Long-Term Bacterial Dynamics in a Full-Scale Drinking Water Distribution System

E. I. Prest, D. G. Weissbrodt, F. Hammes, M. C M Van Loosdrecht, Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Large seasonal variations in microbial drinking water quality can occur in distribution networks, but are often not taken into account when evaluating results from short-term water sampling campaigns. Temporal dynamics in bacterial community characteristics were investigated during a two-year drinking water monitoring campaign in a full-scale distribution system operating without detectable disinfectant residual. A total of 368 water samples were collected on a biweekly basis at the water treatment plant (WTP) effluent and at one fixed location in the drinking water distribution network (NET). The samples were analysed for heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), Aeromonas plate counts, adenosine-tri-phosphate (ATP) concentrations, and flow cytometric (FCM) total and intact cell counts (TCC, ICC), water temperature, pH, conductivity, total organic carbon (TOC) and assimilable organic carbon (AOC). Multivariate analysis of the large dataset was performed to explore correlative trends between microbial and environmental parameters. The WTP effluent displayed considerable seasonal variations in TCC (from 90 × 103 cells mL-1 in winter time up to 455 × 103 cells mL-1 in summer time) and in bacterial ATP concentrations (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e0164445
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 28 2016


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