Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 125–131 | Cite as

Effects of gamma radiation on wastewater microbiota

  • Sandra Cabo Verde
  • Telma Silva
  • Paula Matos
Original Article


Wastewater treatment by gamma radiation is a promising technology, with the capacity to reduce the impact of chemical and biological pollution of effluents in the environment. The aim of this study was to find out the effect of gamma radiation on the inactivation response of wastewater microorganisms. Wastewater samples were irradiated at a Co-60 facility, at different dose rates and at sublethal doses. The D10-values of total coliforms and mesophilic microbiota were determined for each sample and dose rate. Radio-resistant microorganisms in wastewater samples were isolated and their growth and inactivation kinetics in different composition substrates were determined, to find out the capacity of these bacteria to biodegrade the organic content of the wastewater. The results obtained suggest that irradiation substrate and dose rate influence the response of microorganisms to gamma radiation and could be also important factors for bioremediation.


Wastewater Gamma irradiation Microbial inactivation Coliforms Dose rate effect Substrate effect 



We are grateful to Beirolas Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lisbon, Portugal) and Slaughterhouse Industry (Malveira, Portugal) for allowing the collection of all the samples necessary for the accomplishment of this work. This work was developed within the Coordinated Research Project 1539 “Radiation treatment of wastewater for reuse with particular focus on wastewaters containing organic pollutants” financed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaBobadela LRSPortugal
  2. 2.Laboratório de Aceleradores e Tecnologias de Radiação, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade Técnica de LisboaBobadela LRSPortugal

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