Exploring the operating factors controlling Kouleothrix (type 1851), the dominant filamentous bacterial population, in a full-scale A2O plant

Nittami et al. (2020). Scientific Reports 10 (1)
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AbstractThis study reveals that the abundance of the filament Kouleothrix (Eikelboom type 1851) correlated positively with poor settleability of activated sludge biomass in a Japanese full-scale nutrient removal wastewater treatment plant sampled over a one-year period. 16S rRNA amplicon sequence data confirmed that Kouleothrix was the dominant filament in the plant, with a relative abundance of 3.06% positively correlated with sludge volume index (SVI) (R = 0.691). Moreover, Kouleothrix (type 1851) appeared to form interfloc bridges, typical of bulking sludge, regardless of season. Together with earlier studies that indicated the responsibility of Kouleothrix (type 1851) on bulking events, these data suggest that their high relative abundances alone may be responsible for sludge bulking. 16S rRNA qPCR data for this filament showed changes in its relative abundance correlated with changes in several operational parameters, including mixed liquor temperature, sludge retention time, and suspended solids concentration, and it may be that manipulating these may help control Kouleothrix bulking.
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