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We have developed a method to remove perchlorate (14–27 μg/L) and nitrate (48 mg/L) from contaminated groundwater using a wetland bioreactor. The bioreactor has operated continuously in a remote field location for more than 2 yr with a stable ecosystem of indigenous organisms. This study assesses the bioreactor for long-term perchlorate and nitrate remediation by evaluating influent and effluent groundwater for oxidation-reduction conditions and nitrate and perchlorate concentrations. Total community DNA was extracted and purified from 10-g sediment samples retrieved from vertical coring of the bioreactor during winter. Analysis by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of short, 16S rDNA, polymerase-chain-reaction products was used to identify dominant microorganisms. Bacteria genera identified were closely affiliated with bacteria widely distributed in soils, mud layers, and fresh water. Of the 17 dominant bands sequenced, most were gram negative and capable of aerobic or anaerobic respiration with nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor (Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Halomonas, and Nitrospira). Several identified genera (Rhizobium, Acinetobactor, and Xanthomonas) are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen into a combined form (ammonia) usable by host plants. Isolates were identified from the Proteobacteria class, known for the ability to reduce perchlorate. Initial bacterial assessments of sediments confirm the prevalence of facultative anaerobic bacteria capable of reducing perchlorate and nitrate insitu.
Paula Krauter, Bill Daily Jr., Valerie Dibley, Holly Pinkart & Tina Legler (2005) Perchlorate and Nitrate Remediation Efficiency and Microbial Diversity in a Containerized Wetland Bioreactor, International Journal of Phytoremediation, 7:2, 113-128, DOI: 10.1080/16226510590950414
International Journal of Phytoremediation
Version of Record: Copyright Taylor & Francis