When early wastewater systems were built, the engineers believed that Zooglea were the primary organism and formed the best floc. As microbiologists started examining the microbial mix that we call MLSS - they determined that the MLSS consisted of many different organisms functioning in a unique ecosystem. Differences in influent makeup, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and cell residence time all had a major impact on the organisms found in the MLSS.
Today, all mentions of Zooglea tend to be in a negative light. Under the microscope mature Zoogleal type colonies appear as fingers. The key visual clue is the gelatinous matrix that contains the cells. The extracellular materials move from promoting floc formation to entrapping water and creating viscous bulking.
Now what conditions favor Zooglea or other microbes responsible for viscous bulking:
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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