Biological sand filters were assessed for their ability to remove geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) and microcystin-LR. Microcystin-LR was the most readily degradable metabolite with a maximum lag period of only 5 days before it was undetected in the filter effluent. Geosmin and MIB were difficult to degrade, with a period in excess of 75 days before greater than 95% removal was achieved. A microcystin-degrading gene was detected in the biofilm from one of the filters, confirming that the biofilm possessed the ability to degrade microcystin. A Sphingomonas sp. was identified as a potential geosmin degrader based on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis. DGGE analysis revealed a more complex bacterial community during the degradation of MIB, suggesting that more than one bacterium may be responsible for its degradation.

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