Open Access Effects of Temperature on Bacterial Transport and Destruction in Bioretention Media: Field and Laboratory Evaluations

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Abstract:

Microbial activities are significantly influenced by temperature. This study investigated the effects of temperature on the capture and destruction of bacteria from urban stormwater runoff in bioretention media using 2-year field evaluations coupled with controlled laboratory column studies. Field data from two bioretention cells show that the concentration of indicator bacteria (fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli) was reduced during most storm events, and that the probability of meeting specific water quality criteria in the discharge was increased. Indicator bacteria concentration in the input flow typically increased with higher daily temperature. Although bacterial removal efficiency was independent of temperature in the field and laboratory, column tests showed that bacterial decay coefficients in conventional bioretention media (CBM) increase exponentially with elevated temperature. Increases in levels of protozoa and heterotrophic bacteria associated with increasing temperature appear to contribute to faster die-off of trapped E. coli in CBM via predation and competition.
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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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