News Items

New method to simultaneously quantify priority disinfection by-products (Posted 10/02/2019)
A new gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) method iis described that simultaneously quantifies 39 priority unregulated DBPs from six different chemical classes (haloacetaldehydes, haloketones, haloacetamides, haloacetonitriles, halonitromethanes, and iodinated-trihalomethanes) and analyzes unknown DBPs with mass accuracy<600 ppm under full-scan conditions.

Novel method for enumeration of coliphages (Posted 10/02/2019)
Workers based in Australia have developed the QuantiPhage method which uses a cellulose pad instead of the agar used in the conventional double layer overlay. This enables coliphages to be detected in water in under 3 hours.

Reducing PFAS in Drinking Water with Treatment Technologies (Posted 10/02/2019)
USEPA has produced a useful review of the ability of water treatment technologies to remove per- and poly-fluorinated substances (PFAs) from water.

Flow cytometry applications in water treatment, distribution, and reuse (Posted 10/02/2019)
Two Californian workers have published a useful review of almost 300 published papers on applications of Flow Cytometry to water. They suggest that more work is needed to realize the full potential of FCM in water treatment, distribution, annd reuse. Nonetheless they suggest that there is now a sufficiently large body of research documenting successful applications of FCM that the approach could reasonably and realistically see widespread adoption as a routine method for water quality assessment.

Bacteria-derived filter inactivates bacteria. (Posted 28/01/2019)
Workers in the USA produced membranes from bacterial cellulose using Gluconacetobacter hansenii bacteria and incorporating reduced graphene oxide (GO). In sunlight the membranes rapidly heated up to inactivate E.coli within 3 minutes whereas similar membranes without the reduced GO did not inactivate E.coli.

Persistent and mobile organic chemicals (PMOC) in water (Posted 28/01/2019)
A group of German annd Spanish workers, using a prioritized list of industrial chemicals that were modeled to be persistent, mobile, and emitted into the environment, successfully developed methods for 57 target PMOCs. Applying these to 14 water samples from three European countries a total of 43 PMOCs were detected in at least one sample, among them 23 PMOCs that have not been reported before to occur in environmental waters. ( There are at present no reasons to believe these compounds are of any significance in water supplies).

Review of non-tuberculous Mycobacteria in water (Posted 22/01/2019)
Epidemiological studies suggest that natural and drinking water are principal sources of infection with these organisms. This review looks at the factors favoring the presence of these bacteria in natural and artificial water systems, and the effectiveness of water treatment.

Analysis of disinfection by-products (DBP) (Posted 22/01/2019)
This review discusses current analytical methods and challenges associated with the identification and measurement of DBPs mainly published in the last two years.

Robots to fix underground pipes (Posted 22/01/2019)
As part of a £26.6 million Government backed Investment Scheme, scientists from four British universities will use £7 million government investment to develop 1cm-long robotic devices that use sensors and navigation systems to find and mend cracks in pipes.

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) in tap water. (Posted 22/01/2019)
Chinese workers have studied antibiotic resistance genes in small bacteria in tap waters. 265 ARG subtypes belonging to 17 ARG types were detected at abundances ranging from 4.0 × 10−2 to 1.0 × 100 copies/cell. Multidrug, bacitracin and aminoglycoside resistance genes were dominant, and 43 ARG subtypes were specifically carried by small-size microbes.

A review of Flow cytometry applications in water treatment, distribution, and reuse. (Posted 10/01/2019)
After reviewing almost 300 recent papers the authors conclude that while more work is needed to realize the full potential of Flow Cytometry in water treatment, distribution, and reuse, substantial progress has been made over the past two decades. There is now a sufficiently large body of research documenting successful applications of FCM that the approach could reasonably and realistically see widespread adoption as a routine method for water quality assessment.

Informing public attitudes to use of recycled water (Posted 10/01/19)
A recent study in London evaluated how different ways of framing messages about the safety of non-potable use of recycled water might impact on public attitudes. The study found a positive impact of water safety communications framed in terms of compliance with water quality requirements. Contrarily, a positive attitudinal impact was not evident for safety message framed in terms of the selection of water treatment technology to remove contaminants nor in terms of non-potable water risks relative to other every-day risks.

Rapid field quantification of Escherichia coli in surface waters (Posted 10/01/2019)
Workers in France have evaluated the ALERT automated monitoring system, which uses defined substrates to measure ß glucuronidase ( indicative of E coli) and ß galactosidase ( indicative of coliforms) activity in surface waters by comparison with conventional most probable number (MPN) methods using natural river waters. They conclude that ALERT technology is an accurate and rapid bacterial quantification technology, capable of autonomous in situ measurements with metrological capabilities comparable to those of an approved laboratory using MPN microplate techniques.

Impact of blending for direct potable reuse on premise plumbing microbial ecology. (Posted 10/01/2019)
Bench and pilot scale studies on the impact of introducing treated recycled water into distribution system were carried out by US workers. Measurement of regrowth of total bacteria, opportunist pathogens, and antibiotic resistance genes showed almost no effect from the introduction of recycled water.

Waste Management when supplying bottled water (Posted 10/01/2019)
When bottled water was supplied in Flint, Michigan to c97,000 people, starting in October 2015 it is estimated that some 80 million disposable plastic bottles were used in the first 6 months. At the outset no contingency plans were in place to handle the waste plastic and there is little hard data to firm up estimates.. In addition some households were given point of use filters which meant used cartridges also needed disposal. Alarmingly 8% of households remained unaware that there was a problem with lead in their water supply as information was only supplied in English even to non-English speaking households. (This paper should be essential reading for water suppliers who can learn from the many deficiencies in the handling of this incident and ensure they have adequate plans for major water supply emergencies.)