The Role of Dispersed Nocardioform Filaments in Activated Sludge Foaming
Activated sludge foaming caused by filamentous microorganisms is a major wastewater treatment plant operating problem. This paper presents the results of an investigation of the role of dispersed nocardioforms in activated sludge foaming. Dispersed nocardioforms had a greater propensity for foaming than floc-bound nocardioforms. The mode of effluent withdrawal from an aeration basin plays a major role in determining the relative proportion of dispersed and floc-bound nocardioforms in the activated sludge. Reactors with “trapping” features (sub-surface mixed liquor withdrawal) had significantly higher dispersed nocardioform populations than reactors with “non-trapping” features (surface mixed liquor withdrawal). High dispersed nocardioform filament concentrations were correlated with a high propensity for foaming. Cationic polymer and poly-aluminum chloride reduced foaming by flocculating dispersed nocardioforms, thereby converting them to floc-bound nocardioforms. Low non-ionic surfactant concentrations changed the relative proportions of dispersed and floc-bound nocardioforms by deflocculating floc-bound filaments and converting them to the dispersed growth form. This could act as a trigger for initiating the rapid-onset nocardioform foaming events observed at activated sludge plants.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2010-06-01
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Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year. Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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