|Ibekwe, Abasiofiok - Mark
|MURINDA, SHELTON - California Polytechnic State University
Submitted to: Microorganisms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2019
Publication Date: 12/7/2019
Citation: Ibekwe, A.M., Murinda, S.E. 2019. Linking microbial community composition in treated wastewater with water quality in distribution systems and subsequent health effects. Microorganisms. 7(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120660.
Interpretive Summary: The availability of potable water devoid of pathogens is fundamental to public health. The aim of this review was to highlight the role of biofilms in water contamination in the distribution systems and the subsequent health effects. The presence of suspended and biofilm embedded microbes in drinking water distribution systems can degrade the quality of water. This review has provided some of the factors that may enhance the formation of biofilm, as well as the latest technologies that can be used to eliminate biofilm formation in modern water distribution systems. The final product entering the distribution system must be microbiologically safe and ideally should also be biologically stable. The results of this review will be used by water quality managers, World Health Organization, researchers, EPA, and other local agencies that are involved in irrigation management in many developing countries.
Technical Abstract: The increases in per capita water consumption, coupled in part with global climate change have resulted in increased demands on available freshwater resources. Therefore, the availability of safe, pathogen-free drinking water is vital to public health. This need has resulted in global initiatives to develop sustainable urban water infrastructure for the treatment of waste water for different purposes such as reuse water for irrigation, and advanced waste water purification systems for domestic water supply. In developed countries, most of the water goes through primary, secondary, and tertiary treatments combined with disinfectant, microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis, etc. to produce portable water. However, in developing countries, some of these processes may not occur. But one thing in common with the different end users is that the water goes through massive distribution systems, and the pipes in the distribution lines may be contaminated with diverse microbes that inhabit these systems. In the main distribution lines, microbes survive within biofilms which may contain opportunistic pathogens. This review highlights the role of biofilms in water contamination in the distribution systems, and the subsequent health effects. We conclude by pointing out some basic steps that may be taken to reduce the accumulation of biofilms in the water distribution systems.