Filamentous bacteria and protozoa found in the rotating biological contactor

Jae Chun Chung, Peter F. Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Slime samples from 66 rotating biological contactors(RBC) in 20 states in USA were examined. For the filamentous bacteria, Beggiatoa, Sphaerotilus, Type 0041, Type 1701 and Nocardia were observed in decreasing order of frequency. For the protozoa, flagellates, Opercularia, Difflugia, Arcella, Paramecium and Epistylis were present in decreasing order of frequency. Organisms differed in abundance along the RBC stages. Using linear regression, Beggiatoa, Type 0041(negative), and flagellated protozoa showed signigicant correlations(p<0.05) with organic loading, while Sphaerotilus and Opercularia did not. In an attempt to establish an indicator organism system, RBC orgamsms were grouped based upon the organic loading preference. Beggiatoa and flagellated protozoa were grouped as the organism associated with high organic loading. Type 0041, and Arcella and Difflugia were grouped as the organism associated with moderately low organic loading. The microbial population in the last stage was investigated in association with the effluent quality. Flagellates and Opercularia were more frequently observed in plants with effluent BOD's above 20mg/l, while Arcella and Difflugia were more frequent in the plants with effluent BOD's below 20mg/l.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-686
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering


  • Filamentous bacteria
  • Organic loading
  • Protozoa
  • Rotating biological contactor

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