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Molecular Analysis of Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria As an Indicator of Treatment Processes at a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Temporal molecular analysis of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and total bacteria (TB) in activated sludge of the Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant (CWRP) yielded mean concentrations 2.84 × 1011 cells/L (SD = 2.99 × 1011) and 4.41 × 1013 cells/L (SD = 2.69 × 1013), respectively. BOD removal rates were maintained at 88.10% (SD = 5.13). AOB concentration is sensitive to operating conditions than TB. We determined that temperature had a major influence on the relationship between AOB, BOD removal, and DO. Low (<24.5C) and intermediate temperatures (24.5C – 27.5C) generally required higher DO levels (>1.0mg/L) to maintain BOD removal rates above 87% across all AOB concentrations. High temperatures (>27.5C) provided BOD removal rates above 90% with low DO (<1.0mg/L) when AOB populations were below 2% of the bacterial community. AOB populations above 2% required increasing DO concentrations to maintain high BOD removal.
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Keywords: Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; activated sludge; nitrification; qPCR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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