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Particle-associated coliform in secondary effluents: shielding from ultraviolet light disinfection

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In this research, the effectiveness of various blending and sonication techniques were investigated for extracting particle-associated coliforms from secondary effluent samples. The amount of shielding from ultraviolet disinfection afforded these coliforms by the particulates was then assessed. It was found that blending samples for 1.5 minutes at 19 000 rpm at 4°C in a mixture of chemicals (resulting in concentrations of 10−6 M Zwittergent 3-12, 10−3 M EGTA, 0.01 M Tris buffer, 0.1% peptone, and pH 7) resulted in the greatest recovery of particle-associated coliform, as detected by the multiple tube fermentation (MTF) test. Fragmentation of large flocs during homogenization, as evidenced by the change in particle size distribution, was most likely the responsible mechanism. Sonication proved ineffective. It was found that particle association and shielding of coliforms significantly affect accurate measurements of coliform density in secondary effluent using the standard MTF test and that significantly more coliforms may be present in disinfected secondary effluents than is indicated by the standard enumeration procedure.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143095X133310

Publication date: November 1, 1995

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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