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Impact of stagnation and sampling volume on water microbial quality monitoring in large buildings

Abstract : Microbial drinking water quality can be altered in large buildings, especially after stagnation. In this study, bacterial profiles were generated according to the stagnation time and the volume of water collected at the tap. Successive volumes of cold and hot water were sampled after controlled stagnation periods. Bacterial profiles revealed an important decline (> 2 log) in culturable cells in the first 500 mL sampled from the hot and cold water systems, with a steep decline in the first 15 mL. The strong exponential correlation (R2 ≥ 0.97) between the culturable cell counts in water and the pipe surface-to-volume ratio suggests the biofilm as the main contributor to the rapid increase in suspended culturable cells measured after a short stagnation of one-hour. Results evidence the contribution of the high surface-to-volume ratio at the point of use and the impact of short stagnation times on the increased bacterial load observed. Simple faucets with minimal internal surface area should be preferred to minimize surface area. Sampling protocol, including sampling volume and prior stagnation, was also shown to impact the resulting culturable cell concentration by more than 1000-fold. Sampling a smaller volume on first draw after stagnation will help maximize recovery of bacteria.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 6, 2018 - 9:39:24 PM
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Emilie Bédard, Céline Laferrière, Eric Déziel, Michèle Prevost. Impact of stagnation and sampling volume on water microbial quality monitoring in large buildings. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (6), pp.e0199429. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0199429⟩. ⟨pasteur-01854640⟩

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