Biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems should be limited to prevent the multiplication of undesirable bacteria and other organisms. Certain types of drinking water with an AOC concentration below 10 μg of acetate-C eq/l can support the growth of Aeromonas. Therefore, the effect of acetate at a concentration of 10 μg of C/l on the biofilm formation rate (BFR) of drinking water with a low AOC concentration (3.2 μg C/l) was determined. Drinking water without acetate had a BFR of 3.9 pg ATP/cm2.day, whereas a BFR value of 362 pg ATP/cm2.day was found with acetate added. These data indicate that a low acetate concentration strongly affects biofilm formation, and that only a small fraction of AOC is available for biofilm formation. Aeromonads did not multiply in the biofilm despite their ability to grow at a concentration of 10 μg of acetate-C/l. Further investigations are needed to elucidate the relationship between substrate concentration and biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems and the growth of undesirable bacteria in these biofilms.

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