Bacterial community and groundwater quality changes in an anaerobic aquifer during groundwater recharge with aerobic recycled water

M.P. Ginige, A.H. Kaksonen, C. Morris, M. Shackelton, Bradley Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Managed aquifer recharge offers the opportunity to manage groundwater resources by storing water in aquifers when in surplus and thus increase the amount of groundwater available for abstraction during high demand. The Water Corporation of Western Australia (WA) is undertaking a Groundwater Replenishment Trial to evaluate the effects of recharging aerobic recycled water (secondary treated wastewater subjected to ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet disinfection) into the anaerobic Leederville aquifer in Perth, WA. Using culture-independent methods, this study showed the presence of Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Betaproteobacteria, Cytophaga, Flavobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria, and a decrease in microbial diversity with an increase in depth of aquifer. Assessment of physico-chemical and microbiological properties of groundwater before and after recharge revealed that recharging the aquifer with aerobic recycled water resulted in elevated redox potentials in the aquifer and increased bacterial numbers, but reduced microbial diversity. The increase in bacterial numbers and reduced microbial diversity in groundwater could be a reflection of an increased denitrifier and sulfur-oxidizing populations in the aquifer, as a result of the increased availability of nitrate, oxygen, and residual organic matter. This is consistent with the geochemical data that showed pyrite oxidation and denitrification within the aquifer after recycled water recharge commenced. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-567
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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