Occurrence and quantification of culturable and viable but non-culturable (VBNC) pathogens in biofilm on different pipes from a metropolitan drinking water distribution system

Yulong Fu, Hongxi Peng, Jingqing Liu, Thanh H. Nguyen, Muhammad Zaffar Hashmi, Chaofeng Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Waterborne pathogens have been found in biofilms grown in drinking water distribution system (DWDS). However, there is a lack of quantitative study on the culturability of pathogens in biofilms from metropolitan DWDS. In this study, we quantified culturable and viable but non-culturable (VBNC) Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae in biofilms collected from five kinds of pipes (galvanized steel pipe, steel pipe, stainless steel clad pipe, ductile cast iron pipe and polyethylene pipe) and associated drinking water at an actual chlorinated DWDS in use from China. The results of these comprehensive analyses revealed that pipe material is a significant factor influencing the culturability of pathogen and microbial communities. Network analysis of the culturable pathogens and 16S rRNA gene inferred potential interactions between microbiome and culturability of pathogens. Although the water quality met the Chinese national standard of drinking water, however, VBNC pathogens were detected in both biofilms and water from the DWDS. This investigation suggests that stainless steel clad pipe (SSCP) was a better choice for pathogen control compared with other metal pipes. To our knowledge, this is the first study on culturable and VBNC pathogens in biofilms of different pipe materials in metropolitan DWDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number142851
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume764
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2021

Keywords

  • Culturability
  • Drinking water distribution system
  • Microbial community
  • Pipe material, pathogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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