Damian E Helbling

Learn More
In western societies, clean and safe drinking water is often taken for granted, but there are threats to drinking water resources that should not be underestimated. Contamination of drinking water sources by anthropogenic chemicals is one threat that is particularly widespread in industrialized nations. Recently, a significant amount of attention has been(More)
During wastewater treatment, many organic micropollutants undergo microbially mediated reactions resulting in the formation of transformation products (TPs). Little is known on the reaction pathways that govern these transformations or on the occurrence of microbial TPs in surface waters. Large sets of biotransformation data for organic micropollutants(More)
The utility of chlorine residual and chlorine demand as a surrogate for microbial contamination in the water distribution system was evaluated. The chlorine demanded by and cell survival of pure culture suspensions of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Mycobacterium aurum were quantified in solutions with initial free chlorine concentrations(More)
The objective of this work was to identify relevant wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) parameters and underlying microbial processes that influence the biotransformation of a diverse set of micropollutants. To do this, we determined biotransformation rate constants for ten organic micropollutants in batch reactors seeded with activated sludge from ten(More)
Upon partial degradation of polar organic micropollutants during activated sludge treatment, transformation products (TPs) may be formed that enter the aquatic environment in the treated effluent. However, TPs are rarely considered in prospective environmental risk assessments of wastewater-relevant compound classes such as pharmaceuticals and biocides.(More)
The use of pesticides in agricultural and urban environments has improved quality of life around the world. However, the resulting accumulation of pesticide residues in fresh water resources has negative effects on aquatic ecosystem and human health. Bioremediation has been proposed as an environmentally sound alternative for the remediation of(More)
The number of functional traits of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) microbial community (i.e. functional richness) is thought to be an important determinant of its overall functional performance, but the ecological factors that determine functional richness remain unclear. The number of taxa within a community (i.e. taxonomic richness) is one ecological(More)
Partial microbial degradation of xenobiotic compounds in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) results in the formation of transformation products, which have been shown to be released and detectable in surface waters. Rule-based systems to predict the structures of microbial transformation products often fail to discriminate between alternate transformation(More)
The objective of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of deploying free chlorine sensors as surrogate monitors for bacterial contamination events in drinking water distribution systems. An on-line sensor integral with a laboratory-scale distribution system (LDS) was shown to respond rapidly to changes in residual free chlorine concentrations induced by(More)
Removal of micropollutants (MPs) during activated sludge treatment can mainly be attributed to biotransformation and sorption to sludge flocs, whereby the latter process is known to be of minor importance for polar organic micropollutants. In this work, we investigated the influence of pH on the biotransformation of MPs with cationic-neutral speciation in(More)