- 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:
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.
Click to set custom HTML