Applied Biological Chemistry

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 667–672 | Cite as

Investigation of microbial communities in water dispensers

  • Sangjung Park
  • Adeel Farooq
  • Hyejun Jo
  • Jihye Kim
  • Mihee Yang
  • Youngho Ko
  • Sungmo Kang
  • Hyenmi Chung
  • Tatsuya Unno
Note

Abstract

Water dispensers remove disinfectant residues from tap water and thus are commonly present in Korean households; however, microbial contamination in water dispensers has recently become a major issue. To understand the occurrence of microbial contamination in water dispensers, we investigated microbial contamination in different dispenser types through heterotrophic plate count (HPC) and MiSeq-based microbial community analyses. Two newly purchased water dispensers were placed in a basement room and left for approximately 2 months; the HPC analysis indicated microbial contamination in the drinking water collected from these dispensers (160,000 and 48,000 CFU/mL, respectively). Taxonomic classification indicated that the basement dispensers were likely contaminated by freshwater bacteria, such as Acidovorax and Methylotenera. However, two dispensers located at the half landing and the first floor showed lower microbial contamination (110 and 78 CFU/mL, respectively). Furthermore, frequently used dispenser on the first floor showed higher HPCs on the faucet surface, which were classified as general oral bacteria like Hyphobacterium. We also observed that a deserted dispenser (6-year-old with no maintenance) placed on the half landing showed the least HPCs, although it seemed to have lost its filtration ability. Our results suggested that removal of disinfectant residues leads to an increase in the freshwater bacterial population in water tanks within dispensers, which could be avoided by frequent water circulation.

Keywords

Disinfectant residue Heterotrophic plate count Microbial community analysis Water dispenser 

Supplementary material

13765_2017_325_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 85 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water Microbiology DivisionNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Faculty of Biotechnology, College of Applied Life Science, SARIJeju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Korea Environment and Water Works InstituteYoungdeongpo-gu, SeoulRepublic of Korea

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