Adopting new knowledge for the design of next-generation biological water treatment systems

Biological water treatment systems rely on a variety of active microorganisms that are stimulated under different redox conditions. Consequently, there is a tremendous versatility of designs and operations with the traditional objective to remove organic matter and nutrients under which also some trace organic chemicals can be transformed. The performance of biological systems may be enhanced by stimulating the synthesis of enzymes capable of degrading or biotransforming contaminants, by establishing dynamic redox conditions and tailoring substrate control that can result in conditions that select for more suitable microoganisms, including discovering and utilizing novel metabolic traits of unconventional microbes. Contributions to Topic 3a will discuss insights into key operational conditions for improved biotransformation. Topic 3b will highlight next-generation treatment approaches that take advantage of a tailored microbiome for enhanced removal of trace organic chemical including sequential biofiltration, immobilized enzymes, modified biologically-active activated carbon filtration, inoculation with specific degraders or synthetic microbial communities and others.