Imperial College London

Professor Michael Templeton

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Public Health Engineering
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 6099m.templeton

 
 
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Assistant

 

Miss Judith Barritt +44 (0)20 7594 5967

 
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Location

 

303Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

119 results found

Krueger BC, Fowler GD, Templeton MR, Septien Set al., 2021, Faecal sludge pyrolysis: understanding the relationships between organic composition and thermal decomposition, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 298, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0301-4797

Sludge treatment is an integral part of faecal sludge management in non-sewered sanitation settings. Development of pyrolysis as a suitable sludge treatment method requires thorough knowledge about the properties and thermal decomposition mechanisms of the feedstock. This study aimed to improve the current lack of understanding concerning relevant sludge properties and their influence on the thermal decomposition characteristics. Major organic compounds (hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, protein, oil and grease, other carbohydrates) were quantified in 30 faecal sludge samples taken from different sanitation technologies, providing the most comprehensive organic faecal sludge data set to date. This information was used to predict the sludge properties crucial to pyrolysis (calorific value, fixed carbon, volatile matter, carbon, hydrogen). Samples were then subjected to thermogravimetric analysis to delineate the influence of organic composition on thermal decomposition. Septic tanks showed lower median fractions of lignin (9.4%dwb) but higher oil and grease (10.7%dwb), compared with ventilated improved pit latrines (17.4%dwb and 4.6%dwb respectively) and urine diverting dry toilets (17.9%dwb and 4.7%dwb respectively). High fixed carbon fractions in lignin (45.1%dwb) and protein (18.8%dwb) suggested their importance for char formation, while oil and grease fully volatilised. For the first time, this study provided mechanistic insights into faecal sludge pyrolysis as a function of temperature and feedstock composition. Classification into the following three phases was proposed: decomposition of hemicellulose, cellulose, other carbohydrates, proteins and, partially, lignin (200–380 °C), continued decomposition of lignin and thermal cracking of oil and grease (380–500 °C) and continued carbonisation (>500 °C). The findings will facilitate the development and optimisation of faecal sludge pyrolysis, emphasising the importance of considering the

Journal article

Braun L, Sylivester YD, Zerefa MD, Maru M, Allan F, Zewge F, Emery AM, Kinung'hi S, Templeton MRet al., 2021, Parameters for effective sand filtration of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae from water, Water Supply, Vol: in press

Journal article

Blyth J, Hazell L, Templeton MR, 2021, Immunological detection of thymine dimers in indigenous genomic DNA from pre-disinfection drinking water as an ultraviolet disinfection dosimeter, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, ISSN: 2053-1400

Culture-based methods are the primary methods used for the routine detection and enumeration of bacteria and viruses in water samples. In the context of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, they are also the basis for reactor validation in drinking water treatment systems. However, the majority of microorganisms in drinking water are not culturable. In UV disinfection, the DNA of both the culturable and non-culturable microbial populations will form pyrimidine dimers in response to UV photon absorbance. In this research an enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect thymine dimers in the extractable genomic DNA (gDNA) from the total microbial population in pre-disinfection drinking water as a UV disinfection dosimeter. The method was first optimised using “naked” (extracted prior to UV exposure) and in vivo (extracted post UV exposure) Escherichia coli gDNA, and then tested using water samplesfrom UK drinking water treatment plants. Samples were exposed to up to 120 mJ/cm2 of monochromatic (254 nm) UV light using a collimated beam device and an ELISA was applied to the gDNA. This approach, once optimised, resulted in linear relationships between the assay response and UV dose. This shows that ELISA-based enumeration of thymine dimers in total extractable gDNA from a mixed species population has the potential to provide a direct, relatively quick, sampling-based means of monitoring the UV disinfection dose being delivered by operating UV disinfection systems in drinking water treatment plants, without the need to spike a biodosimeter into the water nor take reactors out of service. Molecular techniques 2 measuring dimer formation may also offer the UV disinfection industry a method of demonstrating dose delivery where the culturing of target organisms is problematic.

