Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulfide Associations with Regional Bacterial Diversity Patterns in Microbially Induced Concrete Corrosion

The microbial communities associated with deteriorating concrete corrosion fronts were characterized in 35 samples taken from wastewater collection and treatment systems in ten utilities. Bacterial communities were described using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the V1V2 region of the small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid (SSU-rRNA) gene recovered from fresh corrosion products. Headspace gas concentrations (hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and methane), pore water pH, moisture content, and select mineralogy were tested for correlation to community outcomes and corrosion extent using pairwise linear regressions and canonical correspondence analysis. Corroding concrete was most commonly characterized by moisture contents greater than 10%, pore water pH below one, and limited richness (<10 taxa). Bacterial community composition was not correlated to geographic location when considered independently from other environmental factors. Corrosion was most severe in sites with high levels of hydrogen sulfide (>100 ppm) and carbon dioxide (>1%) gases, conditions which also were associated with low diversity biofilms dominated by members of the acidophilic sulfur-oxidizer genus <i>Acidithiobacillus</i>.