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J Appl Microbiol. 2003;94(3):501-7.

The influence of the chemical composition of drinking water on cuprosolvency by biofilm bacteria.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia.

Abstract

AIMS:

This study investigated the influence of water chemistry on copper solvation (cuprosolvency) by pure culture biofilms of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from copper plumbing.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Heterotrophic bacteria isolated from copper plumbing biofilms including Acidovorax delafieldii, Flavobacterium sp., Corynebacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were used in laboratory coupon experiments to assess their potential for cuprosolvency. Sterile copper coupons were exposed to pure cultures of bacteria to allow biofilm formation and suspended in drinking waters with different chemical compositions. Sterile coupons not exposed to bacteria were used as controls. After 5 days of incubation, copper release and biofilm accumulation was quantified. The results demonstrated that cuprosolvency in the control experiments was influenced by water pH, total organic carbon (TOC) and conductivity. Cuprosolvency in the presence of biofilms correlated with the chemical composition of the water supplies particularly pH, Langeliers Index, chloride, alkalinity, TOC and soluble phosphate concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest water quality may influence cuprosolvency by biofilms present within copper plumbing pipes.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The potential for water chemistry to influence cuprosolvency by biofilms may contribute to the sporadic nature of copper corrosion problems in distribution systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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