Microbiological analysis or microlife examination is an extremely important analysis in monitoring activated sludge systems. In these systems, bacteria are responsible for the degradation of organic matter, using pollutants (molecules of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, among others) as a food source and decomposing them into other less polluting compounds (such as CO2, water, some mineral salts, among others), thus generating energy for their survival and for the production of new cells. Thus, in these places biological flakes are formed, made of digested and undigested organic matter, a fraction of inorganic compounds, dead cells and a wide variety of bacteria.
Qualitative and quantitative changes in the population of microorganisms or in the characteristics of the flakes are excellent bioindicators of changes in the efficiency of purification of organic matter from the wastewater under treatment, as well as in the conditions of the system. These changes can also be indicative of the occurrence of large variations/impacts (shocks) in the treatment system, directly influencing the quality of the final treated effluent.
In recent years, Millenniun Tecnologia Ambiental has invested heavily in this area and implemented this type of monitoring in its operational routines, directly at the Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) of its customers, aiming at greater knowledge and control of its systems, having the possibility of quick responses to seasonal fluctuations. These actions make all the difference, as this monitoring allows for early detection of problems and enables quick and effective actions, avoiding major impacts on the treatment system as a whole.
In general, a quality biological sludge has flakes with balanced flake-forming bacteria and filamentous bacteria, with large size, delineated edges and high mechanical strength. The amount of sludge varies depending on the project and the purpose of removal from the treatment system. Furthermore, the presence of protozoa and metazoa can also be used as an indication of the performance of the treatment system, according to the predominance in the systems.
The evaluation of a system’s performance is essential for an efficient treatment.
In the menu on the side, you can check the main aspects monitored during a microlife test and what they can indicate in the treatment system.
The shape of the biological flake present in treatment systems directly affects the sedimentation rate.
Filamentous bacteria play a key role in the formation of the biological flake, as they provide the backbone around which particles accumulate and structure.
The identification of microfauna, especially protozoa and metazoa, is an excellent monitoring parameter. The predominance in the systems is used as bioindicators of the performance of the treatment systems.
In activated sludge systems, the presence of algae is not quite common due to the turbidity of the environment and lack of light necessary for its development.
They are sulfurous bacteria that give the systems, usually facultative, a purple or pink color.