Effects of pipe materials on biofouling under controlled hydrodynamic conditions

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Experiments were carried out to investigate pipe material impacts on biofouling, at high effluent concentration levels and under controlled hydrodynamic conditions. Two velocities (0.4 and 0.8 m s−1) were used to monitor biofilm growth on polyethylene (PE) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe walls, respectively. These conditions were established based on wastewater irrigation practices. A decrease in biomass is observed after 49 days of experiments for both velocities and may be related to biofilm detachment. Biofilm growth is greater at 0.8 m s−1. For both velocities, PVC is less sensitive to biofilm growth than PE. Pipe straightness plays a primary role in biofilm growth control. This effect is more significant than pipe surface characteristics (roughness, hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties).

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