Journal article

Kelwick RJR, Webb AJ, Wang Y, Heliot A, Allan F, Emery AM, Templeton MR, Freemont PSet al., 2021, AL-PHA beads: bioplastic-based protease biosensors for global health applications, Materials Today, Vol: 47, Pages: 25-37, ISSN: 1369-7021

Proteases are multi-functional proteolytic enzymes that have complex roles in human health and disease. Therefore, the development of protease biosensors can be beneficial to global health applications. To this end, we developed Advanced proteoLytic detector PolyHydroxyAlkanoates (AL-PHA) beads – a library of over 20 low-cost, biodegradable, bioplastic-based protease biosensors. Broadly, these biosensors utilise PhaC-reporter fusion proteins that are bound to microbially manufactured polyhydroxyalkanoate beads. In the presence of a specific protease, superfolder green fluorescent reporter proteins are cleaved from the AL-PHA beads – resulting in a loss of bead fluorescence. The Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV) AL-PHA biosensor detected the proteolytic activity of at least 1.85 pM of AcTEV. AL-PHA beads were also engineered to detect cercarial elastase from Schistosoma mansoni-derived cercarial transformation fluid (SmCTF) samples, as well as cancer-associated metalloproteinases in extracellular vesicle and cell-conditioned media samples. We envision that AL-PHA beads could be further developed for use in resource-limited settings.

Journal article

Hazell L, Allan F, Emery AM, Templeton MRet al., 2021, Ultraviolet disinfection of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae in water, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: in press, ISSN: 1935-2727

Journal article

Moulds S, Buytaert W, Templeton MR, Kanu Iet al., 2021, Modeling the impacts of urban flood risk management on social inequality, Water Resources Research, Vol: 57, ISSN: 0043-1397

The exposure of urban populations to flooding is highly heterogeneous, with the negative impacts of flooding experienced disproportionately by the poor. In developing countries experiencing rapid urbanization and population growth a key distinction in the urban landscape is between planned development and unplanned, informal development, which often occurs on marginal, flood-prone land. Flood risk management in the context of informality is challenging, and may exacerbate existing social inequalities and entrench poverty. Here, we adapt an existing socio-hydrological model of human-flood interactions to account for a stratified urban society consisting of planned and informal settlements. In the first instance, we use the model to construct four system archetypes based on idealized scenarios of risk reduction and disaster recovery. We then perform a sensitivity analysis to examine the relative importance of the differential values of vulnerability, risk-aversion, and flood awareness in determining the relationship between flood risk management and social inequality. The model results suggest that reducing the vulnerability of informal communities to flooding plays an important role in reducing social inequality and enabling sustainable economic growth, even when the exposure to the flood hazard remains high. Conversely, our model shows that increasing risk aversion may accelerate the decline of informal communities by suppressing economic growth. On this basis, we argue for urban flood risk management which is rooted in pro-poor urban governance and planning agendas which recognize the legitimacy and permanence of informal communities in cities.

Journal article

Blyth J, Templeton MR, Court S-J, Luce C, Cairns W, Hazell Let al., 2021, Assessment of indigenous surrogate microorganisms for UV disinfection dose verification, Water and Environment Journal, ISSN: 1747-6585

Journal article

Krueger BC, Fowler GD, Templeton MR, 2021, Critical analytical parameters for faecal sludge characterisation informing the application of thermal treatment processes, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 280, ISSN: 0301-4797

