The formation of persistent foams can be a critical problem in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) as it could lead to a series of operational problems, especially the reduction of the overall system performance. To date, the effects of foaming in the WWTPs are a problem that is currently very common and shared, but which to date is treated mainly only at the management level and still too little studied through a globally shared scientific method: the complexity of the phenomenon and the systems have led to numerous partially contradictory descriptions and hypotheses over the years. The goal must be to suggest future research directions and indicate promising strategies to prevent or control the formation of foams in WWTPs. This study examines and investigates the problem of foams by a methodological approach of research through a review on the state of the art: the factors influencing the formation of foams are described first (such as surfactants and/or extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs)), then the known methods for the evaluation of foaming, both direct and indirect, are presented, with the aim of identifying the correct and best (from the management point of view) control and/or prevention strategies to be applied in the future in WWTPs.
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