WET Center Project: Impact of Scale Formation on Biofilm Growth in Premise Plumbing

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

WET Center Project: Impact of Scale Formation on Biofilm Growth in Premise Plumbing Impact of Scale Formation on Biofilm Growth in Premise Plumbing Many factors affect the growth of biofilms in water distribution systems and some of the most important factors include scale formation and corrosion. The reason these factors are important is they increase surface roughness and provide protected areas for biofilm to develop. In 2009, the Center for Disease Control announced that more water borne disease was caused by microbial growth in premise plumbing than water distribution systems. A preliminary review of the literature does not reveal any studies on the relationship between scale formation in premise plumbing and microbial growth. The majority of bacteria in drinking water systems occur in biofilms rather than in the water phase (Szewzyk et al. 2000). The primary objective of this study will be to determine the effect of scale formation on biofilm development in premise plumbing. A secondary objective will be to examine some of the physical properties of the scale with an emphasis on differences between soft and hard scale. A number of organisms are known to grow in water distribution networks, with some only recently recognized as pathogenic to humans. They include members of the genera Aeromonas, Legionella, Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas (Szewzyk et al. 2000). In premise plumbing Legionella and Mycobacterium are of particular concern since they are known to incubate in domestic hot water heaters. Many of these organisms are also referred to as new emerging pathogens since they have not previously been thought to be associated with water or could not be detected owing to a lack of proper detection methods (Szewzyk et al. 2000). Both Legionella and Mycobacterium are slow growing and they need a biofilm of other microorganisms to develop before they can become established within the biofilm.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2/1/126/30/13

Funding

  • INDUSTRY: Various Consortium Members: $25,970.00

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