Colour changes and other marked disturbances were observed at a high-rate photosynthetic pond system at Alcochete, Portugal. Previous chemical and microbiological tests made it possible to attribute these occurrences to the proliferation of purple sulfur bacteria, following the probable production of sulfide inside the ponds by sulfate-reducing bacteria. Results from more recent tests and observations are presented, which confirm the earlier conclusions, in addition to revealing a number of inadequacies in the ponds chosen operating conditions, which are in all probability at the origin of the observed disturbances. Corrective actions planned include a more efficient mixing of pond contents, the strict prevention of contamination with salty estuarine waters and the control of residence times and bottom sludge accumulation.

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