Abstract

The application of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence technology as a rapid microbiological activity monitor within a potable water system has been demonstrated. ATP measurements were taken pre- and post-infrastructure improvements within a watershed and throughout two potable water systems from source to tap. A reduction in ATP, as measured by relative light units, was identified post-infrastructure improvements. Peak ATP values for the watershed were found within the reservoirs. The treated source water remained biologically stable throughout the distribution system, with peaks attributed to nitrification. A mathematical model for predicting microbial ATP using pH, temperature, and alkalinity, was developed for the watershed studied, with an adjusted R2 of 0.84 at a 95% confidence level. Overall, ATP bioluminescence technology was found to be a suitable candidate for rapid microbiological activity testing in drinking water systems; however, technological limitations remain with respect to reproducibility that should be addressed prior to full-scale implementation.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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