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A universal threshold concept for hydrophobic mycolata in activated sludge foaming
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Dr Russell Davenport
Dr Andrew Goodhead
Professor Thomas Curtis
Davenport RJ, Pickering RL, Goodhead AK, Curtis TP
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Recent studies using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) have supported the principle that there are mycolata concentration thresholds, above which foaming is likely to occur. In this study, we surveyed 14 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the UK, using quantitative FISH, to establish that the principle of a mycolata threshold (2 x 10^6 mycolata cells/ml mixed liquor suspended solids) is an empirical though widely held value. In addition, we designed, optimized and applied probes for members of the less hydrophobic mycolata genera Corynebacterium and Dietzia, to show that these organisms dominated the mycolata populations in two non-foaming WWTPs where the mycolata concentrations were above the threshold value. We propose that the mycolata threshold value is only applicable to hydrophobic members of the mycolata.
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