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Abstract

In this work microbiological air pollution at several commune sewage treatment plants (capacity up to 15,000 PE) was investigated. The bioreactors in all plants had a covered construction. The air samples were taken indoors as well as outdoors (both on the windward and leeward side) during different seasons. The samples were collected using the collision method. The presence of indicator organisms in the samples was determined according to the Polish Standards. Identification of individual indicators was performed on solid selective-differentiating substrates. To verify the presence of bacteria from Salmonella, Shigella, coliforms and enterococci species, the colonies observed on the MacConkey substrate were then sifted onto SS and Endo substrates. At all facilities (with one exception) the average CFU for the total number of bacteria and fungi did not exceed 1000/m3, which is the limit set by the Polish Standards for a pollution-free atmospheric air. Bacteria and fungi concentrations, observed at windward and leeward sides of all plants, were relatively low (<100 CFU/m3 and <1000 CFU/m3, respectively) and comparable. A sewage collection point had only a slight impact on the bioaerosol emission. The concentration of microorganisms in the immediate vicinity of covered reactors (aeration chambers) was rather low and remained below the limits sets by the Polish Standards at three facilities. The CFU of individual indicators, measured in rooms accessible for the personnel, was comparable to the CFU in technological rooms. However some indicators, e.g. a number of Actinomycetes, were significantly higher and reached >100 CFU/m3, which means significant air pollution. Similarly, the CFU of hemolytic bacteria had nonzero values. The only place where higher concentrations of bioaerosol were found was the centrifuge room, where digested sludge was dewatered. The number of fungi stayed below the limits there, but the amount of heterotrophic and hemolytic bacteria exceeded the limits and reached the values of ~10000 CFU/m3 and 800 CFU/m3, respectively; it means that the personnel working in this area is exposed to microbiological agents.
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Abstract

The study was aimed at evaluating microbial contamination on the premises of the sewage treatment plant by determining the concentrations of selected groups of airborne microorganisms. Another objective was to determine the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of isolated strains of staphylococci. The research was conducted in a seasonal cycle, by the impaction method using Merck MAS-100 air sampler. Samples were collected at six sites, each representing a different stage of sewage treatment. The susceptibility of isolated staphylococci was assessed with the disc-diffusion method, following the recommendations of the EUCAST. The results indicate that the microbial population in the air of the investigated area was dominated by mold fungi, whose highest average concentration was recorded at site IV located near the final clarifier (7672 CFU•m-3). Heterotrophic bacteria and mannitol-positive staphylococci were the most numerous at locations where sewage undergoes primary treatment. In each subseuqent stage the number of microorganisms emitted into the air from the sewage was lower. Antibiograms show that more than 50% of Staphylococcus spp. exhibited resistance to penicillin and 20% to rifampicin. In addition, 90% of the analyzed strains were sensitive to other antibiotics. The fungal community included the following genera: Cladosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, and Acremonium.The highest air contamination with all studied groups of microorganisms was recorded at the locations where mechanical sewage treatment was performed. During the subsequent stages lower numbers of heterotrophic bacteria were emitted into the air. The air in the investigated sewage treatment plant did not contain multidrug-resistant staphylococci.
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Abstract

The aim of the research was to determine the microbiological quality of atmospheric air in the Tuchów Sewage Treatment Plant, based on the presence of mesophilic bacteria, α- and β-hemolytic bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi. Bioaerosol measurements were made at four points (raw sewage inlet, aeration chamber, purifi ed sewage outlet and 150 m from the treatment plant, at the background point) in the period from January to December 2018. Bioaerosol samples were collected using Andersen’s 6-stage cascade impactor. The tested atmospheric air was characterized by a qualitatively and quantitatively diverse microfl ora. The highest amounts of all the studied groups of microorganisms were found at the raw sewage inlet, and in the case of actinomycetes, also twice in the place of biological purification. However, there were analyzes in which a higher concentration of microorganisms was observed outside the treatment plant at the control point constituting the background. This applies to bacteria and fungi. The largest source of emission of microorganisms to the atmosphere was the mechanical part of the sewage treatment plant (raw sewage inlet). The tested treatment plant may therefore contribute to the deterioration of the quality of the atmospheric air.
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Abstract

People spend most of their time in indoor environments and, consequently, these environments are more significant for the contribution of the daily pollutant exposure than outdoors. In case of children, a great part of their time is spent at school. Therefore, evaluations of this microenvironment are important to assess their time-weighted exposure to air pollutants. The aim of this study was to assess the children exposure to bioaerosols at schools from two different types of areas, urban and rural. A methodology based upon passive sampling was applied to evaluate fungi, bacteria and pollens, simultaneously with active sampling for fungi and bacterial assessment. Results showed very good correlations between sampling methods, especially for summer season. Passive sampling methodologies presented advantages such as no need of specific and expensive equipment, and they allow achieving important qualitative information. The study was conducted in different periods of the year to study the seasonal variation of the bioaerosols. Fungi and pollen presented higher levels during the summer time whereas bacteria did not present a seasonal variation. Indoor to outdoor ratios were determined to assess the level of outdoor contamination upon the indoor environment. Levels of fungi were higher outdoor and bacteria presented higher concentrations indoors. Indoor levels of bioaerosols were assessed in primary schools of urban and rural areas, using the active method along with a passive sampling method. Very good correlations between methods were found which allow the use of the passive sampling method to supply important and reliable qualitative information of bioaerosols concentrations in indoor environments. Seasonal variation in bioaerosols concentrations were found for fungi and pollen. Concentrations of fungi and bacteria above AMV (Acceptable Maximum Value) were found for most of the studied classrooms showing the importance of this microenvironment for the high exposure of children to bioaerosols.
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