Nitrification and potential control mechanisms in simulated premises plumbing
Rahman, Mohammad S.
Camper, Anne K.
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Indigenous drinking water organisms were used to establish nitrification in glass reactors containing copper or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) surfaces. The reactors were fed soil-derived humics as the organic carbon source and ammonium sulfate as the nitrogen source in biologically treated tap water. Water in the reactors was stagnant for 8 h and then flowed for 5 min to simulate conditions in household plumbing. Following the establishment of complete nitrification (conversion of ammonia to nitrate) in both reactor types, various inhibitors of nitrification were tested followed by a period where recovery of nitrification was observed. In one PVC reactor, copper was gradually introduced up to 1.3 ppm. To ensure that most of the copper was in the ionic form, the pH of the influent was then gradually lowered to 6.6. No significant change in nitrification was observed in the presence of copper. Chlorite was introduced into copper and PVC reactors at doses increasing from 0.2 ppm to 20 ppm. There was limited effect on the PVC system and inhibition in the copper reactor only at 20 ppm. Chloramine was tested at chlorine to ammonia ratios ranging from 0.5:1 to 5:1. Nitrification activity was impacted significantly at a 5:1 ratio and ultimately stopped, with the fastest response being in the copper system. Whenever a control mechanism was tested, there was increased release of copper from the reactors with copper coupons. In all cases, nitrification recovered when inhibitors were removed but the rates of recovery differed depending on the treatment method and coupon surface.
Rahman MS, Encarnacion G, Camper AK, "Nitrification and potential control mechanisms in simulated premises plumbing," Water Research 2011 45(17):5511-5522