PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

How viruses and bacteria can reach drinking water wells

Scientists in Berlin and Milan study transport of microorganisms in bank filtration

2021-05-07
(Press-News.org) Induced bank filtration is a key and well-established approach to provide drinking water supply to populated areas located along rivers or lakes and with limited access to groundwater resources. It is employed in several countries worldwide, with notable examples in Europe, the United States, and parts of Africa. Contamination of surface waters poses a serious threat to attaining drinking water standards. In this context, human pathogenic microorganisms such as some viruses and bacteria, originating from the discharge of wastewater treatment plants, form a major contaminant group. A detailed study at an induced bank filtration site along the Rhine river in Germany has now linked transport of bacteria to seasonal dynamics. Key results of the study show that floods should be considered as particular threats, because they can reduce the purification capacity of bank filtration, thus leading to an increase in the concentrations of bacteria in groundwater. Changes in properties of the riverbed sediments over the course of a year can markedly influence the purification capacity of bank filtration and these dynamics may need to be considered in risk assessment practices.

Toolbox for Waterworks Operators A project led by Prof. Dr Irina Engelhardt, who teaches hydrogeology at the TU Berlin, aims to enhance our understanding of bank filtration processes and to improve predictive capabilities of models describing transport of microorganisms in bank filtration. Model-based tools are developed to enable waterworks operators to assess more accurately the purification potential of their bank filtration plants with regard to microorganisms. Partners collaborating to the research include Prof. Dr. Alberto Guadagnini and Prof. Dr. Monica Riva from the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale of the Politecnico di Milano.

First results of the cooperation were recently published in the article "Uncertainty analysis and identification of key parameters controlling bacteria transport within a riverbank filtration scenario" in the international journal Water Resources Research.

Uses in Germany and in Italy More than 100 bank filtration plants are spread across Europe, mostly located in Northern and Central European countries (particularly in Germany, The Netherlands, France, and Finland). In Germany, drinking water production by induced bank filtration is regionally significant. For example, about half of the drinking water in Berlin is obtained by this method. In contrast, induced bank filtration is not widespread in Mediterranean countries. In Italy, an example can be found in Lucca (Tuscany) along the Serchio river. But pressure on water resources in the Mediterranean is increasing due to climate change. Induced bank filtration, as a resource efficient drinking water production method, could become a tool to combat increasing water scarcity in the region.

Uncertainty in numerical model predictions For drinking water production by induced bank filtration, groundwater extraction wells are placed near rivers or lakes. These wells mainly yield so-called bank filtrate, corresponding to water that flows from the surface water body to the well which is naturally purified by the underground migration. Human pathogens are affected by a complex system of processes during their migration through the aquifer and their concentrations tend to decrease in time because these are partially retained on the sediment grains and can also naturally lose their infectivity. A critical operational question for waterworks operators is: how strong is the purification effect of bank filtration, or, in other words, how much can nature reduce the concentration of microorganisms? The research has highlighted the role of the main factors influencing these effects. These include, for example, groundwater flow velocity, temperature, and the mineralogical composition of the subsurface. Furthermore, it is shown that the transport behavior depends on the microorganism species considered. As a result, predictions about migration of microorganisms in groundwater are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. The research offers a powerful and flexible tool to quantify and possibly control such uncertainty to increase confidence in the purification effect of bank filtration.

The research project is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation). The University of Vienna as well as the Stadtwerke Düsseldorf and the company VisDat from Dresden are involved in the research together with the TU Berlin and the Politecnico di Milano.

INFORMATION:



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Latest peer-reviewed research: Immediate global ivermectin use will end COVID-19 pandemic

2021-05-07
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Peer reviewed by medical experts that included three U.S. government senior scientists and published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, the research is the most comprehensive review of the available data taken from clinical, in vitro, animal, and real-world studies. Led by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a group of medical and scientific experts reviewed published peer-reviewed studies, manuscripts, expert meta-analyses, and epidemiological analyses of regions with ivermectin distribution efforts all showing that ...

The structure of DNA is found to be actively involved in genome regulation

2021-05-07
The two meters of -stretched- DNA contained in human cells are continuously twisting and untwisting to give access to genetic information: when a gene is expressed to generate a protein, the two strands of DNA are separated to give access to all the machinery necessary for this expression, resulting in an excessive accumulation of coiling that needs to be resolved later. The paper that has now been published by the team led by Felipe Cortés, head of the DNA Topology and Breaks Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), in collaboration with Silvia Jimeno González, professor at the University of Seville ...

New innovation successfully treats neonatal hypothermia

2021-05-07
Neonatal hypothermia -- which occurs when an infant's core body temperature falls below the normal range needed to maintain health -- contributes to approximately one million deaths each year, and countless cases of stunted growth, almost exclusively in low- and middle-income countries. To address this common but preventable condition, researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and colleagues in Rwanda developed the Dream Warmer, a low cost, reusable non-electric infant warmer to prevent and treat hypothermia. A new study from the team shows that infants who received treatment with the warmer had only an 11 percent rate of ...

Why hotter clocks are more accurate

Why hotter clocks are more accurate
2021-05-07
A new experiment shows that the more energy consumed by a clock, the more accurate its timekeeping. Clocks pervade every aspect of life, from the atomic clocks that underlie satellite navigation to the cellular clocks inside our bodies. All of them consume energy and release heat. A kitchen clock, for example, does this by using up its battery. Generally the most accurate clocks require the most energy, which hints at a fundamental connection between energy consumption and accuracy. This is what an international team of scientists from Lancaster, Oxford, and Vienna set out to test. To do this, they built a particularly simple clock, consisting of a vibrating ultra-thin membrane, tens of nanometers ...

