Project Name Diversity and population structure of sewage-derived microorganisms in wastewater treatment plant influent 
Domain (1) bacteria
Investigators (1)
Institution University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Project Code CAM_PROJ_WasteWaterMilwaukee
Project Type metagenome
Publications (1)


The release of untreated sewage introduces nonindigenous microbial populations of uncertain composition into surface waters. We used massively parallel 454 pyrosequencing of hypervariable regions in rRNA genes to profile microbial communities from eight untreated sewage influent samples of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in metropolitan Milwaukee. The sewage profiles included a discernible human faecal signature made up of several taxonomic groups including multiple Bifidobacteriaceae, Coriobacteriaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae genera. The faecal signature made up a small fraction of the taxa present in sewage but the relative abundance of these sequence tags mirrored the population structures of human faecal samples. These genera were much more prevalent in the sewage influent than standard indicators species. High-abundance sequences from taxonomic groups within the Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria dominated the sewage samples but occurred at very low levels in faecal and surface water samples, suggesting that these organisms proliferate within the sewer system. Samples from Jones Island (JI . servicing residential plus a combined sewer system) and South Shore (SS . servicing a residential area) WWTPs had very consistent community profiles, with greater similarity between WWTPs on a given collection day than the same plant collected on different days. Rainfall increased influent flows at SS and JI WWTPs, and this corresponded to greater diversity in the community at both plants. Overall, the sewer system appears to be a defined environment with both infiltration of rainwater and stormwater inputs modulating community composition. Microbial sewage communities represent a combination of inputs from human faecal microbes and enrichment of specific microbes from the environment to form a unique population structure.


No assemblies.


Sample Name PI Desc
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017891_JI082107 NA Jones Island WWTP 2007_08_21
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017892_SS082107 NA South Shore WWTP 2007_08_21
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017893_JI121107 NA Jones Island WWTP 2007_12_11
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017894_SS121107 NA South Shore WWTP 2007_12_11
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017895_SS041807 NA South Shore WWTP 2007_04_18
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017896_JI041807 NA Jones Island WWTP 2007_04_18
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017897_JI042005 NA Jones Island WWTP 2005_04_20
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017898_SS042005 NA South Shore WWTP 2005_04_20
WASTEWATERMILWAUKEE_SMPL_SRR017899_SS061906 NA Junction Clear Water 2006_06_19