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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2876-2898; doi:10.3390/ijerph110302876
Article

The Impact of Microbial Ecology and Chemical Profile on the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Process: A Case Study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg

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Received: 28 November 2013; in revised form: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
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Abstract: The impact of polyphosphate-accumulating organism (PAO) and glycogen-accumulating organism (GAO) populations as well as of the chemical profile on the performance of Unit-3 (open elutriation tanks) and Unit-5 (covered elutriation tank) of the City of Johannesburg Northern Wastewater Treatment Works was determined. Physicochemical parameters of wastewater samples were measured using standard methods. Bacterial diversity was determined using 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing of the variable region V1-3. Results showed soluble COD concentrations from settled sewage for Unit-3 at 192.8 mg COD/L and for Unit-5 at 214.6 mg COD/L, which increased to 301.8 mg COD/L and 411.6 mg COD/L in the overflow from elutriation tanks and decreased to 170.9 mg COD/L and 256.3 mg COD/L at the division boxes, respectively. Both long-chain volatile fatty acids (heptanoic acid, isobutyric acid, 3-methylbutanoic acid, pentanoic acid, 4-methylpentanoic acid, methylheptanoic acid) and short-chain volatile fatty acids (acetic acid, propionic acid, isobutyric acid) were present within concentration ranges of 17.19 mg/L to 54.98 mg/L and 13.64 mg/L to 87.6 mg/L for Unit 3 and 38.61 mg/L to58.85 mg/L and 21.63 mg/L to 92.39 mg/L for Unit 5, respectively. In the secondary settling tanks, the phosphate-removal efficiency in Unit-5 appeared to be slightly higher (0.08 mg P/L) compared to that of Unit-3 (0.11 mg P/L). The average DO concentrations (2.1 mg/L and 2.2 mg/L) as well as the pH values (pH 7 to pH 7.5) were found to be slightly higher in Unit-5 in the aerobic zones. The high presence of PAOs in the bioreactors (Unit-5: Dechloromonas (14.96%), Acinetobacter (6.3%), Zoogloea (4.72%) in the anaerobic zone and Dechloromonas (22.37 %) in the aerobic zone; Unit-3: Dechloromonas (37.25%) in the anaerobic zone and Dechloromonas (23.97%) in the aerobic zone) confirmed the phosphate-removal efficiencies of both units. Negligible GAOs were found in the aerobic zones (Defluviicoccus spp.: 0.33% for Unit-5 and 0.68% for Unit-3) and in the anaerobic zones (Defluviicoccus: 9.8% for Unit-3). The high microbial diversity and a negligible percentage of GAOs in Unit-5 could contribute to its high phosphate-removal efficiency, although results did not indicate statistically significant differences between the unit with a covered elutriation tank (Unit-5) and that with open elutriation tanks (Unit-3).
Keywords: wastewater; EBPR; polyphosphate-accumulating organisms; glycogen-accumulating organisms; volatile fatty acids wastewater; EBPR; polyphosphate-accumulating organisms; glycogen-accumulating organisms; volatile fatty acids
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kamika, I.; Coetzee, M.; Mamba, B.B.; Msagati, T.; Momba, M.N.B. The Impact of Microbial Ecology and Chemical Profile on the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Process: A Case Study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2876-2898.

AMA Style

Kamika I, Coetzee M, Mamba BB, Msagati T, Momba MNB. The Impact of Microbial Ecology and Chemical Profile on the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Process: A Case Study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(3):2876-2898.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kamika, Ilunga; Coetzee, Martie; Mamba, Bhekie B.; Msagati, Titus; Momba, Maggy N.B. 2014. "The Impact of Microbial Ecology and Chemical Profile on the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Process: A Case Study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 3: 2876-2898.



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