Biofilm Growth and Hydraulic Performance

by Basil F. Picologlou, Engr.; Argonne National Lab., Argonne, Ill.,
William G. Characklis, Sr. Research Engr.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg. and Adjunct Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Chemical Engrg., Montana State Univ., Bozeman, Mont.,
Nicholas Zelver, Research Engr.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Montana State Univ., Bozeman, Mont.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 5, Pg. 733-746

Document Type: Journal Paper


An experimental investigation of the deleterious effect of microbial slime layers on the hydraulic performance of water conduits is presented. The underlying mechanisms that lead to an increase of frictional losses in the conduit are explored and their relative importance is discussed. It is shown that although the slime layer is viscoelastic and filamentous, its effect on frictional resistance can be adequately represented through an increase in rigid equivalent sand roughness of the conduit wall.

Subject Headings: Conduits | Biofilm | Hydraulics | Friction | Microbes | Viscoelasticity | Load and resistance factor design | Hydraulic roughness

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