Comparing the microbial characteristics of rainwater in two operating rainwater tanks with different surface-to-volume ratios

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this study, the microbial characteristics of rainwater in two tanks with different surface-to-volume ratios were investigated and compared to determine how the internal design features of storage tanks affect water quality. The particle and nutrient parameters of the rainwater, including turbidity, suspended solids, total organic carbon, and total phosphate, were lower in Tank 2, which had a surface-to-volume ratio 7.5 times greater than that of Tank 1. In addition, although the rainwater was collected from the same catchment area, the water in Tank 1 had greater numbers of bacteria, and the bacterial communities in the water differed between the two storage tanks. It appears that the differences in the inside surface structures of the rainwater tanks affected the microbial ecosystems. Increasing the surface-to-volume ratio in rainwater tanks may affect rainwater quality, because this extends the area for biofilm development. Further study of the role of biofilm in rainwater tank is required precisely, and its function needs to be considered in the design and management of rainwater tanks.

Keywords: bacterial composition, biofilm, rainwater tank, S/V ratio

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