In this study, the construction a model distribution system suitable for studies of attached and suspended microbial activity in drinking water under controlled circumstances is outlined. The model system consisted of two loops connected in series with a total of 140 biofilm sampling points. The biofilm from the system was studied using 11 different microbial methods and the results were compared and discussed. The methods were used for biomass quantification (AODC, HPC and ATP determination), visualisation of structure (CLSM), activity measurement (leucine incorporation, AOC removal rate, respiration of benzoic acid, CTC and live/dead stains), and microbial diversity profiling (clone libraries and DGGE).

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