Thermal processes for the treatment of faecal sludge such as pyrolysis or combustion offer complete destruction of pathogens, whilst allowing for energy and nutrient recovery. The development of such processes is currently constrained by a lack of knowledge on thermally relevant faecal sludge characteristics. This study investigated thirty faecal sludge samples from three sanitation technologies (ventilated improved pit latrines (VIP), urine diverting dry toilets (UD), septic tanks (ST)) and compared these by non-parametric statistical analysis. A focus was placed on parameters necessary for thermal process development and recoverable nutrient concentrations. The relevant characteristics ranged widely within technology groups. Calorific values and ash concentrations of 2.1–25.7 MJ/kg and 9.5–88.4% were observed for STs, of 9.2–13.9 MJ/kg and 40.9–61.5% for VIPs and of 3.9–18.1 MJ/kg and 18.8–81.3% for UDs. These two parameters show a strong linear inverse correlation and determine the minimum dewatering requirements from which a net energy recovery may be possible. Results suggest that more than 90% of samples can meet these requirements following commonly used dewatering technologies. A comparison across technologies provided strong evidence that the faecal sludge source significantly influences sludge composition, emphasized by higher median ratios of fixed carbon to volatile matter in VIPs (0.23) and UDs (0.23) compared to STs (0.15). The sanitation technology also influenced recoverable nutrient concentrations, with phosphorus and potassium concentrations generally ranging between 5.8–49.2 g/kg and 1.4–26.1 g/kg respectively. Compared to STs, median concentrations of phosphorus and potassium in VIPs were 3.4 and 3.8 times higher respectively, and 3.0 and 8.8 times higher in UDs. The findings highlight the importance of considering the faecal sludge source in the development of thermal treatment processes. This stud

Journal article

Mayor-Smith I, Templeton MR, 2021, Development of a mercury free ultraviolet high pressure plasma discharge for disinfection, Water and Environment Journal, Vol: 35, Pages: 41-54, ISSN: 1747-6585

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection is a critical and growing application for the disinfection of water. Current UV systems for disinfection applications are designed around the use of Low Pressure (LP) and High Pressure (HP) mercury based lamps. Increasing demand to reduce and ideally remove the use of mercury requires innovative adaptations and novel approaches to current technology. A potential alternative technology could be Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) however with current low efficiencies, high costs and low operating powers a development gap for a high power mercury source has been identified. A mercury free tellurium based high pressure plasma was developed and assessed. Although relatively low efficiencies were measured compared to current mercury based technology rapid improvements are likely obtainable. Such an approach enables a novel adaptation to current technology utilising established; manufacturing facilities, approaches of UV system design and validation protocols. As a consequence it offers the potential for a rapid low cost transition to mercury free UV disinfection where no alternative is currently available.

Journal article

Braun L, Sylivester Y, Dessalegne M, Maru M, Allan F, Zewge F, Emery AM, Kinung'hi S, Templeton MRet al., 2020, Chlorination of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1935-2727

Background:Schistosomiasis is a water-based disease acquired through contact with cercaria-infested water. Communities living in endemic regions often rely on parasite-contaminated freshwater bodies for their daily water contact activities, resulting in recurring schistosomiasis infection. In such instances, water treatment can provide safe water on a household or community scale. However, to-date there are no water treatment guidelines that provide information on how to treat water containing schistosome cercariae. Here, we rigorously test the effectiveness of chlorine against Schistosoma mansoni cercariae.Method:S. mansoni cercariae were chlorinated using sodium hypochlorite under lab and field condition. The water pH was controlled at 6.5, 7.0 or 7.5, the water temperature at 20°C or 27°C, and the chlorine dose at 1, 2 or 3 mg/l. Experiments were conducted up to contact times of 45 minutes. 100 cercariae were used per experiment, thereby achieving up to 2-log10 inactivations of cercariae. Experiments were replicated under field conditions at Lake Victoria, Tanzania.Conclusion:A CT (residual chlorine concentration x chlorine contact time) value of 26±4 mg·min/l is required to achieve a 2-log10 inactivation of S. mansoni cercariae under the most conservative condition tested (pH 7.5, 20°C). Field and lab-cultivated cercariae show similar chlorine sensitivities. A CT value of 30 mg·min/l is therefore recommended to disinfect cercaria-infested water, though safety factors may be required, depending on water quality and operating conditions. This CT value can be achieved with a chlorine residual of 1 mg/l after a contact time of 30 minutes, for example. This recommendation can be used to provide safe water for household and recreational water activities in communities that lack safe alternative water sources.

Journal article

Hylton E, Noad L, Templeton MR, Sule MNet al., 2020, The rate of vermi-compost accumulation within ‘Tiger Toilets’ in India, Environmental Technology, ISSN: 0959-3330

Tiger Toilets use a worm-based ecosystem to degrade human waste and have recently been demonstrated as a cost-effective innovation in on-site sanitation. The benefits over traditional pit latrines include slower fill rate, fewer odours, and safer emptying. However, a question remains around how to measure the rate of accumulation of vermi-compost and predict the fill rate into the future. In this study, fifteen Tiger Toilets of varying installation ages in the villages of Jejuri, Bhalgudi and Walhe/Adachiwadi, in Maharashtra province, India were investigated to determine the rate of filling. A laser measure was used to define cross-sections of the depth to vermi-compost layers within the Tiger Toilet digesters. Bench-scale column tests were used to estimate liquid infiltration rates from the digesters into the surrounding soils. Changes over time in the interior digester conditions were photographed and a video camera was installed in selected digesters to confirm and observe the worm activity in situ under red light. Calculated fill rates of the Tiger Toilets were significantly lower compared to estimated fill rates of traditional pit latrines of a similar size and usage rate. The infiltration of the liquid fraction of the waste into the surrounding soil was observed to be a key factor in filling.

Journal article

Sfynia C, Bond T, Kanda R, Templeton MRet al., 2020, The formation of disinfection by-products from the chlorination and chloramination of amides, Chemosphere, Vol: 248:125940, ISSN: 0045-6535

This study examined the potential of six aliphatic and aromatic amides, commonly found in natural waters or used as chemical aids in water treatment, to act as organic precursors for nine haloacetamides (HAcAms), five haloacetonitriles (HANs), regulated trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) upon chlorination and chloramination. The impact of key experimental conditions, representative of drinking water, including pH (7 & 8), retention time (4 & 24 h) and bromide levels (0 & 100 μg/L), on the generation of the target DBPs was investigated. The highest aggregate DBP yields upon chlor(am)ination were reported for the aromatic and hydrophobic hydroxybenzamide; 2.7% ± 0.1% M/M (chlorination) and 1.7% M/M (chloramination). Increased reactivity was observed in aliphatic and hydrophilic compounds, acrylamide (2.5 ± 0.2% M/M) and acetamide (1.3 ± 0.2% M/M), in chlorination and chloramination, respectively. The addition of bromide increased average DBP yields by 50–70%. Relative to chlorination, the application of chloramines reduced DBP formation by 66.5% (without Br−) and by 46.4% (with Br−). However, bromine incorporation in HAAs and HAcAms was enhanced following chloramination, of concern due to the higher toxicological potency of brominated compounds.

Journal article

Braun L, Hazell L, Webb AJ, Allan F, Emery AM, Templeton MRet al., 2020, Determining the viability of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae using fluorescence assays: an application for water treatment, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1935-2727

Background:Schistosome cercariae are the human-infectious stage of the Schistosoma parasite. They are shed by snail intermediate hosts living in freshwater, and penetrate the skin of the human host to develop into schistosomes, resulting in schistosomiasis infection. Water treatment (e.g. filtration or chlorination) is one way of cutting disease transmission; it kills or removes cercariae to provide safe water for people to use for activities such as bathing or laundry as an alternative to infested lakes or rivers. At present, there is no standard method for assessing the effectiveness of water treatment processes on cercariae. Examining cercarial movement under a microscope is the most common method, yet it is subjective and time-consuming. Hence, there is a need to develop and verify accurate, high-throughput assays for quantifying cercarial viability.Method:We tested two fluorescence assays for their ability to accurately determine cercarial viability in water samples, using S. mansoni cercariae released from infected snails in the Schistosomiasis Collection at the Natural History Museum, London. These assays consist of dual stains, namely a vital and non-vital dye; fluorescein diacetate (FDA) and Hoechst, and FDA and Propidium Iodide. We also compared the results of the fluorescence assays to the viability determined by microscopy.Conclusion:Both fluorescence assays can detect the viability of cercariae to an accuracy of at least 92.2% ± 6.3%. Comparing the assays to microscopy, no statistically significant difference was found between the method’s viability results. However, the fluorescence assays are less subjective and less time-consuming than microscopy, and therefore present a promising method for quantifying the viability of schistosome cercariae in water samples.

Journal article

Krueger BC, Fowler GD, Templeton MR, Moya Bet al., 2020, Resource recovery and biochar characteristics from full-scale faecal sludge treatment and co-treatment with agricultural waste, Water Research, Vol: 169:115253, ISSN: 0043-1354

Unsafe disposal of faecal sludge from onsite sanitation in low-income countries has detrimental effects on public health and the environment. The production of biochar from faecal sludge offers complete destruction of pathogens and a value-added treatment product. To date, research has been limited to the laboratory. This study evaluates the biochars produced from the co-treatment of faecal sludge from septic tanks and agricultural waste at two full-scale treatment plants in India by determining their physical and chemical properties to establish their potential applications. The process yielded macroporous, powdery biochars that can be utilised for soil amendment or energy recovery. Average calorific values reaching 14.9 MJ/kg suggest use as solid fuel, but are limited by a high ash content. Phosphorus and potassium are enriched in the biochar but their concentrations are restricted by the nutrient-depleted nature of septic tank faecal sludge. High concentrations of calcium and magnesium led to a liming potential of up to 20.1% calcium carbonate equivalents, indicating suitability for use on acidic soils. Heavy metals present in faecal sludge were concentrated in the biochar and compliance for soil application will depend on local regulations. Nevertheless, heavy metal mobility was considerably reduced, especially for Cu and Zn, by 51.2–65.2% and 48.6–59.6% respectively. Co-treatment of faecal sludge with other carbon-rich waste streams can be used to influence desired biochar properties. In this case, the addition of agricultural waste increased nutrient and fixed carbon concentrations, as well as providing an additional source of energy. This study is a proof of concept for biochar production achieving full-scale faecal sludge treatment. The findings will help inform appropriate use of the treatment products as this technology becomes more commonly applied.

Journal article

Templeton MR, 2019, Achieving real-world impact, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, Vol: 5, Pages: 2070-2071, ISSN: 2053-1400

Journal article

Hazell L, Braun L, Templeton MR, 2019, Ultraviolet sensitivity of WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) related helminths: a systematic review, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 13:e0007777

Journal article

Dewhurst RN, Furlong C, Tripathi S, Templeton MR, Scott REet al., 2019, Evaluating the viability of establishing container-based sanitation in low-income settlements, Waterlines, Vol: 38, Pages: 154-169, ISSN: 1756-3488

Container-based sanitation (CBS) services operate in a number of low-income urban settlements across the globe, providing sanitation services where other on-site and off-site sanitation systems face logistical and environmental restrictions. The viability of each CBS service is influenced by a number of location-specific factors. Drawing on an initial review of existing CBS services, this paper identifies and evaluates these factors in relation to establishing CBS in a new service location. By applying a weighted scoring matrix to these factors, the potential viability of CBS services has been assessed for urban informal settlements in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The viability of CBS services in these settlements was found to be most influenced by the current availability of basic sanitation facilities, the unfamiliarity with paying for sanitation services, and the universally adopted practice of anal cleansing with water. The process and scoring matrix developed and subsequently applied in Nepal are recommended as part of the pre-feasibility stage assessment where a CBS service is being considered as a sanitation option in new locations.

