Project #4743

Optimizing Filter Operation in an Ozone-Biofiltration Plant to Reduce Selection for Opportunistic Pathogens in Drinking Water Production

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Dr. Hyunyoung Jang
Ann Arbor Water Utilities Department
Opportunistic Pathogens
Microbes & Pathogens


Several species of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic human pathogens and can cause disease to immunocompromised persons or those with certain health conditions. There is growing evidence that drinking water disinfectants such as chloramine and ozone may select for microorganisms that are more resistant to disinfectants, including NTM. This research evaluated strategies to reduce NTM abundance in ozone-BAC filters by reducing the exposure of the filters to chloramine during backwashing. In addition, the research team assessed the impacts of reduced chloramine exposure on the biofilter microbial community composition, physico-chemical, and operational parameters. Tailored Collaboration Partner: City of Ann Arbor. Published in 2022.