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Water Sci Technol. 2005;51(10):155-62.

Microbiological studies of an anaerobic baffled reactor: microbial community characterisation and deactivation of health-related indicator bacteria.

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1
Centre for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban Institute of Technology, Durban, 4000, South Africa.

Abstract

This WRC funded project has studied the appropriateness of the ABR (anaerobic baffled reactor) for on-site primary sanitation in low-income communities. A 3,000 L pilot reactor was located at the Kingsburgh wastewater treatment plant south of Durban, South Africa. Feed to the reactor was raw domestic wastewater containing a significant proportion of particulate organic matter. The compartments of the ABR were routinely monitored for pH, COD, and gas production, among other physical-chemical determinants. The microbial population in each compartment was analysed by fluorescent in situ hybridisation, using general oligonucleotide probes for eubacteria and archeae and a suite of 10 genera or family specific probes. Scanning electron microscopy was conducted on the sludge fraction of each compartment. Mixed fractions from each compartment were also analysed for health-related indicator bacteria (total coliforms and E. coli). Results indicated that methanogenesis was not occurring to the expected extent in the latter compartments, and that this was probably due to a hydraulic load limitation. This contrasted with earlier studies on industrial effluent, for which the organic load was exclusively in soluble form. Inactivation of health-related indicator bacteria was less than 1 log, indicating the need for an additional post-treatment of the effluent to protect community health.

PMID:
16104417
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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