification. We used high-throughput sequencing to [...] Read more.
Advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) use biological nitrogen removal (BNR) to mitigate the threat that N-rich wastewater poses to coastal waterbodies and groundwater. These systems lower the N concentration of effluent via sequential microbial nitrification and denitrification. We used high-throughput sequencing to evaluate the structure and composition of nitrifying and denitrifying bacterial communities in advanced N-removal OWTS, targeting the genes encoding ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) and nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) present in effluent from 44 advanced systems. We used QIIME2 and the phyloseq package in R to examine differences in taxonomy and alpha and beta diversity as a function of advanced OWTS technology, occupancy pattern (seasonal vs. year-round use), and season (June vs. September). Richness and Shannon’s diversity index for amoA were significantly influenced by season, whereas technology influenced nosZ diversity significantly. Season also had a strong influence on differences in beta diversity among amoA communities, and had less influence on nosZ communities, whereas technology had a stronger influence on nosZ communities. Nitrosospira and Nitrosomonas were the main genera of nitrifiers in advanced N-removal OWTS, and the predominant genera of denitrifiers included Zoogloea, Thauera, and Acidovorax. Differences in taxonomy for each gene generally mirrored those observed in diversity patterns, highlighting the possible importance of season and technology in shaping communities of amoA and nosZ, respectively. Knowledge gained from this study may be useful in understanding the connections between microbial communities and OWTS performance and may help manage systems in a way that maximizes N removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Nitrifying and Denitrifying Microbial Communities in Centralized and Decentralized Biological Nitrogen Removing Wastewater Treatment Systems
Water 2020, 12(6), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061688 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Biological nitrogen removal (BNR) in centralized and decentralized wastewater treatment systems is assumed to be driven by the same microbial processes and to have communities with a similar composition and structure. There is, however, little information to support these assumptions, which may impact [...] Read more.
Biological nitrogen removal (BNR) in centralized and decentralized wastewater treatment systems is assumed to be driven by the same microbial processes and to have communities with a similar composition and structure. There is, however, little information to support these assumptions, which may impact the effectiveness of decentralized systems. We used high-throughput sequencing to compare the structure and composition of the nitrifying and denitrifying bacterial communities of nine onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) and one wastewater treatment plant (WTP) by targeting the genes coding for ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) and nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ). The amoA diversity was similar between the WTP and OWTS, but nosZ diversity was generally higher for the WTP. Beta diversity analyses showed the WTP and OWTS promoted distinct amoA and nosZ communities, although there is a core group of N-transforming bacteria common across scales of BNR treatment. Our results suggest that advanced N-removal OWTS have microbial communities that are sufficiently distinct from those of WTP with BNR, which may warrant different management approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Effects of Ca2+ Concentration on Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation Reactor Microbial Community Structure
Water 2019, 11(7), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071341 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
The anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) reaction removes nitrogen from wastewater, the performance of which is influenced by Ca2+; however, the effect of Ca2+ on microbial community structure is unclear. Therefore, the effects of Ca2+ concentration on the treatment performance [...] Read more.
The anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) reaction removes nitrogen from wastewater, the performance of which is influenced by Ca2+; however, the effect of Ca2+ on microbial community structure is unclear. Therefore, the effects of Ca2+ concentration on the treatment performance of an anammox reactor and microbial community structure of anammox sludge were investigated. Ca2+ concentration minimally influenced the removal efficiency of NO2–N and NH4+–N, but substantially influenced total N removal. Changing the Ca2+ concentration (between 25 and 125 mg/L) caused the average removal rate of total nitrogen to fluctuate by 3.3 percentage points. There were five major bacterial phyla in the anammox sludge: Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Planctomycete, and Chlorobi. Microbiological analysis revealed that the genera Acidobacterium, Anaerolinea, and Denitratisoma were positively correlated with Ca2+ concentration, and improved treatment performance of the anammox reactor. Moreover, uncultured Chlorobi bacterium clone RUGL1-218 (GQ421108.1) and uncultured sludge bacterium A21b (KT182572.1) may be key microorganisms for the immobilization of anammox bacteria. These findings offer a theoretical basis for improved wastewater treatment using the anammox process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Characteristics of Heterotrophic Nitrifying and Aerobic Denitrifying Arthrobacter nicotianae D51 Strain in the Presence of Copper
Water 2019, 11(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030434 - 28 Feb 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2977
Abstract
A heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification bacterium, strain D51, was identified as Arthrobacter nicotianae based on morphological, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses. Further tests demonstrated that strain D51 had the capability to use nitrite, nitrate, or ammonium as [...] Read more.
A heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification bacterium, strain D51, was identified as Arthrobacter nicotianae based on morphological, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses. Further tests demonstrated that strain D51 had the capability to use nitrite, nitrate, or ammonium as the sole nitrogen source in the presence of Cu2+. The maximum removal efficiencies of nitrite, nitrate and ammonium were 68.97%, 78.32%, and 98.70%, respectively. Additionally, the maximum growth rate and denitrification capacity of this strain occurred in the presence of 0.05 mg·L−1 of Cu2+.However, the growth and aerobic denitrification capacity were intensively inhibited by Cu2+ at ≥0.1 mg·L−1. Moreover, gas chromatography indicated that a portion of the nitrogen was transformed into N2O when the nitrite, nitrate, and ammonium were separately used as the sole nitrogen source. This is the first study of the nitrification and denitrification ability of Arthrobacter nicotianae under aerobic conditions, and the first experiment to investigate the impact of Cu2+ concentration on the growth and denitrification ability of this bacteria. The results presented herein extend the known varieties of heterotrophic nitrifying–aerobic denitrifying bacteria and provide useful information regarding the specific bacteria for nitrogen bioremediation of industrial wastewater containing Cu2+. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Wastewater Treatment)
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