The concern with wastewater reuse as a sustainable water resource in urban areas has been growing. For the reclamation and distribution of wastewater, biofilm development deserves careful attention from the point of view of its promotion (e.g. biofiltration) and inhibition (e.g. clogging and hygiene problems). As the first step to control biofilm development, bacterial biofilm communities in tertiary treatment processes were characterized by using molecular biological methods. The result of clone library analysis showed that Nitrospirae-related (nitrite-oxydizing bacteria) and Acidobacteria-related (probably oligotrophic bacteria) groups were dominant. The ratio of the Nitrospirae-related group to the Acidobacteria-related group was associated with ammonia load, whereas other operational conditions (process, media, temperature, salt) did not clearly affect the phylum-level community or the dominant sequence of nitrifying bacteria. The result of real-time PCR also indicated that high ammonia load promotes the proliferation of nitrite- and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Regarding water supply systems, some researchers also have suggested the dominance of Nitrospirae- and Acidobacteria-related groups in biofilm formed on water distribution pipes. In tertiary wastewater treatment, therefore, it is concluded that oligotrophic and autotrophic bacteria are the dominant groups in biofilm samples because assimilable organic carbon is too poor to proliferate various heterotrophic bacteria.

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