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Cyanotoxins and cyanobacteria cell accumulations in drinking water treatment plants with a low risk of bloom formation at the source

Husein Almuhtaram, Yijing Cui, Arash Zamyadi and Ron Hofmann

Article (2018)

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Toxic cyanobacteria have been shown to accumulate in drinking water treatment plants that are susceptible to algal blooms. However, the risk for plants that do not experience algal blooms, but that receive a low influx of cells, is not well known. This study determined the extent of cell accumulation and presence of cyanotoxins across the treatment trains of four plants in the Great Lakes region. Samples were collected for microscopic enumeration and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) measurements for microcystins, anatoxin-a, saxitoxin, cylindrospermopsin, and beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Low cell influxes (under 1000 cells/mL) resulted in significant cell accumulations (over 1 x 10(5) cells/mL) in clarifier sludge and filter backwash samples. Microcystins peaked at 7.2 microg/L in one clarifier sludge sample, exceeding the raw water concentration by a factor of 12. Anatoxin-a was detected in the finished drinking water of one plant at 0.6 microg/L. BMAA may have been detected in three finished water samples, though inconsistencies among the BMAA ELISAs call these results into question. In summary, the results show that plants receiving a low influx of cells can be at risk of toxic cyanobacterial accumulation, and therefore, the absence of a bloom at the source does not indicate the absence of risk.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Bacterial Toxins/*analysis; Cyanobacteria/*isolation & purification; Drinking Water; Environmental Monitoring; Harmful Algal Bloom; Ontario; Water Pollutants/*analysis; *Water Purification; *accumulation; *anatoxin-a; *cyanobacteria; *cyanotoxin; *drinking water treatment; *harmful algal bloom; *microcystin-LR

Subjects: 1000 Civil engineering > 1007 Water resources and supply
1500 Environmental engineering > 1501 Water quality, pollution
Department: Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, City of Toronto, City of Hamilton, Regional Municipality of Niagara, Regional Municipality of York, Regional Municipality of Durham, Union Water Supply System
Grant number: CRDPJ 482052-15
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/4747/
Journal Title: Toxins (vol. 10, no. 11)
Publisher: MDPI
DOI: 10.3390/toxins10110430
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110430
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2021 14:21
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 09:50
Cite in APA 7: Almuhtaram, H., Cui, Y., Zamyadi, A., & Hofmann, R. (2018). Cyanotoxins and cyanobacteria cell accumulations in drinking water treatment plants with a low risk of bloom formation at the source. Toxins, 10(11), 430 (15 pages). https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110430


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