Journal article

Charani E, Cunnington AJ, Yousif AHA, Ahmed MS, Ahmed AEM, Babiker S, Bedri S, Buytaert W, Crawford MA, Elbashir MI, Elhag K, Elsiddig KE, Hakim N, Johnson MR, Miras AD, Swar MO, Templeton MR, Taylor-Robinson SDet al., 2019, In transition: current health challenges and priorities in Sudan, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 4:e001723, ISSN: 2059-7908

A recent symposium and workshop in Khartoum, the capital of the Republic of Sudan, brought together broad expertise from three universities to address the current burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases facing the Sudanese healthcare system. These meetings identified common challenges that impact the burden of diseases in the country, most notably gaps in data and infrastructure which are essential to inform and deliver effective interventions. Non-communicable diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, renal disease and cancer are increasing dramatically, contributing to multimorbidity. At the same time, progress against communicable diseases has been slow, and the burden of chronic and endemic infections remains considerable, with parasitic diseases (such as malaria, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis) causing substantial morbidity and mortality. Antimicrobial resistance has become a major threat throughout the healthcare system, with an emerging impact on maternal, neonatal, and paediatric populations. Meanwhile, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and poor perinatal outcomes remain common and contribute to a lifelong burden of disease. These challenges echo the UN sustainable development goals and concentrating on them in a unified strategy will be necessary to address the national burden of disease. At a time when the country is going through societal and political transition, we draw focus on the country and the need for resolution of its healthcare needs.

Journal article

Destiani R, Templeton MR, 2019, Chlorination and ultraviolet disinfection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in drinking water, AIMS Environmental Science, Vol: 6, Pages: 222-241, ISSN: 2372-0352

Journal article

Ritson JP, Croft JK, Clark JM, Brazier RE, Templeton MR, Smith D, Graham Net al., 2019, Sources of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a mixed land use catchment (Exe, UK), Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 666, Pages: 165-175, ISSN: 0048-9697

Many catchment management schemes in the UK have focussed on peatland restoration to improve ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water quality and biodiversity. The effect of these schemes on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux is critical in understanding peatland carbon budgets as well as the implications for drinking water treatment. In many catchments, however, peatland areas are not the only source of DOC, meaning that their significance at the full catchment scale is unclear. In this paper we have evaluated the importance of different land uses as sources of DOC by combining three datasets obtained from the Exe catchment, UK. The first dataset comprises a weekly monitoring record at three sites for six years, the second, a monthly monitoring record of 25 sites in the same catchment for one year, and the third, an assessment of DOC export from litter and soil carbon stocks. Our results suggest that DOC concentration significantly increased from the peaty headwaters to the mixed land-use areas (ANOVA F = 12.52, p < 0.001, df = 2), leading to higher flux estimates at the downstream sites. We present evidence for three possible explanations: firstly, that poor sampling of high flows may lead to underestimation of DOC flux, second, that there are significant sources of DOC besides the peatland headwaters, and finally, that biological- and photo-degradation decreases the influence of upstream DOC sources. Our results provide evidence both for the targeting of catchment management in peatland areas as well as the need to consider DOC from agricultural and forested areas of the catchment.

Journal article

Sione L, Templeton MR, Onof C, Tripathi Set al., 2019, Characterising intermittent water systems in data-scarce settings using a citizen science approach, 17th International Computing and Control for the Water Industry (CCWI) Conference, Exeter, UK

Conference paper

Auwerter LCC, Templeton MR, van Reeuwijk M, O Taiwo O, Cheeseman Cet al., 2019, Development of porous glass surfaces with recoverable hydrophobicity, Materials Letters: X, Vol: 1, ISSN: 2590-1508

Porous glass tiles have been reacted with a low-surface energy coating to produce hydrophobic surfaces. Washing the surface with surfactant reduces hydrophobicity and the wetting state changes from Cassie-Baxter to Wenzel. Passing air through the porous glass when it is immersed in water causes a solid-gas-liquid interface to form and this is associated with recovery of hydrophobicity. The processing and microstructural characteristics of the porous glass that show this effect are reported. Potential applications include low-friction pipes, where maintaining the Cassie-Baxter state at the water-pipe interface would significantly reduce the energy required to transport water.

