Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




WATER WORLD
Bacteria in drinking water are key to keeping it clean
by Staff Writers
Sheffield, UK (SPX) Aug 23, 2013


Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the research isolated four bacteria from water taken from a domestic tap: two were widely found in drinking water everywhere, one was less common and one was unique to Sheffield.

Research at the University of Sheffield, published in the latest issue of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, points the way to more sophisticated and targeted methods of ensuring our drinking water remains safe to drink, while still reducing the need for chemical treatments and identifying potential hazards more quickly.

The research team, from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering, studied four bacteria found in the city's drinking water to see which combinations were more likely to produce a 'biofilm'. Biofilms are layers of bacteria which form on the inner surfaces of water pipes.

"Biofilms can form on all water pipes and as these are usually non-harmful bacteria, they don't present a problem," explains lead researcher, Professor Catherine Biggs.

"However, biofilms can also be a safe place for harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Legionella to hide. If the bacterial growth is too heavy, it can break off into the water flow, which at best can make water discoloured or taste unpleasant and at worst can release more dangerous bacteria. Our research looks at what conditions enable biofilms to grow, so we can find ways to control the bacteria in our water supply more effectively."

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the research isolated four bacteria from water taken from a domestic tap: two were widely found in drinking water everywhere, one was less common and one was unique to Sheffield. The researchers mixed the bacteria in different combinations and found that, in isolation, none of them produced a biofilm. However, when any of the bacteria were combined with one of the common forms, called Methylobacterium, they formed a biofilm within 72 hours.

"Our findings show that this bacterium is acting as a bridge, enabling other bacteria to attach to surfaces and produce a biofilm and it's likely that it's not the only one that plays this role," says Professor Biggs.

"This means it should be possible to control or even prevent the creation of biofilms in the water supply by targeting these particular bacteria, potentially reducing the need for high dosage chemical treatments."

Domestic water supplies in the UK are regularly tested for levels of bacteria and, if these are too high, water is treated with greater concentrations of chlorine or pipe networks are flushed through to clear the problem.

However, the standard tests look for indicator organisms rather than the individual types which are present. Testing methods being developed by the Sheffield team - as used in this research - involve DNA analysis to identify the specific types of bacteria present.

"The way we currently maintain clean water supplies is a little like using antibiotics without knowing what infection we're treating," says Professor Biggs.

"Although it's effective, it requires extensive use of chemicals or can put water supplies out of use to consumers for a period of time. Current testing methods also take time to produce results, while the bacteria are cultured from the samples taken.

"The DNA testing we're developing will provide a fast and more sophisticated alternative, allowing water companies to fine tune their responses to the exact bacteria they find in the water system."

.


Related Links
University of Sheffield
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
ISS-Inspired mWater App Identifies Healthy Water Sources
Houston TX (SPX) Aug 23, 2013
What if that clear, sparkling stream coming from the ground or a faucet were teeming with contaminants? How would you know? Whether you live in some remote region of Africa, a high rise in New York City or aboard an orbiting laboratory in space, you need reliable drinking water to survive. You now can check for yourself the cleanliness of your water using the mWater app on your mobile phone. ... read more


WATER WORLD
NASA Prepares for First Virginia Coast Launch to Moon

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for OSIRIS-REx Mission

Environmental Controls Move Beyond Earth

Bad night's sleep? The moon could be to blame

WATER WORLD
International Space Agencies Outline Steps to Take Humans to Mars

Snapping Pictures of the Martian Moons

Mars Rover Opportunity Working at Edge of 'Solander'

MRO Swapping Motion-Sensing Units

WATER WORLD
NSBRI and NASA Reduce Space Radiation Risks by Soliciting for Center of Space Radiation Research

Next Generation of Explorers Takes the Stage

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

Groundbreaking space exploration research at UH

WATER WORLD
China launches three experimental satellites

Medical quarantine over for Shenzhou-10 astronauts

China's astronauts ready for longer missions

Chinese probe reaches record height in space travel

WATER WORLD
Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk, Unfold Russian Flag in Space

Italian astronaut recounts spacewalk drowning terror

ISS Boosting Biological Research in Orbit

Japanese Cargo Craft Captured, Berthed to ISS

WATER WORLD
NASA Explores New Uses for Historic Launch Structures

Telemetry data confirms launch of South Korean satellite

ISRO pins hopes on GSLV-D5

Lockheed Martin Selects CubeSat Integrators for Athena to Enhance Launch Systems Integration

WATER WORLD
Study: Planets might be 'born free' without a parent star

Distant planet sets speed record by orbiting its star every 8.5 hours

Kepler planet hunter spacecraft is beyond repair: NASA

Astronomers Image Lowest-mass Exoplanet Around a Sun-like Star

WATER WORLD
U.S. firm releases $1,400 scanner to create 3-D printing files

Boeing Communications Relay Satellites Complete Space, Earthly Testing

Mobius strip ties liquid crystal in knots to produce tomorrow's materials and photonic devices

The world's future tallest skyscrapers: who will be first to break the 1,000-meter mark?




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement