Open access poster: Environmental Ordination of Filamentous Bacteria in Activated Sludge


Backgrounds: New strategies and/or biological treatment systems are in continuous development, in order to decrease the operational costs and to compliance the energy efficiency and quality objectives of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Studies about the dynamics of filamentous bacteria population in activated sludge, often related to bulking and foaming episodes, have mainly focused on the elucidation of the taxonomic position, in situ ecophysiology, presence and distribution, as well as strategies for controlling the populations. However, the published works about the biological process from the point of view of the environmental interpretation is still scarce.

Objetives: Ordination of the relationships between biological variables (filamentous bacteria) and physicochemical and operational variables in WWTPs.

Methods: Samples from activated sludge, influent and treated effluent were collected every fifteen days during a year from six bioreactors belonging to four different WWTPs located in Spain. The estimation of the absolute density of filamentous bacteria was performed by using the conventional microscopy and a molecular biological technique: fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Distance-based linear models (DISTLM) was applied to investigate models of environmental interpretation of biological variables.

Conclusions: The construction of models allows associating the filamentous bacteria to environmental ranges, obtaining valuable information to the knowledge of these dynamic populations. This has allowed to carried out an ecological interpretation of the processes that take place in the biological reactors, and to advance in the knowledge of those filamentous bacteria that cause problems in the treatment plants.


Zornoza, A., Serrano, S. and Alonso, J.L. (2017) Environmental Ordination of Filamentous Bacteria in Activated Sludge. In: Abstracts of the 7th congress of European microbiologists FEMS 2017, Valencia, Spain, 9-13 July 2017.


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