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Environ Technol. 2007 Jan;28(1):115-22.

Identification of type and causes of filamentous bulking under Mediterranean conditions.

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National Technical University of Athens, Faculty of Civil Engineering Department of Water Resources, Hydraulic and Maritime Engineering 5, Iroon Polytechniou, Zografou, Athens 15780, Greece.


A national survey to identify the most common filamentous microorganisms in Greek wastewater treatment plants, to assess the extent of filamentous bulking phenomenon and to correlate the occurrence of these bacteria to specific operating parameters, was carried out for five years. According to the conclusions of this survey filamentous bulking is a widespread phenomenon in Greek wastewater treatment plants. Almost 70% of the sludge samples examined exhibited filament indices greater than 4 during the winter period. The most common filamentous species found in a decreasing order were M. parvicella, Type 0092, GALOs, Type 0041 and N. limicola. A seasonal variation of the composition of the biomass was observed. M. parvicella is the dominant species during winter periods, while T0092 is the dominant species during summer conditions. This seasonal pattern of biomass composition was followed by a similar seasonal variation of the settling characteristics in terms of Filament Index (FI) and Sludge Volume Index (SVI) values. M. parvicella's proliferation is favored in Carrousel and oxidation ditches systems especially when primary settling stage was preceeded, whereas its growth is also highly stimulated in intermittent aeration systems, even in the absence of primary settling tanks. Finally there is evidence that Bio-P systems without primary sedimentation inhibit its growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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