Relations between substrate feeding pattern and development of filamentous bacteria in activated sludge processes

Part I: Influence of process parameters
  • J. Houtmeyers
  • E. van den Eynde
  • R. Poffé
  • H. Verachtert
Microbiology of Sewage and Industrial Wastes


Laboratory scale activated sludge systems were operated under regimes of continuous or intermittent feeding of substrate. It was found that continuously fed systems repeatedly resulted in the development of filamentous bacteria and bulking of the sludge. Intermittently fed systems did form good settling sludges, without filamentous bacteria. The same results were found using different sludge loadings and different concentrations of mixed liquor suspended solids. High dissolved oxygen concentration did not prevent bulking in continuous systems while low dissolved oxygen concentration resulted in bulking with intermittently fed systems. It was found that the substrate removal rate of intermittently operated systems was always higher than for continuously fed systems. The hypothesis is formulated that intermittent feeding leads to higher substrate removal rates by floc forming bacteria and their predominance in intermittently fed systems, which can be compared to plug flow systems.


Sludge Settling Activate Sludge Suspended Solid Dissolve Oxygen Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Houtmeyers
    • 1
  • E. van den Eynde
    • 1
  • R. Poffé
    • 1
  • H. Verachtert
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorium voor Industriele Microbiologie and BiochemieKath. Univ. LeuvenHeverlee, LouvainBelgium

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