Practical Manual of Groundwater Microbiology: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Practical Manual of Groundwater Microbiology

2nd Edition

By D. Roy Cullimore

CRC Press

400 pages | 79 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2007-12-17
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Although microorganisms can be found virtually anywhere on our planet, from clouds to soils to oceans, they are often poorly understood when examining issues related to groundwater and water wells. Focusing on the impact of microorganisms on groundwater and water wells, Practical Manual of Groundwater Microbiology, Second Edition presents over 75% new material to offer a comprehensive, up-to-date guide on the subject.

The first eight chapters provide an overview of microbiology and its importance in groundwaters, exploring natural filters that develop around wells, various bacteria, molds, viruses, sampling procedures, biofouling, biofilms, sequestration strategies, rehabilitation/regeneration practices, and flooding risks. The book also contains a chapter that functions as a self-contained guide, with 79 descriptive illustrations of important concepts integral to the understanding of microbes in groundwater. Numerous appendices, some new to this edition, supply detailed information on more specialized topics, such as microbiological test methods, water sample protocols, regulatory considerations concerning the use of phosphorus in wells, and the application of vegetable oil to lubricate pumps.

Chronicling the significant progress made in the field since the publication of its predecessor, this edition provides practical approaches for evaluating the effects of microorganisms and their activities on groundwater and water wells.

Table of Contents


Water Wells have Natural Filters: The Challenge


Feeding the Natural Filters

Other Factors Associated with the Natural Filter

Maintaining the Natural Filters around Water Wells

Failure of the Natural Filters and the Symptoms in the Water Well

Microbes in Water Wells: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

What Are Microbes?

Where Are Microbes?

Sterility, Health, and Microbes

Bacterial Groups of Significance in Water Wells

Coliform Bacteria

Iron-Related Bacteria

Slime-Forming Bacteria

Total Bacteria

Microorganisms in Water Wells

Role of the Molds (Fungi) in Water Wells

Role of Protozoa in Water Wells

Role of Viruses in Water Wells

Acute Gastrointestinal Illness of Unknown Etiology

Sampling Procedures


Sampling Water Wells

Single Sampling Procedure for a Water Well

Multiple Sampling from the Water Well

Zones of Interrogation Projections (ZIP) Testing

Routine Sampling

Symptoms of Failure: Early Warnings and Eventual Catastrophes


Sustainable Wells

Historical Records

Biological Assay Data

Biofouling: The Impact of Biofilms on Specific Capacity

Significance of Drawdown Changes

Oil-Lubricated Pumps: The Risks

Considerations in Deciding upon a Treatment Strategy

Remedies from a Drop to a Drum


Preventative Maintenance (PM) Servicing


Water Wells That Are Failing without Routine PM or Regeneration

Regeneration from the Edge of Catastrophe


Types of Chemicals Employed in Regeneration

Chemical Selection for Use in the Regeneration of Wells

Sequestration Strategies

Use of Heat

Chemical Blend Selection

Regeneration Practices

Spheres of Influence: The Coming and the Going


Risks from Flooding Causing Compromise to the Wells

Groundwater under the Direct Influence of Surface Water

Art of Well Development

Illustrated Guide for Groundwater Microbiology

Natural Filters around Water Wells

Changes in the Position of the Biomass around a Well

Growth of Biomass and Impact on Well Characteristics

Groundwater Flow through Four Biofouling Water Wells

Diagrammatic Presentation of Bacterial Cell

Cross Section of Attached Biomass

Major Forms of Biofouling in Water Wells

Forms of Coliform Bacteria

Forms of Iron-Related Bacteria


Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria

Fungi (Molds)