Skoltech scientists find a way to make pultrusion faster

Skoltech scientists find a way to make pultrusion faster
2021-05-07
A research team from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials (CDMM) studied the effects of processing additives - aluminum hydroxide and zinc stearate - on the polymerization kinetics of thermosets used in pultrusion. The research was published in the Journal of Composite Materials. Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) structural elements that have obvious advantages over conventional materials, such as steel, wood, and concrete, are widely used in civil, marine and road construction. FRP structures are manufactured using the pultrusion process, in which polymerization is achieved by continuously pulling ...

Damage to white matter is linked to worse cognitive outcomes after brain injury

2021-05-07
A new University of Iowa study challenges the idea that gray matter (the neurons that form the cerebral cortex) is more important than white matter (the myelin covered axons that physically connect neuronal regions) when it comes to cognitive health and function. The findings may help neurologists better predict the long-term effects of strokes and other forms of traumatic brain injury. "The most unexpected aspect of our findings was that damage to gray matter hubs of the brain that are really interconnected with other regions didn't really tell us much about how poorly people would do on cognitive tests after brain damage. On the other hand, people with damage to the densest white matter connections did much worse on those tests," explains Justin Reber, PhD, ...

Can federated learning save the world?

2021-05-07
Training the artificial intelligence models that underpin web search engines, power smart assistants and enable driverless cars, consumes megawatts of energy and generates worrying carbon dioxide emissions. But new ways of training these models are proven to be greener. Artificial intelligence models are used increasingly widely in today's world. Many carry out natural language processing tasks - such as language translation, predictive text and email spam filters. They are also used to empower smart assistants such as Siri and Alexa to 'talk' to us, and to operate driverless cars. But to function ...

Artificial intelligence makes great microscopes better than ever

Artificial intelligence makes great microscopes better than ever
2021-05-07
To observe the swift neuronal signals in a fish brain, scientists have started to use a technique called light-field microscopy, which makes it possible to image such fast biological processes in 3D. But the images are often lacking in quality, and it takes hours or days for massive amounts of data to be converted into 3D volumes and movies. Now, EMBL scientists have combined artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with two cutting-edge microscopy techniques - an advance that shortens the time for image processing from days to mere seconds, while ensuring that the resulting images are crisp and accurate. The findings are published in Nature Methods. "Ultimately, we were able to take 'the best of both worlds' in this approach," says Nils Wagner, one of the paper's two lead ...

Discovery of a new genetic cause of hearing loss illuminates how inner ear works

2021-05-07
PHILADELPHIA-- A gene called GAS2 plays a key role in normal hearing, and its absence causes severe hearing loss, according to a study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers, whose findings are published online today in Developmental Cell, discovered that the protein encoded by GAS2 is crucial for maintaining the structural stiffness of support cells in the inner ear that normally help amplify incoming sound waves. They showed that inner ear support cells lacking functional GAS2 lose their amplifier abilities, causing severe hearing ...

How bullying and obesity can affect girls' and boys' mental health

2021-05-07
Depressive symptoms are more common in teenage girls than in their male peers. However, boys' mental health appears to be affected more if they suffer from obesity. Irrespective of gender, bullying is a considerably greater risk factor than overweight for developing depressive symptoms. These conclusions are drawn by researchers at Uppsala University who monitored adolescents for six years in a questionnaire study, now published in the Journal of Public Health. Peer-review/Observational study/People "The purpose of our study was to investigate the connection ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

COVID-19 disruptions in sub-Saharan Africa will have substantial health consequences

Study: Environmental risks exacerbated for vulnerable populations in small towns

East Antarctic summer cooling trends caused by tropical rainfall clusters

Being Anglo-Saxon was a matter of language and culture, not genetics

3,000-year-old shark attack victim found by Oxford-led researchers

Western high-fat diet can cause chronic pain, according to UT Health San Antonio-led team

Concepts from physics explain importance of quarantine to control spread of COVID-19

More seniors may have undiagnosed dementia than previously thought

Flavored e-cigarettes may affect the brain differently than non-flavored

Study explores how readers at partisan news sites respond to challenging news events

Scientists obtain real-time look at how cancers evolve

Flipping a molecular switch for heart fibrosis

Drug doubles down on bone cancer, metastasis

Cancer survivors' tongues less sensitive to tastes than those of healthy peers

Cold weather cost New England electric customers nearly $1.8 billion in one month; A new study suggests ways to mitigate fuel shortages

You can have too much of a good thing, says study financial analysts' work-life balance

GSA's journal's add seven articles on COVID-19 and aging

Cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma induces fatally bold behavior in hyena cubs

Nature article: Dieting and its effect on the gut microbiome

NIH scientists describe "Multi-Kingdom Dialogue" between internal, external microbiota

Melatonin in mice: there's more to this hormone than sleep

Wild bees need deadwood in the forest

A triple-system neural model of maladaptive consumption

Milk protein could help boost blueberries' healthfulness

Seeking a treatment for IBS pain in tarantula venom

Addressing inequity in air quality

Roughness of retinal layers, a new Alzheimer's biomarker

Study links sleep apnea in children to increased risk of high blood pressure in teen years

Black patients with cirrhosis more likely to die, less likely to get liver transplant

Researchers outline specific patterns in reading in Russian

[Press-News.org] How viruses and bacteria can reach drinking water wells
Scientists in Berlin and Milan study transport of microorganisms in bank filtration