Journal article

Destiani R, Templeton MR, 2018, The antibiotic resistance of heterotrophic bacteria in tap waters in London, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol: 19, Pages: 179-190, ISSN: 1606-9749

This study assessed the occurrence and prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARBs) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in tap water sampled across London, United Kingdom. Sampling was conducted seasonally from nine locations spread geographically across the city. ARBs and ARGs (tet(A), dfrA7, and sul1) were detected in all sampling locations in all sampling rounds. Resistance to trimethoprim was the highest among the tested antibiotics and sul1 gene was the most abundant resistance gene detected. Several opportunistic pathogens were identified amongst the ARBs in the water samples, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

Journal article

Semitsoglou-Tsiapou S, Templeton MR, Graham NJD, Mandal S, Hernandez Leal L, Kruithof JCet al., 2018, Potential formation of mutagenicity by low pressure-UV/H2O2 during the treatment of nitrate-rich source waters, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, Vol: 4, Pages: 1252-1261, ISSN: 2053-1400

Mutagenicity formation by low pressure (LP)-UV/H2O2 treatment of nitrate-rich water containing natural organic matter (NOM) was investigated. Laboratory-grade water samples spiked with either Pony Lake NOM or Suwannee River NOM (4 mg L−1 in both cases) and nitrate (50 mg L−1) were irradiated with UV fluences of 0, 1500 and 2000 mJ cm−2 and a H2O2 dose of 15 mg L−1 and tested for mutagenicity with the Ames II assay. LP-UV photolysis of nitrate in the presence of Pony Lake NOM caused a significant increase in the Ames II assay response and low concentrations of nitrite (0.08–0.09 mg NO2− L−1) and nitrophenols (0.014–0.046 μg L−1) were detected. Suwannee River NOM produced the same nitrite levels but no significant responses in the Ames II assay were observed. Additionally, samples collected from a drinking water treatment plant in the UK using LP-UV/H2O2 treatment were analysed with the Ames II assay. LC-OCD fractionation and SUVA measurements were performed to observe any changes in the properties of NOM. Significant differences in the mutagenicity response were observed between the treatment steps as well as between the two sampling periods. However, with respect to standard thresholds, none of the samples were found to be mutagenic towards the Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98 used.

Journal article

Khan SJ, Gagnon GA, Templeton MR, Dionysiou DDet al., 2018, The rapidly growing role of UV-AOPs in the production of safe drinking water, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, Vol: 4, Pages: 1211-1212, ISSN: 2053-1400

Journal article

Angoua ELE, Dongo K, Templeton MR, Zinsstag J, Bonfoh Bet al., 2018, Barriers to access improved water and sanitation in poor peri-urban settlements of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, PLOS One, Vol: 13(8):e0202928, ISSN: 1932-6203

Journal article

Bell MC, Ritson JP, Verhoef A, Brazier RE, Templeton MR, Graham NJD, Freeman C, Clark JMet al., 2018, Sensitivity of peatland litter decomposition to changes in temperature and rainfall, Geoderma, Vol: 331, Pages: 29-37, ISSN: 0016-7061

Changes to climate are projected over the next 50 years for many peatland areas. As decomposition of peat-forming vegetation is likely to be intrinsically linked to these changes in climate, a clear understanding of climate-peat dynamics is required. There is concern that increased temperature and decreased precipitation could increase the rate of decomposition and put the carbon sink status of many peatlands at risk, yet few studies have examined the impact of both climatic factors together. To better understand the sensitivity of peatland decomposition to changes in both temperature and precipitation and their interaction, we conducted a short-term laboratory experiment in which plant litters and peat soil were incubated, in isolation, in a factorial design. Treatments simulated baseline and projected climate averages derived from the latest UK climate change projections (UKCP09) for Exmoor, a climatically marginal peatland in SW England. Regular carbon dioxide flux measurements were made throughout the simulation, as well as total mass loss and total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leached. The largest effect on carbon loss in this multifactor experiment was from substrate, with Sphagnum/peat releasing significantly less C in total during the experiment than dwarf shrubs/graminoids. Climate effects were substrate specific, with the drier rainfall treatment increasing the DOC leaching from Calluna, but decreasing it from Sphagnum. Partitioning between CO2 and DOC was also affected by climate, but only for the peat and Sphagnum samples, where the future climate scenarios (warmer and drier) resulted in a greater proportion of C lost in gaseous form. These results suggest that indirect effects of climate through changes in species composition in peatlands could ultimately turn out to be more important for litter decomposition than direct effects of climate change from increased temperatures and decreased rainfall.

