Molecular-based detection of potentially pathogenic bacteria in membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems treating municipal wastewater: a case study

Moustapha Harb, Pei-Ying Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems provide better removal of pathogens compared to conventional activated sludge processes, they do not achieve total log removal. The present study examines two MBR systems treating municipal wastewater, one a full-scale MBR plant and the other a lab-scale anaerobic MBR. Both of these systems were operated using microfiltration (MF) polymeric membranes. High-throughput sequencing and digital PCR quantification were utilized to monitor the log removal values (LRVs) of associated pathogenic species and their abundance in the MBR effluents. Results showed that specific removal rates vary widely regardless of the system employed. Each of the two MBR effluents’ microbial communities contained genera associated with opportunistic pathogens (e.g., Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter) with a wide range of log reduction values (< 2 to >5.5). Digital PCR further confirmed that these bacterial groups included pathogenic species, in several instances at LRVs different than those for their respective genera. These results were used to evaluate the potential risks associated both with the reuse of the MBR effluents for irrigation purposes and with land application of the activated sludge from the full-scale MBR system.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5370-5380
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 24 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular-based detection of potentially pathogenic bacteria in membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems treating municipal wastewater: a case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this