Nitrification in drinking water distribution systems is a common operational problem for many utilities that use chloramines for secondary disinfection. The diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in the distribution systems of a pilot-scale chloraminated drinking water treatment system was characterized using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and 16S rRNA gene (ribosomal DNA [rDNA]) cloning and sequencing. For ammonia oxidizers, 16S rDNA-targeted T-RFLP indicated the presence of Nitrosomonas in each of the distribution systems, with a considerably smaller peak attributable to Nitrosospira-like AOB. Sequences of AOB amplification products aligned within the Nitrosomonas oligotropha cluster and were closely related to N. oligotropha and Nitrosomonas ureae. The nitrite-oxidizing communities were comprised primarily of Nitrospira, although Nitrobacter was detected in some samples. These results suggest a possible selection of AOB related to N. oligotropha and N. ureae in chloraminated systems and demonstrate the presence of NOB, indicating a biological mechanism for nitrite loss that contributes to a reduction in nitrite-associated chloramine decay.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology