Bacterial growth and biofilm formation in household-stored groundwater collected from public wells

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The research was aimed at assessing changes in the number of bacteria and evaluating biofilm formation in groundwater collected from public wells, both aspects directly related to the methods of household storage. In the research, water collected from Cretaceous aquifer wells in Toruń (Poland) was stored in a refrigerator and at room temperature. Microbiological parameters of the water were measured immediately after the water collection, and then after 3 and 7 days of storage under specified conditions. The microbiological examination involved determining the number of heterotrophic bacteria capable of growth at 22 and 37 °C, the number of spore-forming bacteria, and the total number of bacteria on membrane filters. The storage may affect water quality to such an extent that the water, which initially met the microbiological criteria for water intended for human consumption, may pose a health risk. The repeated use of the same containers for water storage results in biofilm formation containing live and metabolically active bacterial cells.

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