The objective of this work is to determine how the biofilm community make up increases the ability for bacteria to evade and develop tolerance to disinfectants in water filtration systems.
Pathogen free drinking water is essential for public health. However, drinking water systems contain a range of planktonic bacteria and biofilms. For example, in 2013-2014, 57% of drinking water-associated outbreaks were caused by Legionella penumophila. Sand and granular activated carbon filters are designed to separate particulates, bacteria, and biologically mediated chemical contaminants, preventing bacterial growth in post-filtered water. However, bacteria found in biologically active sand filers are stable communities that persist despite fluctuations in the source water bacteria community and can develop tolerance to commonly used disinfectants. This has been found through genetic sequencing with little work as to how the bacteria structure themselves to survive species and chemical attack. Completion of this work will lead to a better understanding of how bacteria cooperate to persist in filters and tolerate chemical attack.
Team members: Valencia Pranata (Team lead), Catherine Eng, Naa Momoh Odarteifio, Ololade Bishi