Microbial safety of a full-scale ozonation and biological activated carbon (BAC) process was investigated by examining pathogens, microbial community and particle counts, with emphasis on the BAC effluent. The process is located at South China, where the average humidity and air temperature were 70–80% and 22–24 °C, respectively. A high diversity of microbial community existed on the BAC media. Three types of dominant bacteria were identified, including Chryseobacterium indologenes, Bacillus brevis and Pseudomonas stutzeri, accounting for 90–95% of total bacteria number. As to pathogenic bacteria and viruses, an opportunistic pathogen, Bacillus cereus, was detected on the BAC. Six types of invertebrates were also observed on the medium, including rotifer, cyclops, nematode, clodecera, nauplius and blood worm. Diversity and number of invertebrates in the BAC effluent were higher than those in the BAC influent. Particle counts were generally less than 50 CNT/mL, with the maximum of 500 CNT/mL during the initial filtration stage after backwashing.
Keywords: biological activated carbon, invertebrates, microbial community, microbial safety, particle counts, pathogens