Biofouling in pipelines is a function of the inner roughness of the specific piping material that is used in distribution systems and the concomitant biofilm formation. To test the effect of velocity on the growth of biofilm, a Roto-Scope was designed and built to imitate different materials and flow conditions in potable water distribution systems. Biofilm formation was monitored using DAPI staining and the total number of viable bacteria. Increased velocity in the system resulted in a specific detaching velocity, where the formation of biofilm was limited. Most of the time these detaching velocities were not the highest velocities tested. The range of detaching velocities was between ±3 m.s−1 and 4 m.s−1. A flow velocity within this range would thus be ideal for achieving reduced biofilm growth in a distribution system.

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