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Microbial Ecology of Activated Sludge, written for both microbiologists and engineers, critically reviews our current understanding of the microbiology of activated sludge, the most commonly used process for treating both domestic and industrial wastes. The contributors are all internationally recognized as leading research workers in activated sludge microbiology, and all have made valuable contributions to our present understanding of the process. The book pays particular attention to how the application of molecular methods has changed our perceptions of the identity of the filamentous bacteria causing the operational disorders of bulking and foaming, and the bacteria responsible for nitrification and denitrification and phosphorus accumulation in nutrient removal processes. Special attention is given to how it is now becoming possible to relate the composition of the community of microbes present in activated sludge, and the in situ function of individual populations there, and how such information might be used to manage and control these systems better. Detailed descriptions of some of these molecular methods are provided to allow newcomers to this field of study an opportunity to apply them in their research. Comprehensive descriptions of organisms of interest and importance are also given, together with high quality photos of activated sludge microbes. Activated sludge processes have been used globally for nearly 100 years, and yet we still know very little of how they work. In the past 15 years the advent of molecular culture independent methods of study have provided tools enabling microbiologists to understand which organisms are present in activated sludge, and critically, what they might be doing there. Microbial Ecology of Activated Sludge will be the first book available to deal comprehensively with the very exciting new information from applying these methods, and their impact on how we now view microbiologically mediated processes taking place there. As such it will be essential reading for microbial ecologists, environmental biotechnologists and engineers involved in designing and managing these plants. It will also be suitable for postgraduate students working in this field.
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