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UWM Researchers Discovered Microbiome Inside Water Pipes — Here’s What That Means

Jason Rieve
(From left) Tom Luljak with Val Klump and Ryan Newton, both of UWM's School of Freshwater Sciences.

This morning when you took a shower or flushed the toilet, you probably weren't thinking about the journey your waste water would take on its way to the sewerage treatment plant. Out of sight, out of mind.

But researchers at UW-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Science have been looking inside those sewer pipes and they have discovered there is a unique ecosystem of microbes living there. And those microbes may be contributing to an environment resistant to antibiotics. It is a public health issue we should all be concerned with.

On this edition of UWM Today, we talk about the strange world of living organisms in the pipes that carry our waste water and drinking water. Joining us in the studio are Ryan Newton, assistant professor, and Val Klump, professor and dean of UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences.

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Tom Luljak hosted UWM Today on WUWM for more than two decades and is the inaugural host of Curious Campus.