Graywater processing in recirculating hydroponic systems: Phytotoxicity, surfactant degradation, and bacterial dynamics

J. L. Garland, L. H. Levine, N. C. Yorio, Jennifer Krumins, K. L. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Incorporation of human hygiene water (graywater) into hydroponic plant production systems, and subsequent recovery of the water transpired by the plants, is one potential means for water purification and recycling in bioregenerative life support systems under development for long duration space missions. Surfactant phytotoxicity and the potential for growth of human-associated microorganisms were assessed in studies of wheat and lettuce in controlled environmental chambers to provide baseline information for future studies with actual graywater streams. Igepon TC-42 (sodium N-coconut acid-N-methyl taurate), a surfactant designated for use on the International Space Station and a common ingredient of soaps and detergents, was added to plant systems in three different modes: (1) pulse addition of 875 mg m-2 growing area once a day, (2) continuous addition of 875 mg m-2 over the course of a day, and (3) variable addition of 0-3000 mg m-2 d-1 based on plant water demand. The survival of three human-associated bacteria (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) in the plant nutrient delivery systems were monitored following introduction 6 (wheat) or 3 (lettuce) days after planting (DAP). Igepon rapidly disappeared (i.e., a half-life of less than 1 h) following an initial adaptation period lasting less than 2 days. Microbial degradation of Igepon was supported by appearance of the degradation intermediate methyl taurine and an increase in the numbers of bacteria able to grow on media containing Igepon as the sole carbon source in the Igepon treated systems relative to the control. Wheat growth was not significantly affected by any of the Igepon treatments, but lettuce yield was significantly reduced in the pulse and continuous treatments. E. coli and S. aureus decreased below detection limits within 3-5 days within the systems, but P. aeruginosa persisted in the rhizosphere, nutrient solution, and nutrient delivery system biofilm for the duration of the wheat (70-day) and lettuce (28-day) experiments. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3075-3086
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2000

Fingerprint

hydroponics
phytotoxicity
surfactant
Surface active agents
wheat
Degradation
degradation
Processing
Escherichia coli
Nutrients
nutrient
Water
Bacteria
Environmental chambers
bacterium
Soaps (detergents)
Detergents
hygiene
Biofilms
Space stations

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli
  • Graywater
  • Hydroponics
  • Igepon
  • Lactuca sativa
  • Lettuce
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Survival
  • Triticum aestivum
  • Wheat

Cite this

Garland, J. L. ; Levine, L. H. ; Yorio, N. C. ; Krumins, Jennifer ; Cook, K. L. / Graywater processing in recirculating hydroponic systems : Phytotoxicity, surfactant degradation, and bacterial dynamics. In: Water Research. 2000 ; Vol. 34, No. 12. pp. 3075-3086.
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Graywater processing in recirculating hydroponic systems : Phytotoxicity, surfactant degradation, and bacterial dynamics. / Garland, J. L.; Levine, L. H.; Yorio, N. C.; Krumins, Jennifer; Cook, K. L.

In: Water Research, Vol. 34, No. 12, 15.08.2000, p. 3075-3086.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Graywater processing in recirculating hydroponic systems

T2 - Phytotoxicity, surfactant degradation, and bacterial dynamics

AU - Garland, J. L.

AU - Levine, L. H.

AU - Yorio, N. C.

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AU - Cook, K. L.

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Y1 - 2000/8/15

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KW - Escherichia coli

KW - Graywater

KW - Hydroponics

KW - Igepon

KW - Lactuca sativa

KW - Lettuce

KW - Pseudomonas aeruginosa

KW - Staphylococcus aureus

KW - Survival

KW - Triticum aestivum

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