Effect of Reservoirs on Microbiological Water Qualities in a Drinking Water Distribution System

  • Lee Dong-Geun (Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, College of Medical and Life Sciences, Silla University) ;
  • Kim Sang-Jong (School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park Seong-Joo (Department of Microbiology & Biotechnology, Daejeon University)
  • Published : 2006.07.01


This study was undertaken to determine the effect of reservoirs on water quality and the distribution of pathogenic and indicator bacteria in a drinking water distribution system (total length 14km). Raw water, disinfected water, and water samples from the distribution system were subjected to physicochemical and microbiological analyses. Most factors encountered at each season included residual chloride, nitrate, turbidity, and phosphorus for heterotrophic bacterial distribution, and hardness, heterotrophic bacteria, sampling site, and DOC (dissolved organic carbon) for bacteria on selective media. No Salmonella or Shigella spp. were detected, but many colonies of opportunistic pathogens were found. Comparing tap water samples taken at similar distances from the water treatment plant, samples that had passed through a reservoir had a higher concentration of heterotrophic bacteria, and a higher rate of colony formation with 10 times as many bacteria on selective media. Based on the results with m-Endo agar, the water in reservoirs appeared safe; however, coliforms and opportunistic pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa were identified on other selective media. This study illustrates that storage reservoirs in the drinking water distribution system have low microbiological water quality by opportunistic pathogens, and therefore, water quality must be controlled.


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