New Pond-Indicator bacteria to complement routine monitoring in a Wet/Dry Tropical wastewater stabilization system

Alea Rose, Anna Padovan, Keith Christian, Mirjam Kaestli, Keith McGuinness, Skefos Tsoukalis, Karen Gibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Bacteria monitoring is a critical part of wastewater management. At tropical wastewater stabilization ponds (WSPs) in north Australia, sanitation is assessed using the standard fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Escherichia coli and Enterococci. However, these bacteria are poor surrogates for enteric pathogens. A focus on FIB misses the majority of pond-bacteria and how they respond to the tropical environment. Therefore, we aimed to identify the unknown pond bacteria and indicators that can complement E. coli to improve monitoring. Over two years, we measured the bacterial community in 288 wastewater samples during the wet and dry seasons. The WSP community was spatially and temporally dynamic. Standard pond-water physicochemical measures like conductivity poorly explained these community shifts. Cyanobacteria represented >6% of the WSP bacterial population, regardless of sample timing and location. Fecal bacteria were abundant in the first pond. However, in downstream ponds, these bacteria were less abundant, and instead, environmental taxa were common. For each pond, we identified a bacterial fingerprint that included new candidate bacterial indicators of fecal waste and processes like nitrogen removal. Combining the new indicators with standard FIB monitoring represents a locally relevant approach to wastewater monitoring that facilitates new tests for human fecal pollution within tropical climates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2422
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019

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system stabilization
Ponds
Waste Water
indicator species
wastewater
Bacteria
complement
stabilization
Wastewater
Stabilization
pond
waste lagoons
monitoring
bacterium
Monitoring
bacteria
Stabilization ponds
Escherichia coli
sanitation
Enterococcus

Cite this

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title = "New Pond-Indicator bacteria to complement routine monitoring in a Wet/Dry Tropical wastewater stabilization system",
abstract = "Bacteria monitoring is a critical part of wastewater management. At tropical wastewater stabilization ponds (WSPs) in north Australia, sanitation is assessed using the standard fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Escherichia coli and Enterococci. However, these bacteria are poor surrogates for enteric pathogens. A focus on FIB misses the majority of pond-bacteria and how they respond to the tropical environment. Therefore, we aimed to identify the unknown pond bacteria and indicators that can complement E. coli to improve monitoring. Over two years, we measured the bacterial community in 288 wastewater samples during the wet and dry seasons. The WSP community was spatially and temporally dynamic. Standard pond-water physicochemical measures like conductivity poorly explained these community shifts. Cyanobacteria represented >6{\%} of the WSP bacterial population, regardless of sample timing and location. Fecal bacteria were abundant in the first pond. However, in downstream ponds, these bacteria were less abundant, and instead, environmental taxa were common. For each pond, we identified a bacterial fingerprint that included new candidate bacterial indicators of fecal waste and processes like nitrogen removal. Combining the new indicators with standard FIB monitoring represents a locally relevant approach to wastewater monitoring that facilitates new tests for human fecal pollution within tropical climates.",
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New Pond-Indicator bacteria to complement routine monitoring in a Wet/Dry Tropical wastewater stabilization system. / Rose, Alea; Padovan, Anna; Christian, Keith; Kaestli, Mirjam; McGuinness, Keith; Tsoukalis, Skefos; Gibb, Karen.

In: Water (Switzerland), Vol. 11, No. 11, 2422, 19.11.2019, p. 1-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - New Pond-Indicator bacteria to complement routine monitoring in a Wet/Dry Tropical wastewater stabilization system

AU - Rose, Alea

AU - Padovan, Anna

AU - Christian, Keith

AU - Kaestli, Mirjam

AU - McGuinness, Keith

AU - Tsoukalis, Skefos

AU - Gibb, Karen

PY - 2019/11/19

Y1 - 2019/11/19

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AB - Bacteria monitoring is a critical part of wastewater management. At tropical wastewater stabilization ponds (WSPs) in north Australia, sanitation is assessed using the standard fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Escherichia coli and Enterococci. However, these bacteria are poor surrogates for enteric pathogens. A focus on FIB misses the majority of pond-bacteria and how they respond to the tropical environment. Therefore, we aimed to identify the unknown pond bacteria and indicators that can complement E. coli to improve monitoring. Over two years, we measured the bacterial community in 288 wastewater samples during the wet and dry seasons. The WSP community was spatially and temporally dynamic. Standard pond-water physicochemical measures like conductivity poorly explained these community shifts. Cyanobacteria represented >6% of the WSP bacterial population, regardless of sample timing and location. Fecal bacteria were abundant in the first pond. However, in downstream ponds, these bacteria were less abundant, and instead, environmental taxa were common. For each pond, we identified a bacterial fingerprint that included new candidate bacterial indicators of fecal waste and processes like nitrogen removal. Combining the new indicators with standard FIB monitoring represents a locally relevant approach to wastewater monitoring that facilitates new tests for human fecal pollution within tropical climates.

KW - Bacteria

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