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Investigation of bacterial community in activated sludge with an anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR) to decrease the generation of excess sludge

Kim, Young Mo, Chon, Dong-Hyun, Kim, Hee-Sik, Park, Chul
Water research 2012 v.46 no.13 pp. 4292-4300
Actinobacteria, Clostridiales, Proteobacteria, Spirochaetales, activated sludge, aeration, anaerobic conditions, anaerobic digesters, bacteria, bacterial communities, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, phylogeny, wastewater treatment
The goal of this study was to investigate the bacterial community in activated sludge with an anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR), a process permitting significant decrease in sludge production during wastewater treatment. The study operated five activated sludge systems with different sludge treatment schemes serving as various controls for the activated sludge with ASSR. Bacterial communities were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), sequencing and construction of phylogenetic relationships of the identified bacteria. The DGGE data showed that activated sludge incorporating ASSR contained higher diversity of bacteria, resulting from long solids retention time and recirculation of sludge under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The similarity of DGGE profiles between ASSR and separate anaerobic digester (control) was high indicating that ASSR is primarily related to conventional anaerobic digesters. Nevertheless, there was also unique bacteria community appearing in ASSR. Interestingly, sludge in the main system and in ASSR showed considerably different bacterial composition indicating that ASSR allowed enriching its own bacterial community different than that from the aeration basin, although two reactors were connected via sludge recirculation. In activated sludge with ASSR, sequences represented by predominant DGGE bands were affiliated with Proteobacteria. The remaining groups were composed of Spirochaetes, Clostridiales, Chloroflexi, and Actinobacteria. Their putative role in the activated sludge with ASSR is also discussed in this study.