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Adhesion of Escherichia coli to Iron-Coated Sand in the Presence of Humic Acid: A Column Experiment

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Column experiments were performed to examine the influence of humic acid on the attachment of Escherichia coli to iron-coated sand. Results show that, in the coated sand, the average mass recovery was 2.9% in deionized water and increased sharply to 94.6% at a humic acid concentration of 16 mg/L. In leaching solution containing both humic acid and phosphate, the mass recovery increased from 26.0 to 94.6%, by increasing the portion of humic acid from 0 to 100% (from 0 to 16 mg/L). In addition, the mass recovery (94.6%) at a humic acid concentration of 16 mg/L was much larger than that (26.0%) at the same concentration of phosphate. This study presents information regarding the role of humic acid in the adhesion of bacteria to iron-coated sand and helps to enhance the knowledge of bacterial removal in positively charged porous media.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; bacterial adhesion; humic acid; iron-coated sand

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-02-01

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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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