Abundance and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria on biological activated carbon in a pilot-scale drinking water treatment plant with different treatment processes

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The effects of different placements of rapid sand filtration on nitrification performance of BAC treatment in a pilot-scale plant were evaluated. In this plant, rapid sand filtration was placed after ozonation-BAC treatment in Process (A), while it preceded ozonation-BAC treatment in Process (B). Analysis of amoA genes of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) combined with nitrification potential test was conducted. BAC from Process (A) demonstrated slightly higher nitrification potential at every sampling occasion. This might be due to higher abundances of AOB on BAC from Process (A) than those on BAC from Process (B). However, AOA rather than AOB could be predominant ammonia-oxidizers in BAC treatment regardless of the position of rapid sand filtration. The highest nitrification potential was observed for BAC from both processes in February when the highest abundances of AOA-amoA and AOB-amoA genes were detected. Since rapid sand filtration was placed after BAC treatment in Process (A), residual aluminum concentration in BAC influent was higher in Process (A). However, adverse effects of aluminum on nitrification activity were not observed. These results suggest that factors other than aluminum concentration in different treatment processes could possibly have some influence on abundances of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms on BAC.

Keywords: ammonia-oxidizing archaea, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, biological activated carbon

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