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Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 107–115 | Cite as

Determination of Enterobacteria in Air and Wastewater Samples from a Wastewater Treatment Plant by Epi-Fluorescence Microscopy

  • N. Patentalakis
  • A. Pantidou
  • N. KalogerakisEmail author
Article

Abstract

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are often encountered in aerosols and they can be pathogenic or cause allergies following inhalation. Wastewater treatment facilities have been found to generate bioaerosols, which are transported by the prevailing winds downstream to areas that can be up to several hundred meters away. Bioaerosol formation has a significant effect on air quality in the vicinity of the treatment plants. The amount and characteristics of the formed bioaerosols depend on the aeration system employed at the aeration tank of the wastewater treatment facility. In this work we determined Enterobacteria in air and wastewater samples at the main wastewater treatment facility of the city of Chania (Crete, Greece). Concentrations of airborne bacteria were measured near the aeration and sedimentation tanks. Samples of airborne bacteria were taken by using Merck’s MAS-100 bioaerosol collector followed by incubation and enumeration of the colonies. The use of different growth media enabled the separation and enumeration of several classes of microorganisms. As part of this study, Enterobacteria in air samples were also determined by filtration sampling followed by analysis of the collected microorganisms using DAPI staining to determine total cell counts (both viable and non-viable cells). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with specific 23S rRNA probes was also used in order to identify specific groups of microorganisms (well known pathogens) present in the bioaerosols. The analysis was also performed in wastewater taken from the aeration and secondary sedimentation tanks in an effort to correlate the airborne bacteria with those in the wastewater.

Keywords

Escherichia coli Klebsiella pneumoniae DAPI FISH Wastewater treatment plant Bioaerosol 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece

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