The continuous monitoring of field water samples with a novel multi-channel two-stage mini-bioreactor system

M. B. Gu, B. C. Kim, J. Cho, P. D. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Toxicity monitoring of field water samples was performed using a novel multi-channel two-stage mini-bioreactor system and genetically engineered bioluminescent bacteria for the continuous monitoring and classification of the toxicity present in the samples. The toxicity of various samples spiked with known endocrine disrupting chemicals and phenol was also investigated for system characterization. The field samples used in this study were obtained from two different sites on a monthly basis - from a drinking water treatment plant, referred to as site N, and from a stream near a dam which is currently being constructed, referred to as site T. These samples were either pumped or injected into the second mini-bioreactors to initiate the toxicity test. Most of the samples did not show any specific toxicity. However, one sample showed to have, based upon the detection results, and was deemed toxic. The samples spiked with phenol showed possible responses in the DPD2540 and TV1061 channels, indicating the occurrence of both membrane and protein damage due to phenol. In the tests using an endocrine disrupting chemical, bisphenol A, DNA damage was detected in the DPD2794 channel with a concentration of 2 ppm. Finally, a simple but novel early warning protocol that can be used in a drinking water reservoir and a suspected place where effluents of toxic materials enter the water sourse was suggested with a schematic diagram. In conclusion, this system showed good feasibility for use as a toxicity monitoring system in the field and as an early warning system, indicating if effluents are toxic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Field water
  • Multi-channel two-stage minibioreactor system
  • Toxicity early warning system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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