The Ugly Duckling – The perfect environment for biofilm formation

How many times a day do you encounter biofilm without knowing? Probably many! Biofilm surrounds us in our daily life. If we leave out the fact that biofilm formations can occur inside the human body, we are still in contact with biofilm regularly. Where? – you may ask. You can find biofilm on your toothbrush or inside your yellow rubber duck in your bathroom. You might also find biofilm on your teeth or in water pipes. The list is endless. 

The conditions found in a bathroom causes the perfect environment for many microorganisms with higher temperature and increased humidity.  Tap water can comprise microbial communities and in some cases also opportunistic pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella pneumophila, and Mycobacterium avium. However, the nutrients in tap water will normally not contribute to excessive microbial growth.

Source: Eawag (https://www.eawag.ch/en/news-agenda/news-portal/news-detail/the-ugly-ducklings-biofilms-in-bath-toys/)

On the picture a rubber duck has been split in half and the biofilm formation is visible for the naked eye. The polymeric material in contact with drinking water releases substantial amounts of organic material that microorganisms can use as a source of nutrition. The picture emphasizes the need to be able to control and limit the microbial communities in potable water. At Adept Water Technologies we specialize in systems disinfecting potable water. For more information regarding the study on microbial communities in bath toys: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41522-018-0050-9.pdf

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