Pathogenic (Health-Risk) Protozoa

Size of Viruses and Bacteria

Growing Bacteria

Agar Dip-Paddle Technique

Slope BART Culture Technique

BART Test Method

Rodina Test for IRB

Cholodny Test for IRB

Grainge and Lund Test for IRB

George Alford Quick and Dirty Test for IRB

Staining Methods for IRB

Agar Spreadplate Enumeration Method for Bacteria

Bacterial Colony Forms Growing on Agar Plates

ATP Test Method for Detecting Bacterial Activity

Comparison of ATP to Time Lapse Using BART Testers

Theoretical Functioning of the BART Tester

Types of BART Testers in Common Use

Protocol for Filling BART Field Tester

Common Sites for Early BART Reactions

IRB-BART Reaction Patterns

SRB-BART Reaction Patterns

SLYM-BART Reaction Patterns

HAB-BART Reaction Patterns

DN-BART Reaction Patterns

N-BART Reaction Patterns

ALGE-BART Reaction Patterns

APB-BART Reaction Patterns

Relationship of Time Lapse to Population

ORP Relationship to IRB-BART Reactions

ORP Relationship to SRB-BART Reactions

Effects of Sampling during Pumping on Biomass Characteristics

Location of Biomass Shifting during Plugging of a Well

Primary Effect of Water Well Treatments

Mechanisms for Bacteriologically Influenced Infestation of Water Wells

Zones of Interrogation Projection I

Zones of Interrogation Projection II

Zones of Interrogation Projection III

Relationship between Bacterial Activity and Specific Capacity in Biofouling Water Wells

Movement of the Redox Front around a Well Suffering Microbiologically Influenced Plugging

Treatment Impacts on a Biofouling Water Well

Video-Camera Logging of Biofouled Water Wells

Methane (Natural Gas) Eruptions in Water Wells

Harmonic Pulsing Activities in the Plugging Biomass

Metal Bioaccumulation around an Active Water Well

Impact of Treatments on the Sequential Releases of Metals from the Biomass

Risks from Applying Phosphorus Compounds as a Part of Treatment Strategies for Biofouled Water Wells

Maturation of Biofouling Water Wells, Impacts on Specific Capacity, and Bacterial Activity

Control Strategies for the Removal of Biomass

Comparison of Well Regeneration with Preventative Maintenance (Servicing)

Shock, Disrupt, and Disperse Phases of Water Well Regeneration

Effects of Distortions in the Location of Biomass on the Efficiency of Treatments

Treatment of Fractured Hard Rock Wells

Impact of Treatment on the Biomass Involved in Biofouling

Factors Affecting the Sustainability of Water Wells

Effect of the Growth of Various Microbial Communities on the Function of Water Wells

Sequential Risk Analysis for a Test Pumping of a Well

Biofouling of Relief Wells in Earth-Filled Dam Structures Used to Create Water Reservoirs

Biofouling of Horizontal Wells

Impact of Flooding on Producing Water Wells

Direct and Indirect Impacts of Water Wells Flooded by Surface Waters

Flood Impact on a Biofouled Well

Protection of Wells from Flooding

Impact of Flooding on the Position of the Redox

Front around Water Wells

Impact of Oil and Gas Wells on Neighboring Water Wells

Theoretical Functioning of the BART Tester

Positioning of Biomass around Slotted Screens in Water Wells That Are Biofouling

Treatment Sequences in Biofouled Water Well Regeneration

Appendix A: Microbiological Test Methods

Appendix B: Biological Activity Reaction Test (BART)

Appendix C: Video Borehole Log

Appendix D: Treatment Strategies

Appendix E: Sustainability of Water Wells

Appendix F: Interaction between Neighboring Water Wells

Appendix G: Standard Microbiological Approaches for Groundwater Challenges, Concepts (Summary)

Appendix H: Methods for Obtaining Water Samples for

Microbiological Testing

Appendix I: Conservation of the Water Sample between Collection and Testing

Appendix J: Definition of the Influence That Ambient Water Temperatures Have on Tests

Appendix K: Protocols to Obtain Water Samples

Appendix L: Application of BART Testers

Appendix M: Evaluation of Risk Potentials

Appendix N: Regulatory Considerations Concerning Phosphorus

Appendix O: Application of Heat as a Component in the Rehabilitation/Regeneration of Biofouled Water Wells

Appendix P: Application of Vegetable Oil as a Substitute for Hydrocarbon-Based Oils to Lubricate Pumps

Appendix Q: Frequently Asked Questions

Appendix R: Glossary

Appendix S: Well Questionnaire (First Enquiry)

Appendix T: Further Reading


About the Series

Sustainable Water Well

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Microbiology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply