Flow cytometric assessment of microbial abundance in the near-field area of seawater reverse osmosis concentrate discharge

Riaan Van Der Merwe, Frederik A. Hammes, Sabine Lattemann, Gary L. Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The discharge of concentrate and other process waters from seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant operations into the marine environment may adversely affect water quality in the near-field area surrounding the outfall. The main concerns are the increase in salt concentration in receiving waters, which results in a density increase and potential water stratification near the outfall, and possible increases in turbidity, e.g., due to the discharge of filter backwash waters. Changes in ambient water quality may affect microbial abundance in the area, for example by hindering the photosynthesis process or disrupting biogenesis. It is widely accepted that marine biodiversity is lower in more extreme conditions, such as high salinity environments. As aquatic microbial communities respond very rapidly to changes in their environment, they can be used as indicators for monitoring ambient water quality. The objective of this study was to assess possible changes in microbial abundance as a result of concentrate discharge into the near-field area (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalDesalination
Volume343
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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