Reduction of bacterial regrowth in treated water by minimizing water stagnation in the filtrate line of a gravity-driven membrane system

Yi, JongChan;Lee, Jonghun;Jung, Hyejin;Park, Pyung-Kyu;Noh, Soo Hong

  • Received : 2018.01.25
  • Accepted : 2018.05.03
  • Published : 2019.03.31


This study monitored changes in the level of heterotrophic bacteria in the filtrate and investigated the effect of stagnant water on it, using a batch-operated, gravity-driven membrane system for household water treatment. The filtration test was carried out in the presence and absence of stagnant water in the filtrate line. The results showed that stagnant water accelerated the heterotrophic bacteria levels, measured by heterotrophic plate count, even though the heterotrophic plate count of the filtrate finally increased up to $10^5CFU/mL$ regardless of the presence of stagnant water. When the change in heterotrophic plate count of a batch was monitored over filtration time, heterotrophic plate count of the filtrate rapidly decreased within 5 min for each batch filtration. Biofilm formation on the filtrate line was observed in the presence of stagnant water. The biofilm fully covered the filtrate line and contained numerous microorganisms. During storage after filtration, heterotrophic plate count increased exponentially. To improve the filtrate quality of a filtration-based household water treatment system, therefore, the stagnant water in the filtrate line should be minimized, the filtrate produced at the first 5 min is recommended not to be used as potable water, and the storage of filtrate should be avoided.


Bacterial growth;Gravity-driven membrane (GDM);Heterotrophic plate count;Household water treatment (HWT)


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP)