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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #257210

Title: Analysis of nitrifying microbial populations in an aerobic wastewater treatment system

item Ducey, Thomas
item Szogi, Ariel
item Vanotti, Matias

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/17/2010
Publication Date: 11/3/2010
Citation: Ducey, T.F., Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B. 2010. Analysis of nitrifying microbial populations in an aerobic wastewater treatment system [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting, October 31-November 4, 2010, Long Beach, California. 2010 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Liquid manure generated from livestock production is a major contributor to ammonia emissions in rural areas. These emissions may produce acidification and eutrophication of coastal waters, lakes, streams, and terrestrial ecosystems, resulting in habitat degradation and a reduction in biodiversity. In municipal and industrial systems, ammonia from wastewater can be removed by a variety of physicochemical and biological processes, but biological processes are preferred because they are usually more cost effective. One such biological process is autotrophic nitrification, a reaction undertaken by both the ammonia-oxidizing (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing (NOB) bacteria. In this study, we focused on the gene densities of AOB and NOB in a second generation swine wastewater treatment system in North Carolina which demonstrated a 97% ammonia removal rate. Over the course of the first year of operation, the AOB averaged 1.1 times 10 to the eight, and 1.0 times 10 to the seventh copies per mL of wastewater. This high density of nitrifiers demonstrates that the bacterial community in this system has adapted to the high levels of ammonia, producing rapid and efficient nitrogen removal.