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Proteobacteria become predominant during regrowth after water disinfection

Becerra-Castro, Cristina, Macedo, Gonçalo, Silva, Adrian M.T., Manaia, Célia M., Nunes, Olga C.
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.573 pp. 313-323
Acinetobacter, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Pseudomonas, Rheinheimera, ambient temperature, bacteria, bacterial communities, beta-Proteobacteria, cell structures, cell viability, community structure, disinfection, drinking water, genome, microbiological quality, ozonation, regrowth, surface water, ultraviolet radiation, wastewater, water treatment
Disinfection processes aim at reducing the number of viable cells through the generation of damages in different cellular structures and molecules. Since disinfection involves unspecific mechanisms, some microbial populations may be selected due to resilience to treatment and/or to high post-treatment fitness. In this study, the bacterial community composition of secondarily treated urban wastewater and of surface water collected in the intake area of a drinking water treatment plant was compared before and 3-days after disinfection with ultraviolet radiation, ozonation or photocatalytic ozonation. The aim was to assess the dynamics of the bacterial communities during regrowth after disinfection.In all the freshly collected samples, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the predominant phyla (40–50% and 20–30% of the reads, respectively). Surface water differed from wastewater mainly in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria (17% and <5% of the reads, respectively). After 3-days storage at light and room temperature, disinfected samples presented a shift of Gammaproteobacteria (from 8 to 10% to 33–65% of the reads) and Betaproteobacteria (from 14 to 20% to 31–37% of the reads), irrespective of the type of water and disinfection process used. Genera such as Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter or Rheinheimera presented a selective advantage after water disinfection. These variations were not observed in the non-disinfected controls. Given the ubiquity and genome plasticity of these bacteria, the results obtained suggest that disinfection processes may have implications on the microbiological quality of the disinfected water.