The biofouling of an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane unit applied for drinking water treatment was investigated under three different operating conditions, i.e. flux 50, 60 and 70 L m−2 h−1. The biofouling was monitored by analyzing the enzyme (esterase and peptidase) activity on the sacrificed membrane fibers of a test unit installed in the same reactor as the membrane pilot module. At a given flux, a decrease of membrane permeability generally corresponded to an increase of enzyme activity. Enzyme activity could therefore be used to predict the permeability decline and potentially be used for e.g. at-line monitoring of membrane biofouling.

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