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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (4) : 63
Transport of bacterial cell (E. coli) from different recharge water resources in porous media during simulated artificial groundwater recharge
Wei Fan, Qi Li, Mingxin Huo, Xiaoyu Wang, Shanshan Lin()
School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China
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• The recharge pond dwelling process induced changes in cell properties.

• Cell properties and solution chemistry exerted confounding effect on cell transport.

E. coli cells within different recharge water displayed different spreading risks.

Commonly used recharge water resources for artificial groundwater recharge (AGR) such as secondary effluent (SE), river water and rainfall, are all oligotrophic, with low ionic strengths and different cationic compositions. The dwelling process in recharge pond imposed physiologic stress on Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells, in all three types of investigated recharge water resources and the cultivation of E. coli under varying recharge water conditions, induced changes in cell properties. During adaptation to the recharge water environment, the zeta potential of cells became more negative, the hydrodynamic diameters, extracellular polymeric substances content and surface hydrophobicity decreased, while the cellular outer membrane protein profiles became more diverse. The mobility of cells altered in accordance with changes in these cell properties. The E. coli cells in rainfall recharge water displayed the highest mobility (least retention), followed by cells in river water and finally SE cells, which had the lowest mobility. Simulated column experiments and quantitative modeling confirmed that the cellular properties, driven by the physiologic state of cells in different recharge water matrices and the solution chemistry, exerted synergistic effects on cell transport behavior. The findings of this study contribute to an improved understanding of E. coli transport in actual AGR scenarios and prediction of spreading risk in different recharge water sources.

Keywords Artificial groundwater recharge      E. coli      Transport      Simulated column experiments      Modeling     
Corresponding Author(s): Shanshan Lin   
Issue Date: 09 April 2020
 Cite this article:   
Wei Fan,Qi Li,Mingxin Huo, et al. Transport of bacterial cell (E. coli) from different recharge water resources in porous media during simulated artificial groundwater recharge[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2020, 14(4): 63.
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Wei Fan
Qi Li
Mingxin Huo
Xiaoyu Wang
Shanshan Lin
Fig.1  Water quality parameters of the three types of recharge water and their 3DEEM spectra.
Fig.2  The conceptual model and experimental design used in this study.
Expt. No. Medium 1 Medium 2 IS (mM) n (–) D (cm2/min)
1 LB broth DI water 0 0.414 0.220
2 SE DI water 0 0.423 0.298
3 River water DI water 0 0.424 0.252
4 Rainfall DI water 0 0.415 0.285
5 SE SE 7.66 0.422 0.269
6 River water Surface water 4.87 0.421 0.225
7 Rainfall Rainfall 0.35 0.424 0.260
Tab.1  Operational conditions for all column experiments
Fig.3  Variation in OD600 and hydraulic dynamic diameter during the cultivation of E. coli in different recharge water resources, zeta potential of cells and sand particles, and SEM images of the cells pre- (LB medium) and post-cultivation for 50 h, under starvation conditions.
Fig.4  EPS compositions, contact angles and OMP profiles for E. coli cells cultivated in different media (LB, SE, river water and rainfall).
Fig.5  Breakthrough curves (a) and retention profiles (b) for E. coli cells cultivated in different media (LB, SE, river water and rainfall), with distilled-deionized water used as the background electrolyte solution (Experiments No. 1–4).
Fig.6  Breakthrough curves (a) and retention profiles (b) for E. coli cells cultivated in different media (SE, river water and rainfall), with the equivalent medium subsequently used as the background electrolyte solution in columns (Experiments No. 5–7).
Fig.7  XDLVO energy profiles for interactions between sand particles and E. coli cells cultivated in different recharge water matrices.
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