Assessing Biological Stability of Drinking Water Without Disinfectant Residuals in a Full-Scale Water Supply System

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Assessing biological stability of drinking water without disinfectant residuals in a full-scale water supply system
Frederik Hammes, Cordula Berger, Oliver Ko
ster and Thomas Egli
Frederik Hammes
(corresponding author)
Cordula Berger
Thomas Egli
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and
Technology (Eawag),
̈ berlandstr. 133,
CH-8600, Du
Tel.: +41 44 823 5350;
Fax: +41 44 823 5547
Cordula Berger
Oliver Ko
̈ rich Water Supply (WVZ),
Hardhof 9, P.O. Box 1179,
CH-8021, Zu
Thomas Egli
Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant
Dynamics, ETH Zu
CH-8092, Zu
Biological stability refers to the inability of drinking water to support microbial growth.
This phenomenon was studied in a full-scale drinking water treatment and distribution system of the city of Zu
rich (Switzerland). The system treats lake water with successive ozonation and biological filtration steps and distributes the water without any disinfectant residuals. Chemical and microbiological parameters, notably dissolved organic carbon (DOC), assimilable organic carbon (AOC), heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) and flow-cytometric total cell concentration (TCC), were measured over an 18-month period. We observed a direct correlation between changes in the TCC, DOC and AOC concentrations during treatment; an increase in cell concentration was always associated with a decrease in organic carbon. This pattern was, however, not discerned with the conventional HPC method. The treated water contained on average a TCC of
4 cells ml
, a DOC concentration of 0.78 mg l
1 and an AOC concentration of 32 m gl
and these parameters hardly changed in the distribution network, suggesting that…...

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