Bustos, A., Garcia, J., Colmenarejo, M.F., Borja, R. and Banks, C.J.
The population structure of a peat filter bed system for treating domestic wastewater, and comparisons with conventional activated sludge
Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A. Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering, 32, (1), . (doi:10.1080/10934529709376532).
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The protozoan population growing in a peat filter bed located at an urban wastewater treatment plant ("La Cabrera”;, Madrid, Spain) was studied. A high density of microorganisms (2.7106 No./l) was found indicating a considerable biological activity. Comparing the mean characteristics of the protozoan population of a peat filter bed with that of a conventional activated-sludge pilot plant, it was found that 80% of the total population corresponded to free swimming ciliates in the first case, whilst sessile or fixed ciliates dominated in the activated-sludge system. These differences in population structure between purification systems could indicate, that the ciliate population in the peat bed did not reach an equilibrium phase, due to the relatively short operation time used in a pond (25-30 days), and was more similar to the transitional phase in an activated-sludge system. Paramecium sp. was found to be the predominant ciliate in the peat bed although a reasonably diverse population structure was found, which was indicative of aerobic conditions.
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