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Bioavailability of soluble microbial products as the autochthonous precursors of disinfection by-products in aerobic and anoxic surface water

Wu, Meirou, Liang, Yongmei, Peng, Huanlong, Ye, Jian, Wu, Jie, Shi, Weiwei, Liu, Wei
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.649 pp. 960-968
Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, bioavailability, biodegradation, byproducts, chloral hydrate, chlorination, chloropicrin, disinfection, drinking water, drinking water treatment, factor analysis, fluorescence, gel chromatography, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, infrared spectroscopy, microbial communities, organic matter, oxygen, surface water
Soluble microbial products (SMPs), as a major part of the effluent organic matter discharged into surface water, may affect the formation of disinfection by-products (DBP) in downstream drinking water treatment plants. In this study, excitation emission matrix fluorescence with parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC), infrared spectroscopy (IR), high performance size-exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) and 16SrRNA high-throughput sequencing were used to investigate the aerobic and anoxic bioavailability of SMPs in surface water and evaluate their influences on DBP formation upon chlorination in a subsequent drinking water plant. In this study, SMPs were utilized by enriched microbial communities such as Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, but the accumulation of SUVA was pronounced during the two oxygen conditions. Biodegraded SMPs had higher humic substructures and lower protein-like components. Due to the presence of SMPs, microbial community compositions were influenced during biodegradation. Moreover, DO was the main factor in biodegradation of SMPs, thus affecting a series of processes, such as microbial compositions, properties of SMPs, DBP formation and reactivity. DBP formation potential decreased after anoxic and aerobic incubations. However, SMPs after aerobic degradation had higher DBP reactivity meanwhile the opposite was found for anoxic incubation. Based on the analysis of IR and HPSEC, it was found that some new substrates or intermediates with MW (220 KDa, <1 KDa) during microbial incubation may contribute to the formation of trihalomethane (THMs), chloral hydrate (CH), dichloroacetonitrile (DCAN) and trichloronitromethane (TCNM) in each DBP sampling episode.