Analysed by EPAS
Microscopic follow-up of biomass is essential for the management of an active sludge installation. Most of the time an installation is operated based on COD, BOD, N and other parameters. The essence of the process, namely the quality of the sludge, is often overlooked.
Standard light microscopy makes it possible to determine the sludge characteristics. Advanced techniques and equipment allow us to obtain a more detailed image of the sludge.
Live/dead staining creates a distinction between dead or living biomass and can be a very useful instrument during a campaign of selective chlorination to counteract filamentous bulking.
Identification of filaments reveals the causes of an unbalanced development of a specific type of filamentous bacteria. This knowledge allows us to interfere in the process conditions and to avoid sludge loss. Basic knowledge of simple light microscopy is a must for every process responsible of a WWTP.
EPAS applies molecular techniques that monitor the microbial diversity of activated sludges, based on their DNA-profile. This method can be used in particular for the follow-up of filaments, nitrifying communities and anaerobic bacteria, this way watching over and controlling sludge settling, removal of nitrogen and the methanogenesis.
Microscopic characterization is in that respect one of EPAS' core activities. Several follow-up packages and hands-on training courses for operators are available.