Soil columns were set up to survey the bacterial community in the soil for septic tank effluent treatment. When bio-clogging occurred in the soil columns, the effluent from the columns was in poorer quality. To evaluate changes of the soil bacterial community in response to bio-clogging, the bacterial community was characterized by DNA gene sequences from soil samples after polymerase chain reaction coupled with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis process. Correspondence analysis showed that Proteobacteria related bacteria were the main bacteria within the soil when treating septic tank effluent. However, Betaproteobacteria related bacteria were the dominant microorganisms in the normal soil, whereas Alphaproteobacteria related bacteria were more abundant in the clogged soil. This study provided insight into changes of the soil bacterial community in response to bio-clogging. The results can supply some useful information for the design and management of soil infiltration systems.

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