Abstract

During June 2019, an outbreak of campylobacteriosis occurred in Askøy, an island northwest of Bergen, Norway. According to the publicly available records, over 2000 residents fell ill and 76 were hospitalised, and two deaths were suspected to be associated with Campylobacter infection. By investigating the epidemic pattern and scope, an old caved drinking water holding pool was identified that had been faecally contaminated as indicated by the presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Furthermore, Campylobacter bacteria were found at several points in the water distribution system. In the escalated water health crisis, tracking down the infectious source became pivotal for the local municipality in order to take prompt and appropriate action to control the epidemic. A major task was to identify the primary faecal pollution source, which could further assist in tracking down the epidemic origin. Water from the affected pool was analysed using quantitative microbial source tracking (QMST) applying host-specific Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genetic markers. In addition, Campylobacter jejuni, Enterococcus faecalis, Clostridium perfringens and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli were detected. The QMST outcomes revealed that non-human (zoogenic) sources accounted predominantly for faecal pollution. More precisely, 69% of the faecal water contamination originated from horses.

Abstract

Faecal contamination is one of the major factors affecting biological water quality. In this study, we investigated microbial taxonomic diversity of faecally polluted lotic ecosystems in Norway. These ecosystems comprise tributaries of drinking water reservoirs with moderate and high faecal contamination levels, an urban creek exposed to extremely high faecal pollution and a rural creek that was the least faecally polluted. The faecal water contamination had both anthropogenic and zoogenic origins identified through quantitative microbial source tracking applying host‐specific Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genetic markers. The microbial community composition revealed that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes (70–90% relative abundance) were the most dominant bacterial phyla, followed by Firmicutes, especially in waters exposed to anthropogenic faecal contamination. The core archaeal community consisted of Parvarchaeota (mainly in the tributaries of drinking water reservoirs) and Crenarchaeota (in the rural creek). The aquatic microbial diversity was substantially reduced in water with severe faecal contamination. In addition, the community compositions diverge between waters with dominant anthropogenic or zoogenic pollution origins. These findings present novel interpretations of the effect of anthropo‐zoogenic faecal water contamination on microbial diversity in lotic ecosystems.

Abstract

The aquatic microbiota is known to be an important factor in the sustainability of the natural water ecosystems. However, the microbial community also might include pathogens, which result in very serious waterborne diseases in humans and animals. Faecal pollution is the major cause of these diseases. Therefore, it is of immense importance to assess the potential impact of faecal pollution, originating from both anthropogenic and zoogenic sources, on the profile of microbial communities in natural water environments. To this end, the microbial taxonomic diversity of lotic ecosystems in different regions of Norway, representing urban and rural areas, exposed to various levels of faecal pollution, was investigated over the course of a 1-year period. The highest microbial diversity was found in rural water that was the least faecally polluted, while the lowest was found in urban water with the highest faecal contamination. The overall diversity of the aquatic microbial community was significantly reduced in severely polluted water. In addition, the community compositions diverged between waters where the dominant pollution sources were of anthropogenic or zoogenic origin. The results provide new insight into the understanding of how faecal water contamination, specifically that of different origins, influences the microbial diversity of natural waters.

Abstract

The concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) and other gases were measured in the emissions from solid waste degradation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions during laboratory and field investigations. The emissions were measured as room temperature headspace gas concentrations in reactors of 1, 30, and 150 L, as well as sucked gas concentrations from windrow composting piles and a biocell, under field conditions. The aerobic composting laboratory experiments consisted of treatments with and without lime. The CO concentrations measured during anaerobic conditions varied from 0 to 3000 ppm, the average being 23 ppm, increasing to 133 ppm when methane (CH4) concentrations were low. The mean/maximum CO concentrations during the aerobic degradation in the 2-L reactor were 101/194 ppm without lime, 486/2022 ppm with lime, and 275/980 ppm in the 150-L reactors. The presence of CO during the aerobic composting followed a rapid decline in O2 concentrations Significantly higher CO concentrations were obtained when the aerobic degradation was amended with lime, probably because of a more extreme depletion of oxygen. The mean/maximum CO concentrations under field conditions during aerobic composting were 95/1000 ppm. The CO concentrations from the anaerobic biocell varied from 20 to 160 ppm. The hydrogen sulfide concentrations reached almost 1200 ppm during the anaerobic degradation and 67 ppm during the composting experiments. There is a positive correlation between the CO and hydrogen sulfide concentrations measured during the anaerobic degradation experiments.