Contaminated water sources can cause problems for scientific research and result in costly delays and failures of experiments. At Bowling Green State University, the reverse osmosis supply circulating in the Life Sciences Building has been measurably contaminated for nearly three years, corresponding to a change in servicing of the system. While servicing has been accelerated, the contamination in the system remains. The focus of this research was to identify the species of bacteria and fungi growing inside of the water system so that it might alert those servicing the system, and to begin to eliminate the contamination. Reverse osmosis water samples were collected from various floors of the building and spread onto LB (Luria-Bertani) and MEA (Malt Extract) culture plates. Microbial growth was evident on 93% of the plates. Each separate colony was isolated, followed by DNA extraction and sequencing. Genus and species were determined and the information was presented to the firm that services the reverse osmosis system in order to determine a plan to decontaminate or replace the current plumbing system, and to determine the best way to assure the delivery of water that can be used in scientific research projects.
Dr. Scott O. Rogers
First Advisor Department
Dr. Neocles B. Leontis
Second Advisor Department
Mendenhall, Nicholas; Rogers, Scott O.; and Leontis, Neocles B., "Assay of the Reverse Osmosis Purified Water in the Life Science Building at Bowling Green State University, Ohio" (2018). Honors Projects. 388.