- Note floc size, density, and filaments - compare to "normal" system levels (100x)
- Free bacteria and pin floc (best seen at 400x)
- Now look for indicator protozoa (amoeba, flagellates, ciliates, and stalk ciliates)
- Any higher life forms such as rotifers or worms
- Finally, anything unusual or big changes from previous exam
Microscopic exam should be performed daily or every shift by operators. When I say microscopic exam, I am not referring to filamentous bacteria ID or using any stain procedure. Instead, use a decent quality microscope (can be phase contrast or more simple light microscope) and have the operator look at a sample at 100x and 400x magnification (10x & 40x objectives). Use a standard transfer pipette to place a small amount of fresh MLSS on a slide. If you have a lagoon system, you will need to use a centrifuge to collect sufficient biomass to observe. Here is what should be noted - I promise it takes less than 30 seconds:
4/18/2019 09:36:14 pm
I think I'm in love!! I just found your blog and it's the first thing that actually makes sense!! I'm going to read what looks like about a week's worth of archives, but I'm just relocated to a new state and am running into new problems for me. I'm a chemical sales guy and mostly work with DAF's but have been encountering a lot of problems with industrial MBBR's. I understand that results are the best way to tell if your unit is working but unless you actually test daily how are you supposed to tell what's wrong? I haven't found a microscope in working order in any plant I have been to yet and to me, identifying bugs, would be a critical part of a program. I focus mostly on the dairy and food business, 1-2m gals a day. This article is close to what I am thinking should be established. Maybe it's overkill for plants this size, I just don't know. Then when it comes to certain bugs, I'm sure certain ones are better for certain waste streams. Right now I'm dealing with a cheese plant, couple of poultry and couple of beef. Could you recommend some light reading material on bug assignment and levels? This is still my initial page so I'll be rooting through the archives all night, I hope I can find something. Either way, great information and keep the good work up!
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Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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