On October 21st and 28th, students looking for an introduction to wastewater microbiology will have the opportunity to participate in a 2-hour, online class hosted by WastewaterEducation.org. This in-depth 2-hour class is designed for beginning wastewater treatment operators, testing lab technicians in training, students, and those interested in microbiology in the environment.
Activated sludge wastewater treatment plants rely on a healthy population of “beneficial organisms” to treat the incoming wastewater. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, rotifers and nematodes are usually present in the activated sludge used to remove organic contaminants from wastewater. Although other microorganisms are present, the bacteria do the heavy lifting when it comes to consuming the organic material present in the wastewater.
A proper environment must be maintained in the aeration basin to promote the growth of these beneficial organisms while inhibiting the growth of organisms that can upset the wastewater treatment process. Operators of activated sludge wastewater plants are tasked with maintaining the proper conditions to grow beneficial bacteria. A good understanding of wastewater microbiology is essential to identifying a potential problem before it occurs.