Journal article

Destiani R, Templeton MR, Kowalski W, 2018, Relative ultraviolet sensitivity of selected antibiotic resistance genes in waterborne bacteria, Environmental Engineering Science, Vol: 35, Pages: 770-774, ISSN: 1092-8758

This study investigated the ability of monochromatic ultraviolet (UV) light at 254 nm applied at typical drinking water disinfection doses to damage the antibiotic-resistant genes mph(A), sul1, tet-A, and bla-Tem1 in waterborne bacteria. UV sensitivity rank was bla-TEM1 > tet-A > sul1 > mph(A), which is consistent with predictions of a previously presented genomic-based UV sensitivity model. It is the first time that predictions of the relative UV sensitivity of antibiotic resistance genes have been validated with experimental data and suggest that such modeling is useful for determining the UV sensitivity of other genes in waterborne microorganisms.

Journal article

Todman LC, Chhang A, Riordan HJ, Brooks D, Butler AP, Templeton MRet al., 2018, Soil osmotic potential and its effect on vapor flow from a pervaporative irrigation membrane, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol: 144, ISSN: 0733-9372

Pervaporative irrigation is a membrane technology that can be used for desalination and subsurface irrigation simultaneously. To irrigate, the tube-shaped polymer membrane is buried in soil and filled with water. Because of the membrane transport process, water enters the soil in the vapor phase, drawn across the membrane when the relative humidity in the air-filled pores is low. Soils are typically humid environments; however, the presence of hygroscopic compounds such as fertilizers decreases the humidity. For example, at 20°C the humidity in air in equilibrium above a saturated ammonium nitrate solution is 63%. Here, experiments showed that the presence of fertilizers in sand increased the water flux across the membrane by an order of magnitude. An expression for vapor sorption into sand containing different hygroscopic compounds was developed and combined with a model of vapor and liquid flow in soil. The success of the model in simulating experimental results suggests that the proposed mechanism, adsorption of moisture from the vapor phase by hygroscopic compounds, explains the observed increase in the flux from the irrigation system.

Journal article

Hammoud AS, Leung J, Tripathi S, Butler AP, Sule MN, Templeton MRet al., 2018, The impact of latrine contents and emptying practices on nitrogen contamination of well water in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, AIMS Environmental Science, Vol: 5, Pages: 143-153, ISSN: 2372-0352

Leaching of nitrogen-containing compounds (e.g., ammonia, nitrate) from pit latrines and seepage tanks into groundwater may pose health risks, given that groundwater is a significant source for drinking water in many low-income countries. In this study, three communities within Kathmandu, Nepal (Manohara, Kupondole, and Lokanthali) were visited to investigate the impact of pit latrines on groundwater quality, with a focus on understanding the fate of nitrogen-containing compounds specifically. Well water samples were analyzed over two seasons (wet and dry) for their nitrogen content, dissolved oxygen (DO), chemical oxidation demand (COD), and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), and samples collected from within the nearby pits were also analyzed to determine nitrogen content and COD. Hand dug wells were found to be more likely receptors of contamination than tube wells, as expected, with inter-well variations related to the relative redox conditions in the wells. Increased pit-emptying frequency was related to lower levels of nitrogen in the latrines and in the nearest wells, suggesting this may be an effective strategy for reducing the risks of groundwater contamination in such settings, all else being equal.

Journal article

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